Ben Hamburger has been with us at Sustainable Bolivia for over a month, and is already making his mark on the arts community of Cochabamba.
Ben and a puppy during the Limpiemos El Cristo community event.
A 2010 graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where he earned his bachelors in Visual Arts. Ben now calls New Orleans home, where he regularly exhibits in three galleries, teaches adult level art classes, and does mural and art enrichment classes in New Orleans Parish public schools.
Despite having a home base in the United States, Ben really loves to combine his art and travel. He has previously taught kids and adults in Bangkok, Thailand and teen girls from a marginalized community in India.
One of Ben’s portraits and the model
Though he has traveled in Asia, he had never had the opportunity to travel to Latin America. “I am excited to combine art and travel,” Ben said, “Working with established organizations in Cochabamba opens the door so I can really make an impact with my art.” Currently, Ben is working with the local arts organization MARTadero, where he has recently completed his first public piece, a mural depicting a street sweeper he met near Casa Principal.
Ben’s first Cochabamba mural
While in Bolivia, Ben is also working on his prerequisites for a higher degree in art therapy. To give him practical experience in this field, Ben is teaching classes to girls with traumatic pasts through SB partner organization Mosoj Yan. “I am interested in balancing community engagement and my artistic processes,” Ben explains. To do this, he will use this combination of art classes for SB, marginalized communities, and his own studio work. Ben hopes to do some personal development, as well. He is planning hone his skills as a plain air painter by traveling out of the city and painting the landscapes around the department. He is perhaps most excited about the opportunity to learn Spanish, a skill that he feels will help him in the field of art therapy.
Ben capturing the mountains of Cochabamba Department in Tiquipaya.
Ultimately, Ben has a very busy few months ahead of him, but he will certainly leave his mark on the city in the form of murals and with the kids and volunteers in his classes. We are excited to have Ben as part of our community; if you are interested in learning more about his work, please come by Casa P to speak to him or visit his personal webpage at www.benhamburgerart.com.