Ricardo Levins Morales

Screen Printing

I was born in western Puerto Rico and grew up in the island's anti-colonial movement. I moved with family to Chicago in the late 1960s. At fifteen I left home, becoming involved in the social movements of the day, including doing support work for the Young Lords Organization and Black Panther Party. Over time I began contributing my art to the causes I participated in. I worked in a variety of industries, eventually becoming a screen printer, a skill easily applied to poster-making – an art form that can reach many people at low cost. In 1979 I co-founded the Northland Poster Collective, a hub of social justice and labor movement art a screen printing business that helped support it. I continue to produce art for and with grassroots movements, working with a team of coworkers from a studio/store in south Minneapolis. My posters in this exhibit follow my own life trajectory: from a Puerto Rican mountaintop, through Chicago's streets and along the currents of the Puerto Rican diaspora.