Arturo Mercado was born on August 28, 1938 and raised in Austin, Texas. He attended school in the Austin Independent School District and graduated in 1958 from Stephen F. Austin High School. He enrolled in a number of art classes during his 12 years of education. His mother held on to his early art work, which he acquired in 2007. After graduation, he married and became the proud father of four sons. He was employed as a manager for nine years in the meat department of a local grocery store. It wasn't until 1967 when he went to work for a liquor distributor, displaying their merchandise, that his interest in art surfaced again.
He started painting Texas Hill Country landscapes and displaying his work at the G. Harvey Gallery, also known as the Shoal Creek Gallery. In 1970, he made the decision to become a fulltime artist and began exhibiting his oil paintings at Pacesetter Gallery in Uvalde, Texas. He also had a number of one-man shows, including shows at Las Pampas Gallery in Pampa, Texas and Sagebrush Galleries in Amarillo, Texas, Mooney Galleries in San Antonio, and Santa Fe Trails Gallery in Sarasota, Florida.
He joined the art show circuit and participated in the Laguna Gloria Art Show in Austin Texas for 25 years, including one year in which he was a featured artist. In 1973, he shifted from painting in oils to opaque watercolors. However, the subject matter of his artwork remained consistent and included Native American Indians, Texas wildlife, westerns, Texas Hill Country landscapes, and snow scenes. He exhibited his work at an annual art show in Waco Texas for several years. He also traveled to Colorado for three years to show his paintings at the Copper Mountain Westfest (Michael Martin Murphy's Copper Mountain Westfest), which was one of the top art festivals in the country.
In 1974, he opened an art studio in downtown Austin at the Brown Building and later opened his own gallery there under the name of Los Mercados. In 1985, he moved his art gallery under the same name to Wimberley Texas, where he remained in business for 12 years. After that, he relocated his gallery to West 6th Street in Austin Texas, and opened a frame shop with his son, Joseph. The frame shop eventually moved to West 5th Street along with the gallery, which included the art work of his two other sons. In the nineties he moved the framing business and art studio to his home and has been working out of his home since.
Arturo continues to paint daily and at this time his is painting exclusively in oils. He enjoys creating large scale paintings, and western scenes appear to be his favorite subject matter.