Born in San Salvador March 19, 1903, Jose Mejia Vides was a painter, scupltor, and printmaker. Â He was the oldest of seven children of Mr. Jose Mejia and Mrs. Jesus Vides Navarro. Â He lived most of his live in “Planes de Renderos”, very close to the town of Panchimalco. Â He married Clemantina Suarez, a honduran poet, and had two girls.
He started his formal training as an artist at 15, studying drawing and painting from 1918 to 1922 in the National School of Graphic Arts “Carlos Alberto Imery”. Â In 1922, with a scholarship granted by the government of Mexico, he attended the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City, where he stayed until 1927. Â During his stay he also participated in the School of Open Art in Tlaplan with the masters Alfredo Ramos Martinez and the Japanese Tamiji Kitagawa.
Kitagawa introduced him to the technique of woodcut printing and woodcut engraving. Â His time in Mexico was fundamental in his progress as an artist. Â There he was introduced to Mexican Muralism, to the modern French school, and Japanese art.
Between 1948 and 49 he studied in the Experimental Workshop of Materials and Practices in Muralism in the Polytechnical Institute of Mexico. Â Here he learned techniques using vinyl paint, which he later substituted for oils in hisÂ pictorialÂ work.
From 1940 to 48 he was a professor of drawing in the National School of Graphic Arts in El Salvador, where he served as director from 1949 to 50. Â He later served at the Fine Arts School as Head of Fine Arts until 1960.
Throughout his life he won many prizes in El Salvador and Latin America. Â In his first competition in 1976, he won the just established National Cultural Award. Â He exhibitioned individually and and collectively in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, the United States, and Spain. Â In the late 1980s, he was stricken by Glaucoma, which gradually caused him to lose his vision. Â At the age of 90, he died in San Salvador on August 21, 1993.