Artist and designer Ceci Arango was born in Manizales, Columbia in 1967. She studied industrial design at the Javeriana University in Bogotá between 1985 and 1991, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. She went on to study at the Domus Academy in Milan, earning her Master’s in design direction in 1992. Between 2002 and 2004, Arango studied visual arts at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá, ultimately earning a second Master’s degree. She established her eponymous studio in Bogotá in 1993.
Arango’s work is primarily motivated by an exploration of Colombian and Latin American cultural identity—with particular attention to the undervalued indigenous, Afro-American, and peasant roots. As she says, “My focus is weaving peace through my work.” Her furniture, object, and environmental projects embrace time-honored weaving and embroidery techniques, incorporating contemporary materials that highlight the contrast between the past and the present. Arango is also responsible for the creation of Lucio Colombo (2002), the fictional subject of a series of illustrated children’s books aimed at fostering an appreciation of cultural identity.
Her work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions around the globe, including Waterweavers at Bard Graduate Center, New York (2014); Fantasy at Art Space Gallery, Bogotá (2007); A Cross Stitch at Adriana Hoyos for Art Basel, Miami (2006); Entretejidos and Who Is Miss Duarte at Galería Goodman Duarte, Bogotá (both 2005); and Design from the Belly at Paradigm Gallery, Barranquilla, Colombia (2001). Arango has been awarded numerous distinctions, including second prize in the 2002 Salon del Fuego of the Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño of Bogotá, a 1996 National Scholarship from the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, and a 1996 Artisan Design Award from Crafts of Colombia, among others.