...is a Puerto Rican artist born in Bridgeport CT to parents Pedro & Antonia Mestre. While growing up it was evident that he naturally had an artist ability. All his older brothers were given musical lessons but he was fine developing his art on his own. By second grade his illustrations of his teachers at Holy Rosary School were used for a calendar to raise money for the school. He continued to draw many things for the school including flyers for festivals and posters for school plays. By 4th grade he enterd a Saftey Poster Contest and won first prize of $100.00 for a poster illustrating a brother, sister and thier cat trying to cross the street in the rain. It read "Be Extra Alert In Bad Weather". His poster won him first prize again in 6th grade where he won a 10 speed bicycle. By 8th grade he began developing his own comic strip based on his friends and family featuring his cousin "Sandra" as the main character. It was around this same time that his brother Daniel began developing an interest in film making and directing using their father's old super 8 silent movie camera. While Daniel was scripting the movie featuring Sandra as the lead, Ricky would then create the illustrated version on index cards taped together to make the comic book adaptation. This led into more movie making and more comic books which grew into merchandise of the actors with their cartoon faces on things such as glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. Soon the closet under the stiars became a store to display all the comic books, magazines and school supplies that Ricky created using his characters. This carried on throughout high school. Upon his senior year at Kolbe Cathedral he designed his 3rd calendar for Holy Rosary but used his cartoon characters from Daniel's movies and called the crew "Amigos Chiquitos". The "Amigos Chiquitos" calendars were a big hit and continued for several years after until Holy Rosary school was finally shut down.  

At the University of Bridgeport, Ricky majored in Illustration but also took courses in Theatre and Photography. It was during this time that his work-study job put him in Bassick High School where he worked as a tutor and mentor for students who were interested in persuing college education. Little by little Ricky's list changed and he found himself working with the at-risk students and helping them get through High School. It was here that he met students involved with a community center's thaetre group doing West Side Story and they needed more guys. He agreed to join them at the community center to play a "Jet" gang memeber, but later eneded up getting the lead part of "Tony". After WSS, a woman named Donna Sue Deguzman entered the center to direct a show that was completely original based on issues relevant to teens in the area focusing on teen pregnancy and gang violence. The show was called Marginal Saints and Ricky was cast as the homeless man who helps out "Christina", a girl who found out she was pregnant on Easter Sunday morning to her gang member boyfriend. Ricky not only acted in this play but also helped to paint the set and did artwork for the program. This was the first of many illustrations made for Donna Sue that adorn many of her production posters and programs following "Marginal Saints" for her company now called "Creative Youth Productions". 

Also while in Bassick, he was assigned to work with a student named Luis Cedeno. Luis was working with the school's production of a lip synch and dance competetion by creating the set and posters. Luis and Ricky teamed up and collaborated of many of the designs.

Ricky then thought about participating in the show, not to compete; just for the sheer joy of being on stage. He got Luis to agree to join him and to get his more of his friends and his cousin involved to dance to a New Kids on The Block meledy. This led to performances of Grease songs for pep rallies and soon after we volunteered to take these routines as well as routines from Michael Jackson songs and an "I Love Lucy" skit to different elementary schools and Senior citizen homes in Bridgeport to entertain them. When Luis discovered Sound View Community Media public access television station he quickly learned the art of television production to launch his tv show "BOOM CITY" where Ricky was his first guest talking about his artwork. After helping on on the set of BOOM CITY Ricky started developing an idea of his own for television with the help of Luis Cedeno. He wrote a script called "Murder On 34th St." which was a huge hit. His next peoject featured students of The Bridge Academy in Bridgeport CT where he was working as a teacher's aide. It featured musical numbers and skits similar to what he and Luis produced for the schools. He called it "The Ricky Mestre Show" It went on to recieve numerous awards at the annual Tommy Awards ceremony for it's Technical, Visual Effects and Entertainment values. The show's cast consisted of Ricky Mestre, Luis Cedeno, Waleska Morales (from Marginal Saints), Celia Ortiz (also from Marginal Sailnts), Kathy Ruiz (also from Marginal Saints as well as West Side Story), Miguel Padilla (of Bridge Academy's segments) and Xavier Albelo, a break dancer who was introduced to Ricky by Waleska. The Show continues to air on Sound View's TV network as reruns as the last episode was filmed in 2007. 

When the show stopped being filmed Ricky went back to painting and started participating and ultimately curating different shows for several galleries in the Bridgeport area. He started with a show called "heavy-heARTed" which featured several artist friends who created peices that were inspired by human emotions. Next came the idea to have a gay themed art show called "SameSex" and he introduced the idea to the City Lights Gallery also in Bridgeport. After much thought the gallery was on board and invited a set of influential people to help get it all together. The result was one of the most well attended openings the gallery had ever seen and a number of art works sold. With the success of "SameSex" it was evident that it would become an annual event during gay pride month, June. The SameSex show in June 2013 landed a spot in the New York times featuring a color photo of Ricky'd painting of a gay boy scout called "A Scout Is Proud". Ricky Mestre continues to produce his artwork, photography and video work and has begun combining different elemets for live art performance pieces for various fund rasing shows across the state. 

 

 

RICKY MESTRE.....