We had the good fortune of connecting with Maclovio Cantú IV and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maclovio, why did you pursue a creative career?
I decided to pursue an artistic career after having a mentorship by both Dr. Gilberto Cardenas and artist and Master Printmaker Joe Segura while working at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. I was lucky enough to begin volunteer at the institute when I found that the space housed one of the largest collection of Chicano art in the world. This time helped me have what I consider my first real experience as an artist when the Consejo Grafico a consortium of Chicano, Latino, and Hispanic print shops came from across the USA to South Bend,Indiana.

Working as a mentee of Joe Segura he wanted me to follow and work with this group for a week visiting meetings and doing everything this group would do. I was tasked with creating a linoleum print with them to display in at a pop-up group exhibition called the ‘Guerilla Gallery’. I was 21 when this happened, of course there was art making before this but this is when my mind opened to printmaking and changed my life.

This mentorship and life changing experience would change my life trajectory to want to become an artist and professor.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The beginning of the story starts with my family. My father, Maclovio Mike Cantú III, is a native Texan transplanted to Northern Indiana in the early seventies. He found himself in each branch of the military by the time he retired from service in the early 2000’s. When I was born he was stationed in San Antonio, and once my mother was cleared to leave the hospital in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana we were en route on the Greyhound bus line to the Lackland Airforce Base. There is a photo of me at the base Exchange in a camouflage onesie still newborn – fresh tinted pink and purple. He was employed at a steel mill for most of my life and when not there he was working in the garage. My father obtained his GED sometime before I was born and believed education was the way for the youth to take care of the future. My mother Carmela Tijerina Cantú was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana and spent much of her life working in childcare, mostly pre-k. she graduated college in 2019 with her associate degree, and in 2021 is finishing her bachelor’s degree. Her goal is to have a daycare center of her own. I have one sister, Sasha, a few years older than me. She went to the same high school as my mother and I and works quite a few jobs. She was one of the people who introduced me to graffiti which got me to love art as a lifestyle.

We grew up with enough to get by but I was not aware of what college was or any idea of higher education until my late teens. It was definitely a hard road i chose getting into many sketchy situations and I am lucky to be here today but most importantly all of these events helped me to see that while I may not have had an idea of what I wanted to do, or if I was going to make it past the age of 18. I knew that there were people that are just like how I was in my early years that aren’t aware that there are options in life that are outside of the neighborhood.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many that helped me in this journey to getting here today. I have met countless individuals that their friendship, mentorship and input that have helped change my perspective on my view of the world, education, and what it means to be an artist and individual. I would like to shout out to Professor Ryan O’Malley who was my graduate school mentor at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

Website: macloviocantu4.com

Instagram: @maclovio4

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.