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Oscar Martinez, a local artist chosen with Jennifer Lopez, Rick Martin and Roberto Clemente as a role models in the book "Puerto Rican Americans" by Nichol Bryan.

OAK PARK, IL April 24, 2004--Oscar Martinez, a local artist chosen with Jennifer Lopez, Rick Martin and Roberto Clemente as a role models in the book "Puerto Rican Americans" by Nichol Bryan.

OAK PARK, IL-April 20, 2004- Artist Oscar Martinez was included along singer Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and baseball player Roberto Clement in the book Puerto Rican American by Nichol Bryan under the section "Role Models." The book is for the school library market and is part of a series called "One Nation." "I am very proud that I was chosen as a role model to young Puerto Ricans. I have devoted many years in working with young people and I have always recognized that they are the hopes and aspirations of Puerto Ricans," said Mr. Martinez.

Oscar Martínez was born in Maraguez, Puerto Rico, and resides in Oak Park, Illinois. Through the study of science and art at the University of Illinois at Champaign, in 1977, he received a Bachelor of Science in Medical Art from the University of Illinois Medical Center. Mr. Martínez is an accomplished artist who has had numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and the South Eastern and Midwest regions of the U.S. Among his many credits, his work has been shown in the Museum of Bellas Artes and the National Historical Museum in Mexico, the Desplaines Museum in Illinois, NIU Museum’s Gallery in Chicago, the Field Museum of Chicago, the State of Illinois Museum in Springfield and its gallery in Chicago at the State of Illinois Building. Additionally, his work has been featured on various television shows and published in newspapers and magazines.

Martínez was actively involved in the Chicago mural movement and has painted numerous murals throughout out the city. Moreover, he was appointed by the Mayor of Chicago to judge the international Design/Build competition for the Chicago Public Library and the selection of the library's art collection. He was also appointed by the Governor of the State of Illinois to the Illinois Arts Council where he served as chair of Media Arts. Furthermore, he has served on various boards and commissions including as President of the Latino Institute of Chicago. He is also the founder of the Latin American Museum of Art.

He is currently artist in residence at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana as and is working on a mural project at the University of Illinois' Latina/Latino Studies Program. His artwork can be seen at his web site at

"The dreamlike quality in all of Martínez' paintings allows both painter and audience to enter into this sacred realm and explore the offerings our psyches so richly accumulate. One can always choose to walk past a painting, deciding not to attempt an interpretation but only to admire its surface qualities; or one can step inside of the story itself to interact with the messages revealed within." Ilana Vardy is the Director of Art Miami and contributing writer to Art Nexus an international art magazine.

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