Max Emiliano Gonzales, also known by his artist name GEMS, can be classified as an activist, art educator, muralist, graffiti writer, printmaker, curator and much more. Originally from the Southwest side of Chicago and raised in latino communities, Max brings a unique perspective to Pittsburgh as a queer identifying, Chicano artist.
Max was brought to Pittsburgh in 2012 to attend Carnegie Mellon University's Fine Art program on a full ride scholarship. Max went on to graduate in 2016 with honors while primarily focusing in printmaking and interventionist activism. After graduating, Max began working for the University as the Assistant Technician in Printmaking, as an Undergrad Printmaking TA, and as a Precollege Printmaking Instructor.
Max has since gone on to work at a local printshop, Clockwise Tees while regularly guest lecturing on printmaking and urban/graffiti/street art. Max has lectured, taught and run workshops at many locations including The University of Pittsburgh, Winchester Thurston High School, Youth Places North Side, McKeesport, and Homewood, Assemble Pgh, and The Environmental Charter School.
Max is also a member of Boom Concepts, Flower House Gallery, Wicked Pittsburgh, Hemispheric Conversations: Urban Art Program, and Pullproof Studio.
See more of Max’s work here