Mercedes Cachago

Mercedes Cachago was born on February 2, 1961, in the parish of La Merced.

Mercedes had a difficult childhood. Only 3 years old she lost her father, who was struck by lightning at the Church door in the Barrio Zanjaloma in La Merced. At the time the very young mother had 6 children, Mercedes the only girl. The family suffered greatly, going from a relatively good living to one of continuous struggle to get food on the table and roof over their heads. Mercedes early learned to work hard and did more than her fair share of “child labor.” She saw unfairness from many people, including representatives from the Catholic Church. As a little girl she also became close to leaders of the evangelical community Campamento Nueva Vida and developed long-lasting friendship with many of this community. The influences of the Catholic and Evangelical churches, both the favorable, and the less so, probably formed her in many ways. She developed an inquiring mind and learned to value people for their actions more than for the words they use. The little girl Mercedes became a fighter and would never give up on anything. Growing up she had long hikes in the mountains with her mother learning about plants and survival techniques, activities she has never stopped to enjoy. She has worked hard in many jobs, including house-keeping and field work. She even delved in the arts, making gift cards of cardboard.

Then in 1981 she got a chance to work with the artist Gonzalo Endara Crow in his art studio. She worked with him until 1986, as an assistant and a coordinator on major painting projects involving many artists. An unfortunate event through no fault of her own led to a rough breakup with the artist. It took several years to heal the wounds of her spirit, but eventually she started painting again, building herself a reputation as “naïve” painter following the school of Endara that stood on her own two feet, and did not copy her maestro. She got a faithful following of art lovers and had many successful exhibitions in Ecuador in the following years.

In 2000 she had the opportunity to travel when she received a scholarship granted by the Israeli Embassy to exhibit in Tel Aviv. During the same year she met Tor Lokrheim who visited her in her painting studio in La Merced. In 2001 she got the pleasant news – while she was in Israel – that she had been accepted to exhibit in Norway at the very respected Roenland gallery.

Since 2001 she has been settled in Norway, as she married Tor Lokrheim, and had the opportunity to consolidate her family by taking her two children to that county. This has also has allowed her to hold exhibitions worldwide: in the United States, Sweden, Cuba, Norway, and other countries.

As an artist Mercedes has kept developing. In part this happened due to new experiences in the Norwegian landscape and exposure to other cultures.

Mercedes says that she tries to paint the sound of nature. She gives her own harmony to what she experiences, especially emphasizing the play of light, shadow and color.

Mercedes has held several exhibitions in Norway, Ecuador, Sweden, Cuba, USA and plan to exhibit in several countries around the world in the years to come. To get a complete exhibition overview please visit the Exhibitions section.

Her art is characterized by both andean and scandinavian mountain landscapes, involving mountains, houses, horses and symbols of that strange realism, almost mysterious above the ecuadorian Andes and scandinavian fjords.

In 2016 Mercedes was invited to join a select group of respected artists with a variety of specialties at the cultural center Glasslåven Kunstsenter, at Gran in Norway. The Queen of Norway, Sonja, is the ambassador and protector of this center.

Mercedes is a member of the Norwegian art associations for professional painters, NBK/LNM.

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