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.... Bio

....I was born in Cali, Colombia and spent most of my childhood in Bogotá. I remember being mesmerized by the daily activities of an artist from the university who rented a room in my grandmother's house. I felt such joy as I watched him work, and said to myself, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” I was six years old. Art quickly became the purpose for my daily existence. Soon I realized the power and significance of art as a communicative tool for expressing the kaleidoscope of my emotions, life experiences, and viewpoints.

......While in Colombia I was continually exposed to and inspired by art, from the country's pre-Colombian past to the seeds of the contemporary movements. There I enrolled in the District School of the Arts, National University in Bogotá and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1969, I received a commercial art degree from the Academy of Pittsburgh in Bogotá and started my own business designing clothing and other artifacts. Despite its success, the driving force of my work was not the environment of mass production, but the originality and uniqueness of the design. I closed the factory and returned to painting.

........In 1984, I moved from Colombia to the United States. I made my home in Nashville, TN and for the past 26 years I have been a full-time artist, creating commissioned works and exhibiting nationally and internationally. Noted exhibitions include a solo exhibit in 2008 at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, as well as the Biennial Best of Tennessee Craft Artists exhibition in 2002 at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN. My work was selected for purchase by the Tennessee State Museum as part of The Best of Tennessee exhibition's Millennium Collection. Multiple public and private collections feature various works, including Tennessee State University, Watkins College of Art and Design, and University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I have also been an educator to the community, sharing my passion for art with adults and young people through several local organizations, public and private institutions, including Watkins College of Art and Design as well as Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

.....Artist's Statement


........Everything in life experiences an ongoing state of transformation. For that reason, I embrace the necessity of continuous exploration. The metamorphosis of my artistic work reflects the story of my physical and spiritual journey.

.........The intent of my work is to heighten social consciousness and highlight the human experience. I am interested in the role of artist as a channel for narrating archetypal stories of cultural and humanitarian significance. I attempt to capture the transitory moments of emotional intensity within the oppressed and the illuminated. Recurring themes emphasize environmental responsibility, preservation of native and indigenous traditions, awareness of comparative mythologies and beliefs, and self-enlightenment. In my work I confront man's external concerns, such as genocide, violence, injustice, and disregard for human life, as well as internal struggles with fear, hate, vulnerability and indifference. Allegorical in nature, my works are inspired by a myriad of global sources, from pre-Colombian art to contemporary schools of thought, regional naïve and folk artists, my own memory and perceptions of warfare and violence as well as ancient alternative ways of experiencing life.

.....Curriculum Vitae


Selected Solo/ Invitational / Juried Exhibitions:

2010 Dogwood Arts Regional Fine Arts Exhibition. Knoxville, TN
2009 Renaissance Center Visual Arts Gallery, Dickson, TN
2009 NYLC Conference, Nashville Convention Center, Nashville, TN
2008 The Art of Jairo Prado, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC
2007 Art Now 2007 , Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, Cuidad Juarez , Mexico
2007 Kennedy and Prado , Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Nashville, TN
2005 Simply Red: An Offering of Artwork , In the Gallery, Nashville, TN
2004 New Voices, New Visions , Downtown Nashville Public Library, Nashville, TN
2003 Flying Solo , Arts in the Airport, Nashville International Airport, Nashville, TN
2003 Artwork for the Three-Star Gala: Governor Bredesen's Inaugural Exhibit, Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Nashville, TN
2002 The Changing Face of Nashville , Nashville Public Television Corporate Offices, Nashville, TN
2002 Biennial Best of Tennessee Craft Artists , Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN
2001 The Best of Tennessee , Millennium Collection, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN
2001 Galeria Colombia, Consulado de Colombia, Atlanta, Georgia
2000 Visions & Voices: Africa to America, Atlanta International Museum, Atlanta, Georgia
1999 One Man Journey, Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville, TN
1999 Make Me a World, William King Art Center, Abington, Virginia
1998 From Africa to America, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN
1997 Tennessee Arts Commission All State Collection , Nashville, TN
1997 Hotel Inter-continental, Cali, Colombia, South America
1996 Executive Club Art Gallery, Cali, Colombia, South America
1994 Encuentros , Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art, Miami, Florida
1994 Figurative Exhibition, Buckham Gallery, Flint, Michigan
1994 Eros ‘94, Second Story Studio & Gallery, Seattle, Washington
1993 Quest, The Parthenon Museum Gallery, Nashville, TN
1993 Sodarco International Spring Art Exhibition, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Grants / Awards:

