Bio

Ck Ledesma is a transdisciplinary artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico, living in the diaspora in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Besides art practices, they are passionate about serving their community while building authentic relationships and the liberation of all BIPOC people. They co-founded Cosecha Creative Space, a community-focused “space” that centers connections, understanding, and building togetherness through creative engagement, mutual aid, and the arts: “We connect with our community(ies) to understand our collective/shared humanity and build togetherness—building together through art creation.”

 

Ledesma is a 2020 Mary L. Nohl Fellow, has served at the artist-in-residence for the Cesar Chavez Drive Business Improvement District in Milwaukee, the Mitchell Street branch of the Milwaukee Public Library, and Casa Candela in Cayey, Puerto Rico. Their work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Racine Art Museum and through the Museums Association of the Caribbean and, most notably, within the community.

CV

Education

2013 BFA in Painting and Art History, Peck School of the Arts - UWM, Milwaukee, WI 

2011 Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee, WI
2010 Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Paris, France (summer course)
2004 Escuela Central de Artes Visuales, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Grants/Awards

2022 Milwaukee Arts Board Mildred L. Harpole Artist of the Year, Milwaukee, WI

2020 Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists, Established Artist, Milwaukee, WI

2020 Artist-in-Residence, Casa Candela, Cayey, Puerto Rico
2018 Artist-in-Residence, Milwaukee Public Library, Mitchell Street Branch, Milwaukee, WI
2017 Artist-in-Residence, Cesar Chavez Drive, Milwaukee, WI
2016 Visiting/Working Artist, Escuela Central de Artes Visuales, San Juan, Puerto Rico 

2015 Finalist, Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists, Milwaukee, WI
2015 Finalist, Artist-in-Residency, Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, WI
2014 Grant recipient, The Artery, Milwaukee, WI

Commissions

2020 Public Art Commission, mural, acrylic on concrete, Milwaukee County Court House Milwaukee, WI

2019 Public Art Commission, mural, acrylic on wood, Woodland Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee, WI

2019 Public Art Piece, mural, acrylic on metal, Artist Working in Education, Milwaukee WI 

2019 Public Art Piece, mural, acrylic on concrete, Revitalize Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 

2018 Public Art Commission, collaborative community mural, acrylic on canvas, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee, WI
2018 Public Art Commission, mural, digital vinyl print, Milwaukee Public Library, 
Milwaukee, WI

2018 Pubic Art Commission, sculpture, plexiglass and iron, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI

2018 Public Art Commission, mural, digital vinyl print, The Bus Art Project, Milwaukee, WI 

2017 Public Art Commission, mural, acrylic on brick, Cesar Chavez Drive, Milwaukee, WI 

2017 Public Art Commission, collaborative community mural, acrylic on wood, Journey House, Milwaukee, WI

Photo credit: Ángel Gabriel Guzmán Rivera

Artist Statement

Exhibitions/Screenings

2022 The Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship for Individual Artists 2019 & 2020, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI

2022 No More Stolen Sisters, Walker's Point Center for the Arts, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI

2021 Home, Humboldt Park Boathouse Gallery, Group Show, Chicago IL

2021 Hyphenated, Crossman Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Group Show, Whitewater, WI

2021 The Shapes of Truths Told, Woodland Pattern Book Center, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI

2021 This is America, 5 Points Gallery & Studios, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI

2021 Collecting Our Voices in the Caribbean & Diaspora, Museums Associations of the Caribbean, Group Show, Virtual Exhibition

2020 Travis' Room, Studio Neonlumberjack, Group Show, New Orleans, LA 

2020 Para Las Orishas, Punta Salinas, Solo Show, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
2020 The Rum Will Wash It All Away, Casa Candela, Solo Show, Cayey, Puerto Rico 

2020 From The Heart, Racine Art Museum, Group Show, Racine, WI
2019 2 Productions, Reginald Baylor Studios, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI
2019 LULAC Exhibition, Wisconsin Center, Group Show, Milwaukee WI
2018 V, Var Gallery & Studio, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI
2018 Luces, CAV Gallery, Group Screening, San Juan, Puerto Rico
2017 31 Emerge, Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI 

2017 CultureJam MKE #6 “True Lies”, Redline, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI
2017 Sick and Sad Why Don’t We Make Together, CCS, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI 

2017 Tropicaleo, CCS, Solo Show, Milwaukee, WI
2017 30x30x30, Var Gallery & Studio, Milwaukee, WI
2016 EnMascarado, CAV Gallery, Solo Show, San Juan, PR
2015 Pfister Artist-in-Residence Finalist Show, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the 
Arts, Group Show, Brookfield, WI
2015 Pellicula Musculus, Var Gallery & Studio, Two-Person Show, Milwaukee, WI 

2015 30x30x30, Var Gallery & Studio, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI
2015 iShow, Van Vessem Gallery, Group Show, Tiverton, RI
2015 MARN: Visual Art, Art Bar Gallery, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI
2014 The Artery, Group Show Performance, Milwaukee, WI

2014 Var Gallery & Studio, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI
2013 40th Annual Juried Art Show, UWM Union Art Gallery, Group Show, Milwaukee, WI

Bibliography

Juan Miguel Martinez, Cosecha Creative Space a Place Where Art and Idea Flourish, Shepherd Express, May 27, 2020
Zach Brooke, Where Is the Diversity in Milwaukee's Creative Industry? Milwaukee Magazine, December 2, 2019

Allison Dikanovic, Sculpture of Community Self-portraits Unveiled, Urban Milwaukee, December 25, 2018
MPL Staff, First artist-in-residence, brings his art, culture, and a taste of his Puerto Rican roots to the library NOW@MPL, October 4th, 2018

Robin DiGiacinto, Mitchell Street Library Mural Wins Applause, Urban Milwaukee, July 19, 2018
Lindsay Anderson, A New Mural Is Being Unveiled at the Mitchell Street Library, Milwaukee Magazine, June 13, 2018

Justin Bacon, Cosecha Creative Space, HIGHBEAM MAGAZINE, October 16, 2017

Emmy Yates, Meet Clarke Square’s Resident Artist, Urban Milwaukee, September 1, 2017

In my practice, the intersectionality of my identities acts as a departure point to play with the realities of diasporic life while exploring culture, history, place, ancestry, and experiences. These explorations manifest in a range of disciplines and materials shaped by the nature of each project: many of them socially engaged through the performance of culture and rooted in sharing and building community.

 

My work navigates through history and humanity, developing a dialogue around oppositions: scarcity against abundance, trauma vs. joy. It is a conversation about the unknown effects the legacies of enslavement and colonization have on the cultural landscapes of the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. As my family moved from place to space, backwards and forwards, there wasn’t much for us to hold on to. We created an imaginary landscape full of experiences that retained traces of our identities, while molding new ones. I am interested in dissecting the past to accept our present and have a reckoning with the future…