Lori Pino is a self-taught artist from Oakland, California. Her art represents an affinity for multicultural experiences inspired by her military upbringing. Lori’s first inkling to become an artist came around age eleven when she would sketch animals and antique cars pictured in the encyclopedia. She entered a “Reader’s Digest-type” contest for replicating certain illustrations such as the infamous “pirate” character in the hopes of becoming a commercial artist. However, Lori’s attention eventually gave way toward a more “legitimate” line of careers.
Since education was highly valued in her family, Lori pursued a much more linear path leading to her appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. The academy experience was valuable, but short-lived. Lori ultimately discovered a new course of academia in Southern California, which culminated in a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science and a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology. During these years, there was little room for artistic expression though a drawing or poem would surface from time to time.
Lori later returned to San Francisco where she resumed a life with the government working as a federal civil rights investigator for the U.S. Department of Education. This sparked an entirely new passion for preserving the rights of the oppressed and disenfranchised. The work also sparked repressed creative energy, which began to resurface with a new vengeance. Soon, her poems, drawings, and paintings demanded more attention and unleashed a rebellious lash against conventional work dome. Lori started to enjoy successful exhibitions of her watercolor, ink, and acrylic paintings at San Francisco's Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason Center, SOMARTS Gallery, Crucible Steele Gallery, Balazo Gallery, and various San Francisco Bay Area art shows. Lori credits much of her early artistic exposure to volunteer organizations she was proud to be a member of such as ArtSF, "an all-volunteer organization with the goal of creating a San Francisco community art center for all ages," and San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI), a free information and referral switchboard providing anonymous, accurate, non-judgmental information about human sexuality for over 30 years.
Having reconciled her instincts over convention, Lori founded "Artful Meditation," a practice of manifesting one's soul through the manipulation of paint in combination with meditation. The process symbolizes Lori’s zest for spiritual development. At the same time, it allows appreciation for life's mosaic of natural fits, misfits, and beliefs free of judgment. Practicing Artful Meditation serves as an inspiration for her continued work as an artist, an active community member, and a conscientious partner.
My work depicts a fluid and evocative representation of the human form challenging the viewer's concept of openness and acceptance. My work is driven by a deep respect for my Mexican/Anglo ancestry and an appreciation for other cultures. It also serves as a social commentary on society’s perspective on the human condition. My paintings unleash a vibrant rebellion against learned ignorance regarding sexuality, ethnicity, and differentness. The aim is to bring acknowledgement and recognition to people of color countering the perpetual, European representation by mass media. I use a sea sponge to create a faux finish consisting of three pigments of paint and a small amount of my blood. An image, either pre-conceived or envisioned in the finish, is painted in contrasting colors and bold accents using various sized brushes. The result is often ambiguous or abstract; a deliberate protest against society's tendency to view the world in absolute terms. The curved strokes depict a sensuality so often shunned or exploited. Facial expressions are devoid, but inherent in the figure's disposition enabling the viewer to "feel" the image in a more innate manner.