2009 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Support Grant
2008 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Support Grant
2005 Southern Artists' Federation Spotlight Artist, Atlanta, GA (www.southernartistry.org)
2001 Purchase Award, The Best of Tennessee , Millennium Collection, TN State Museum, Nashville, TN
2001 Cultural Treasure Award, Scarritt -Bennett Center, Nashville, TN
1996 35 th Tennessee All-State; Parthenon Museum; Plaza Art Materials Award
1995 34 th Tennessee All-State; Parthenon Museum; Best of Show- Purchase Award

Selected Public Collections/Commissions:

Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN
University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC
Abintra Montessori School, Nashville, TN
Nashville Public Television
Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN
Boult , Cummings, Conners , and Berry, LLC, Nashville, TN
Scarritt -Bennett Center, Nashville, TN
Executive Club, Cali, Colombia, South America
Watkins Institute of Art and Design, Nashville, TN


Watkins College of Art & Design, Nashville, TN
Museum of Modern Art, Bogota, Colombia
Taller Carlos Rojas, Bogota , Colombia
National University , Bogota , Colombia
Commerical Art Degree, Academy of Pittsburgh, Bogota, Colombia
Escuela Distrital de Arts , Bogota , Colombia

Professional Experience:

Instructor, Community Outreach Program, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN
Instructor, Abintra Montessori School, Nashville, TN
Instructor, Watkins College of Art & Design, Nashville, TN
Artisan Instructor, "Artistas Populares," Bogota , Colombia
Freelance Designer, Bogota, Colombia

Selected Reviews:

Palacios, Alejandro , Un nuevo estilo de Jairo Prado , La Campana , July 23, 2007
Bostick , Alan, Vivid visions, voices: Latino Artists Share their vivid visions , The Tennessean , p.1-2 D, April 10, 2004
La Morte , Gloria, Jairo Prado, AHA! Hispanic Arts News Magazine , p.3 &13, Winter 2002-2003
Hirschowitz -Engel, Kaaren , Discovering a soul: A conversation with Jairo Prado, VAAN Magazine , p. 3-4, Fall 2002
Bostick , Alan, Where art comes to life , The Tennessean, p. 19, June 24, 2001
Garcia , Winston A, Camino de lagrimas , Nuestro Seminario , Atlanta, GA, April 5, 2001
McLean, Paul, Fantastic Visions, In Review, November 23, 1999
One Man Journey , El Crucero de Tennessee, November 5, 1999
Sims, Michael, The Many Styles of Colombian Artist Jairo Prado , Nashville Scene , p. 33, November 11, 1999
La vida, la musa de Jairo Prado , El Pais , Cali Colombia, p. E-4, October 19, 1996
Krasthz , Jose J, Obra de Jairo Prado, Gacetilla Del Ejecutivo, October 1996
Chappell, Susan, Sculptor's “hands” reach for passions, win top prize, Nashville Banner, p. 1-C, November 1, 1995
LeQuire , Louise, International Colors Blend In: Nashville Art in the Nineties, Nashville Life Magazine , December/ January 1995
Epkins , Ronda, Jairo Prado touches the heart , Nashvillian , p. 12, April 23, 1992
Kreyling , Christine, Private Struggles, Nashville Scene , June 20, 1991
Schweid , Richard , Hispanic art takes shape, The Tennessean , p.1-D, November 29, 1990
Hieronymous , Clara, Colombian artist plans new exhibit , Nashville Banner, p.1-E, September 1, 1989



....All images © 2010 Jairo Prado ............................................................................................................sponsored by :