Art Center College of Design
Los Angeles-born visual artist Irene Carranza's work has been seen in national advertisements; television shows; feature films such as ABC, Telemundo, and Univision; Mitsubishi Motors; San Antonio Winery; and SEIU Justice for Janitors.
After graduating from a private girls’ school in Pasadena, she earned scholarships to attend the Art Center College of Design. Originally aspiring to a career as a fine artist, she became disillusioned with her abilities while at Art Center and opted for a career in graphic design and advertising. While home-schooling her four children, she became a private art instructor, with plans to open an art school in Northern California. As fate would have it and as a result of her involvement at Self Help Graphics in East Los Angeles, it was here where she first drew attention as a serious artist and printmaker. ISoon she was exhibiting her distinctively original paintings, pastels, and prints. The following year she co-founded Flor de Luna Art Space, a working studio for painters, sculptors, and the community in the late 90’s.
Carranza’s creative work, including her writing, is existential, socially and culturally relevant, and courageous. It is sensual without being vulgar, complex in its simplicity and full of hidden meaning. It represents the genuine authentic inner and outer beauty we long to express. This vision has culminated in the painting series titled “La Bella Mujer,” a fifteen-year body of work celebrating women~ their beauty, their essence, their strength, and their stories.
Among her achievements, she was commissioned paintings for Carlos Santana and Oscar De La Hoya and MALDEF honored her painting, "Everlasting Bond," with a series of lithographs awarded to honorees such as President Vicente Fox of Mexico. Her vibrant art has graced the pages of Latina Magazine, including an article written about Carranza and her decision to switch careers from graphic designer to full-time painter. The American Heart Association commissioned 50 limited edition prints for their benefactors. People en Español Magazine has used her paintings for their Christmas cards, including one image “Mar Y Sol” that Carranza donated for Twin Towers restaurant survivors after 9/11. Her story appears in the coffee table books by Bilingual Press~ " Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art," chronicling emerging and established artists in the United States of Mexican descent, and “Triumph of Our Communities~ Four Decades of Mexican American Art.” More recently, Carlos Santana's restaurant chain, Maria Maria, displays Carranza's “Madagascar Jasmine” painting in all the restaurants across the U.S. along with Santana's album cover artists.
Carranza has built a loyal following, including Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, actor Matthew McConaughy, and Boxing champion Oscar de la Hoya, who owns a commissioned portrait. Others include Congressman Xavier Becerra, Dolores Huerta, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs, the Mayor’s office, and former Vice President of the Los Angeles Board of Education, Yolie Flores. Other notables include Mexico's Jose Jose and Juan Gabriel, Spain's Carlos Baute, Arizona State University, and Wescom Credit Union.
In Spring of 2011 Carranza assisted public artist Ricardo Mendoza with the creation of a mural for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Sandra Cisneros Learning Academy. She has created and recently launched “The Power of Your Creativity,” to propel women towards unlocking their creative potential in a nurturing, non-competitive environment.