As the rich colors of fall fill the Berkshire landscape, so, too, do the unique works of artists fill the galleries throughout Berkshire County. Roberto Lugo, a Philadelphia native, drew from his Puerto Rican heritage and a variety of influences to create Ghetto Garniture: Wu Tang Worcester, currently on display at Ferrin Contemporary in North Adams through October 12.
“My parents were the first generation of my family to raise their children in the United States,” says Lugo. “In an effort to seek the best job he could, my father would drive his bike from Kensington to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, every morning. When I sit at a potter’s wheel, I often think of my father’s bike tire spinning, and this metaphor has always had me reach for more.”
Being raised in the 1980s, exposure to drug use and gang activity had a strong impact on the artist. As a self-described “ghetto potter,” Lugo’s works evoke conversations surrounding cultural tolerance. “The word ‘ghetto’ can be seen as a negative, but I equate ghetto with the word ‘resourceful.’”
The resourcefulness of his father, who would use washing-machine engines and tin-can lids to create food processors to make a base that is common in Puerto Rican food, has inspired Lugo to be the artist he is today. —Kaitlyn Pierce
Ferrin Contemporary, 1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams; 413-346-4004, independentartprojects.com