Friday, February 23, 2024

The Edmundo Segundo Legacy

 February 23, 2024

   Yesterday we got the news that Ed Mell had passed. It wasn't a surprise but it was still a shock.

   His given name was Ed Mell II (the Second!), but I always called him Edmundo Segundo and he was the hardest working artist I have ever known. He had two brothers, Frank and Lee, and by his own admission, they were more talented but Ed simply outworked them—and everyone else. 

A Classic Ed Mell Desert Scene

   In the early 1980s, we shared an art studio which was an old grocery store at Tenth and Oak in downtown Phoenix and we often would go to lunch together and when we came back I had a hard time getting back to work, but Edmundo, would walk in the door, turn right, sit down and start painting again. Damn! it was breathtaking to witness. So focused and on task. I spent six years in what we called the Mell-Bell Studio and, frankly, it was my real college education. 
   Oh, and Edmundo was hilarious. Even as he dealt with Stage Four Cancer he would call me up about some serious business, but soon enough, he would crack wise and we would laugh and laugh. That is what I'll miss the most about my friend Edmundo Segundo.

Trips With Our Boys, Santa Fe, 1992

   Ed's youngest son, Carson, and my son, Tommy with me at Ray Duey's house on Canyon Road.

Edmundo with one of his stunning pieces

Edmundo goofing with my hat in the studio.
Photo by Ralph Rippe

"The only way to have a friend is to be one."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Jim Bolek4:40 PM

    So sorry for everyone's loss. He was a real tribute to Arizona artists. The Oak studio is just down the street from my house. I knew he worked there and passed it many, many times. I sometimes wanted to knock on the door and tell him how much I admired his art. Glad to hear he had you as a friend.

  2. A wonderful tribute. There's a uniqueness that comes from being an artist in that through your art you will always live on. To know that your art will continue to touch people long after you are gone. To not be forgotten. 95% of human history has never been recorded, yet artists leave behind a proof to their own existence even long after their names are forgotten. I've seen their spirits in the hieroglyphics in the Superstition Mountains. I've seen hand prints left by the Anasazi 2,000 years ago. I've studied the intricate artistry in their baskets and arrowheads, and I know these people lived and died. But most importantly I know they lived.


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