AIGA Cleveland is excited to feature Nathalie Bermudez in the Community Spotlight for Hispanic Heritage Month! Thank you Nathalie for stepping into the spotlight and sharing your work with us.
AIGA CLE: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do. How does your creative work influence your day-to-day life?
NB: My name is Nathalie Bermudez I am a Colombian visual artist and actor who graduated from the Actors Studio Academy with an Associate of Arts degree. In Colombia, I was part of several acting plays such as “Tu y yo Somos tres” and “Usted tiene Ojos de Mujer Fatal” among others. I came to the United States in 2015 to pursue my career as an artist. I graduated in 2021 from Cuyahoga Community College with an Associate of Arts and as of today, I’m continuing my studies by pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in theater and art at Cleveland State University.
Since I moved to Cleveland I continue to develop my talent as an actress. I’ve been part of Teatro Publico De Cleveland in plays such as Where is my home, and Labio de Liebre and from 2018 until 2021 I’ve been part of the Latinus Theater Company, the first independent Latin company in Cleveland, Ohio, participating in several plays such as La Cueva De Salamanca, Miss Pina colada, La Muerte y La Doncella, La casa de Bernarda Alba and many others. I became a painter here in Cleveland self-taught I start with acrylic and I fell in love completely. Painting safe my life in different ways.
In 2020-2021 I discover digital art, it open my eyes to what wanted to do. I’m still in the process of learning, a become better with time As a Latin Artist I have a wide interest in participating in projects that unite us as a society because what I consider most important with my art is that it unites people from all cultures and places.
I would like my art to make many people feel that they matter and that they fit into a society that sometimes rejects more than it embraces, I like to represent the Latino community more strongly in my artistic works because I consider that there is not much support and not many representatives and being one of the minorities with the largest number of people it would be very important for us to see ourselves represented through painting but not only this one minority but all the minorities that have been forgotten. Indigenous communities, African Americans, and people of other races and cultures.
My passion as a painter is to highlight the beauty of cultures, and how important it is that we learn where we all come from because something here is true we all come from the same river, from the same air, from the same land, from the same mother.
AIGA CLE: How did you get your creative start?
NB: I entered the world of painting after coming to the United States from Colombia. At that time, I felt an intense need to connect with my culture and roots. I decided that my artwork must tell the story of where I came from, and where I once belonged because the culture shock confused me completely. I didn’t even understand where I was from. I paint because it is a way to express and understand myself and what I see in our world. being far from my beloved Colombia, its people, its mountains, and its rivers. I decided to do more things that would help me bring out everything I felt at that moment painting, saved me. Painting is the bridge that connects me from where I am to my roots, So I began by telling the stories of people from my country that cannot tell their own stories.
AIGA CLE: How does your Hispanic heritage influence your creative work?
NB: My culture is all the who I am, my heritage it’s what my art is. My paintings, I realized, would tell the stories of Colombia’s indigenous and Afro-indigenous people, of our Afro-Colombian roots that are abandoned by the political class in Colombia. I found my paintings unintentionally entered on women. The figures in my work show Colombian women’s experience of strength through strife, and together, my pieces are a vibrant, Colombian celebration of feminine energy and fortitude. I would tell the story of Colombia’s working people, who work morning to night without rest, without complaint—and too often, without voice.
AIGA CLE: What themes and subjects do you explore and depict in your creative work?
NB: Some of the themes and subjects alike to explore is the nature, the connection between us and nature and colors, the beauty of the cultures, the beauty of our heritage, and the political and critical side of our cultures. As I said before telling the stories of Colombia’s indigenous and Afro-indigenous people, of our Afro-Colombian roots that are abandoned by the political class in Colombia, and in general, injustice, voice, and resilience.
AIGA CLE: Of your creative works, which is your favorite and why?
NB: I do not have a favorite yet, but the most significant one and the one that impact I enjoy making was the mural about a block by Fulton Rd. It was a mural for a community garden and it was an amazing experience I had a friend from Colombia too that was helping me and we had such much fun making it and getting our ideas together and we work hard on this piece and working for the community, to bring joy and happiness to the people is what I love most about being a visual artist.
AIGA CLE: What advice would you give to aspiring artists and designers?
NB: Especially to my dear Latinas (os) out there. You have all you need to become what you want to be, you are strong, talented, smart, and powerful. It is not easy, we have a world of NO but those NO we can make powerful and positive and make them a yes, every NO is a new opportunity and as Latinos, we have to work twice harder as any other friend around us, but we can make it happen. If a door is closed we can always find a window.
AIGA CLE: What creative works can we expect from you in the future?
NB: I’m excited about a project that is coming soon, I can’t say anything right now because we ask to keep the secret now but, it is a big project downtown and I am collaborating with an amazing Latina artist too. This is big for us and I can’t wait to let everybody know about this. Also, during heritage month every year, I’m performing a new play or make an expo. This year with LatinUs we still performing a show until October 9th. You will see me around Cleveland making art in all the ways possible.