Claudia Bernardi is an internationally known artist who works in the fields of art, human rights, and social justice. She combines installation, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and recently she has focused her art praxis in community and collaborative art projects working with and in collaboration with communities that suffered state terror and violence as well as with victims of human rights violations.
Born in Buenos Aires, Bernardi lived through the Argentine military junta that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983. In 1984 she returned to Argentina to work in collaboration with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team participating in exhumations of mass graves in El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina, and Ethiopia.
Emerging from this experience, Bernardi recognized that art could be used to educate, elucidate, and articulate the communal memories of survivors of human rights atrocities.
Bernardi has exhibited her work nationally and internationally: The International World Peace Center in Hiroshima; The Centre for Building Peace, Donegal, Northern Ireland; The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; The Sonoma Museum of Contemporary Art; The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art; The Tokushima Modern Art Museum; The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; DAH Teatar in Belgrade, Serbia; The University of Haifa, Israel; MACLA; Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley, Carl Gorman Museum at U.C. Davis; Tucson Museum of Art.
Bernardi is the founder and director of the School of Art and Open Studio of Perquin, El Salvador, an unprecedented model of art, education, and human rights, designing and creating in response to demands, hopes, and desires of the community.
This model of education and community building known now as the “Perquin Model” has been successfully implanted in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, and Argentina.
In 2004 Bernardi was awarded an honorary degree, a Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa, by the College of Wooster, Ohio.
She has taught at the Universidad del Salvador, Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute, and the University of Michigan.