Welcome, Direct Services Staff Member, Hugo Claudin!


Hugo Claudin doesn’t have the specific angle for the book about his life just yet. He’s weighing his options-- maybe a coming of age immigration story? Possibly a retrospective on his art career as a painter, photographer, musician, and playwright? Could be a gritty look into his community health work?

A personal memoir about growing up the son of a Capitol Records talent scout isn’t out of the question, either; it’s a toss up.

Now, he has a new chapter as the newest full-time staff member in the Healthy Homes direct services department. He will be working directly with families struggling with environmental hazards in their homes, visiting them, making action plans for them, and building relationships with them. Hugo brings a unique perspective and experience to this position. Before coming here, he previously worked for Spectrum Health, LINC, and The Red Project, all in a community health capacity.  

Hugo is well-known beyond his community health work as an artist, musician, and gallery curator. If you have time, Google him now. Go ahead. We can wait... Cool, right?

In case you didn’t have the time to fall down the Google rabbit-hole, we will fill you in. Hugo moved from Guadalajara, Mexico as a teenager to Caledonia, MI of all places. He grew up in Mexico and moved to the states with the ambition to become an artist, and decided to attend Kendall College of Art & Design to make that happen.

Caledonia wasn’t exactly the artist colony Hugo was imagining the US to be; he recalls his classmates being more interested in hunting and “skinning squirrels” than in the stuff he cared about at home, like drawing and skateboarding.

So, he went out to find his tribe in Grand Rapids. He left school, worked a variety of jobs, and eventually moved to South Division into Avenue of the Arts mixed use apartments and set up a gallery and music space there, Mexicains Sans Frontieres. The space frequently hosts an eclectic variety of music and art events.

Hugo is well-known and respected in both of his worlds-- community service and art. He sees them as linked, and his passion for both bleeds into his work. You can read more about Hugo and his impact on the community here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Even here. Watch a video about him here. He’s everywhere, and now he’s at Healthy Homes, as officially the coolest guy in the office, and we are beyond excited to have him.