The Artist

Alfred Arroyo was born in Denver, Colorado in 1923 of Mexican parents. Prior to entering the Denver public school system he was placed in a Catholic boarding school for a few months thus losing daily contact with his Spanish speaking parents. The ability to speak Spanish fluently did not appear until years later. After learning it brokenly and incorrectly at home his Spanish became apparently more refined after a year and a half of study of the language in a Chicago public high school.


Arroyo enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 19, ten months after the start of the war with Japan during WWII. He learned surgical technique at the Navy Hospital Corps School in San Diego, California and continued on to the Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Washington for his internship as a Hospital Corpsman. He saw twenty six months of action in the South Pacific, part of that action would include one year of service on a Surgical Team aboard an L S T with the U.S. Amphibious Forces in the retaking of the Philippine Islands from Japan in October 1944.


After the war Arroyo took a four year course in Air-conditioning, Heating and Field Engineering under the G.I. Bill of Rights. He went into the air-conditioning business and remained in that field for nearly forty years.


In retirement Arroyo studied art informally(self-taught) and soon became adept at sketching and painting in oils and water colors. He became what art scholars and enthusiasts call a "naive" artist. He now specializes in portraits and landscapes in oil on canvas. Arroyo also dabbled in sculpture when he joined three other artists/sculptors in sculpting the celebrated mermaid on the shore of Lake Michigan. The mermaid was carved from a rock of hard stone back in 1986 and in 2000 was touted by the media after its rediscovery. The mermaid is now in good hands under the care of the Art Historian of the City of Chicago and will eventually occupy a space on a retaining wall planned for the lake shore in the future.


In the year 2005 at age 82 Alfred Arroyo plans to continue painting.