CK LEDESMA BIO
Ledesma was born and raised in Puerto Rico where he began his art education in the Central High de Artes Visuales in Santurce, San Juan. There he attended Middle and High School specializing in ceramics, studied at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras where he majored in anthropology and at La Escuela de Artes Plasticas where he focused in Art Education.
In 2007 moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to become a professional ballroom dancer and instructor while continuing his art education by attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, finalizing his BFA at the University of Milwaukee Peck School of Art.
Currently, Ledesma is a working visual artist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and San Juan, Puerto Rico where he is pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to his practice exploring themes of identity in considering and integrating influences from American, Puerto Rican and Latino cultures-how identity intersects, interacts and defines our personas. As a visual artist, create work primarily using acrylic and spray paint in developing vibrant color palettes, performance-based pieces that combine gender binaries with cultural psyche, as well as investigating painting as sculptural and installation material.
VAR GALLERY & STUDIOS, Milwaukee, WI | 2014−2016
Site of artistic practice where past work was created with a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to the visual arts.
ARTISTS WORKING IN EDUCATION, INC., Milwaukee, WI | 2009−2013
School Studio Lead Artist/Studio Intern Artist/Satellite Studio Intern
Collaborated with art educators and AWE staff in providing art experiences to children of varying ages in the Milwaukee schools during the fall and spring and at locations during the summer that included Milwaukee County recreation sites and parks. Performed successfully in three progressively responsible positions. Facilitated creative learning activities for children. Mentored intern artists new to teaching art.
PORTRAIT SOCIETY GALLERY, Milwaukee, WI | 2009−2010
Started out job-shadowing the owner in learning how to sell artists’ work. Gradually responsibilities were increased to include opening and closing the gallery as well as researching artists being represented.
FRED ASTAIRE DANCE STUDIO, Milwaukee, WI | 2007−2009
Dance Professional/Dance Instructor
Danced professionally with the company and taught dance forms that included Smooth style (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz) and Rhythm style (Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo, Salsa, Bachata, Samba, Paso Doble) -Choreographed dances for performances and competitions. Danced professionally at local competitions and at national competitions in Chicago and Orlando.
PECK SCHOOL OF THE ARTS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) | 2012−2013 - Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting; minor in Art History - Scholarship recipient, Department of Art and Design Incoming Scholarship Competition.
MILWAUKEE INSTITUTE OF ART & DESIGN, Milwaukee, WI | 2009−2011 - Completed coursework in painting and art history
- Studied abroad in Paris with extensive time at the city’s museum of contemporary art in the Centre Pompidou; experience culminated in the creation of a collage series that traced personal growth as an artist in Paris.
ESCUELA DE ARTES PLASTICAS, San Juan, Puerto Rico | 2005−2007 - Completed coursework in painting, art history and art education.
UNIVERSIDAD DE PUERTO RICO, San Juan, PR | 2004−2005
Completed coursework in anthropology.
CENTRAL HIGH DE ARTES VISUALES (High School of the Arts), San Juan, PR | 1998−2004 - Diploma
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS
- Exhibited in "Bison Confetti Cake" collective show at Var Gallery. (2015)
- Curated and exhibited an installation piece in “Pellicula Musculus,” a show at the Var Gallery & Studio. (2015)
- Exhibited in "30x30x30" (collective show), Var Gallery & Studio (2015).
- Exhibited in MARN: Visual Music (collective show with the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (2015).
- Presented a performance piece at the Artery in Riverwest, Milwaukee, WI (2014).
- Exhibited at Var Gallery & Studio for Bayview Gallery Night (2014).
- Exhibited as part of the 40th Annual Juried Art Show at the UWM Union Art Gallery (2013).
HONORS & AWARDS
ARTIST IN RESIDENCY, Escuela Central de Artes Visuales in San Juan Puerto Rico (2016)
FINALIST, Mary L. Nohl Fund Individual Artist Program (2015)
FINALIST, ARTIST IN RESIDENCY, Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, WI (2015).
HONORABLE MENTION, work in MARN: Visual Music (2015).
GRANT RECEPIENT, Awarded a grant from beintween, a local organization advocating for a trail network in Milwaukee, to create a performance piece at the Artery in Riverwest (2014)