Artist Painter, Ramberto Rodriguez
As an Artist-painter, poet and photographer, Ramberto Rodriguez was a bit of late starter. In fact he didn’t commence painting seriously until after his fiftieth birthday. Ramberto was born in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico a small cultural town located in the southern central coast of the Island in 1949. Raised in an area of Santa Isabel known as los Indios, as a child he understood what it was to live poor and to walk barefooted without a care of life, he understood the beauty and the culture of living in Puerto Rico. Running to the beach shores and waiting for his Grandfather and his Father as they roared in from the catch of the day or helping the town fisherman cast out the chinchorro ( Fishing Net) across the Jauca Bay or la Playa de Santa Isabel as they brought in the catch to feed their families, or walking barefooted through sugarcane fields miles away from home to take his Grandfather Don Venancio his daily lunch in a Fiambrerra (Stackable Lunch Containers), to where he was working cutting sugarcane in the field – His grandpa drenched in sweat under the dreaded boiling sun of the mi d-afternoon and the skin of his face covered in sod from the ashes of the burnt sugarcane. All this gave rise to Ramberto’s cultural love and understanding of his beloved Puerto Rico. At age two his family migrated to the lower east side of New York City in search of better opportunity.
His Grandfather and his Father worked as migrant workers in farms all over the country where they needed cheap labor, they worked in Connecticut; Georgia; Mississippi and even New York and Jersey picking Tomatoes and fruits. His mother and the rest of his family worked in the Chelsea factories of the Garment districts.
As a child Ramberto showed artistic talent in drawing and sketching, he was given an art scholarship by Sax Art & Craft Company, where he studied Pastel and Charcoal drawing. He credits his art talent and inspirations to his Mother, whom he as a child loved to watch as she painted murals of beaches and palm trees on their living room walls. He continued to study and to practice his art up until his 18th birthday when his artistic talent was interrupted by the Vietnam War. Ramberto Rodriguez served as a United States Marine during the Vietnam War. After the Vietnam War Ramberto returned to civilian life, where he became involved in the Civil rights movement and worked as a Civil rights community activist fighting for Puerto Rican civil rights and equality in the United States; he studied law and became a legalist and was appointed deputy clerk of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and also served as the first Puerto Rican to serve as Personnel Officer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1988 to 1997and was chairman of the Federal Executive Board, Hispanic employment council.
He has written several poems in his native language which have never been published and has been recognized for his artistic work by the International War Veterans Poetry Archives - www.iwvpa.net/rodriguezr/index.php for excellence in Art for his painting “No Man Left Behind” collaboration with his long time friend and poet Lawrence A. DeGraw, who wrote a poem by the same name “No Man Left Behind”; has won various art contest for the same.
A respected member of the community, Ramberto Rodriguez exemplifies what it is to be Puerto Rican living away from the motherland. He is a self educated and a talented artist with great understanding of the use of different mediums of art. He also enjoys photography; has painted well over 300 paintings not counting the hundreds of sketches and drawings; some of his paintings are among private collectors throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. His recent painting “La Passion de Mi Tierra” has challenged the mind of many young and old alike Puerto Ricans all around the United States and Puerto Rico, where he has received masterly praised for his work.
Now retired Mr. Rodriguez continues to paint and to make us all proud of his artistic talent as a Puerto Rican Artist-Painter.
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