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Meet Silvia Lopez Chavez of Chavez Design Studio in South End

Today we’d like to introduce you to Silvia Lopez Chavez.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a visual artist with roots in the Dominican Republic, and have been based in Boston for over 15 years.

My work explores narratives of joy, struggle and assimilation that affect daily life. It is expressed through bold color, layering and pattern, which is very much influenced by the visually stimulating environment of the Dominican culture. I believe in the power of the creative process as an agent for positive change.

As a child, I felt very lucky to have parents who understood the importance of art. We did not have much, but music and art making was always part of family gatherings. My creative self was nurtured and supported from an early age.

I migrated to Boston following a dream of continuing my art studies. I got accepted at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Art has helped me build resilience, overcome language and social barriers, and most importantly, allowed me to connect in ways words could not. I never thought I would stay in such a cold city, but Boston eventually became my home.

Since then, I have worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as an illustrator and graphic designer and eventually built my own art and design business through Chavez Design Studio. The Studio is located at The Boston Center for the Arts and my office where I work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer for high-profile companies and institutions such as the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is also the space where I continue my studio art practice.

Throughout the years, I realize how much I enjoy helping people connect through the creative process, which led me to take do more public art projects and work more in the community. I’ve used art to help young people thrive, working with high school girls to develop artistic skills and create murals in the north shore with Raw Art Works, while building self-esteem, work ethic, and a sense of belonging. Recently, I have been artist in residence at Boston Children’s Hospital, where I help patients escape their medical room and dive into art making, to learn coping mechanisms, lower anxiety and stress levels and even pain during their hospital stay. Experiences such as these have re-affirmed my passion for making art with others and strengthened my belief in art as tool to connect, heal and breakdown silos.

I also have understood the importance of making art accessible to everyone. Public art has provided me a platform to do so. Public art has the capacity to bring people together, build bridges of understanding, cross cultural boundaries and create change.

Today I am creating healing spaces and bringing joy to unexpected places; whether is in a hospital room, or outside painting a mural on the Charles river esplanade alongside other female artists.

I am grateful for being able to continue to follow my passion, which has not been easy. As a woman, you have to be smarter, work harder and set your goals high. You need to know who you are and not allow yourself to become a victim of circumstances.

Art has ultimately empowered me to bring all aspects of my life come together. It is my hope to continue to help people connect through art, with themselves, others and their environment.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As an immigrant you have many challenges, there are cultural and language barriers, you also have to learn how to find opportunities and seek financial stability in a place where having connections with the right people sometimes is the only way for doors to open. Then there are the challenges of being a female artist and designer working very hard to be successful in these male dominated fields.

Boston has not been the easiest place to connect with others, but what I’ve learned is that as you engage and grow roots through the things you love, you can truly find meaningful ways to connect.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Chavez Design Studio story. Tell us more about the business.
I am interested in the intersection between art and design. I work on projects on my own or partner up with other creatives to find the best solutions to any given project, guiding the process from concept to completion.

I have over 15 years of experience in the design field and formalized Chavez Design Studio in 2013. At the studio I provide illustration, design and art direction services for both print and digital platforms including: print collateral, brand identity, advertising, publications, packaging, environmental graphics, presentations, product design, web design and Illustration.

In the art part of the studio, I focus on creating murals and public art pieces for clients and community projects; as well as my own personal work, in which I combine traditional methods of drawing and painting with experimental techniques in printmaking and collage, finding balance between representational and abstract.

I take pride in providing the best product and service without the ego, delivered on time.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe in luck to some extent… but I would not consider myself superstitious.

What I truly believe in is creating your own future by knowing who you are and what you want. Most people are not able to connect with them-selves enough to know these two very important pieces of information. Following my passion with eyes wide open is my way to finding happiness and joy in everyday things.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Photos: Dominic Chavez Photography and Now and There.

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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