Provided by Presa House Gallery
Presa House welcomes South Texas-based artists Monica Lugo and Sam Rawls, debuting solo and collaborative artwork for the first time in San Antonio. Todas Horas will remain on view by appointment through January 29, 2022.
A Todas Horas (At All Hours) combines the unique visual styles of South Texas-based artists Monica Lugo and Sam Rawls, forming a visual union through remote collaboration to explore color, organic forms, the female body, pattern, and typography. The exhibition showcases illustrated vignettes that aim to reflect, celebrate, vent, and validate shared experiences, disadvantages, and emotions amongst women and mothers shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The work focuses on concepts of adaptation, balance, and the artist’s duality of parenting and art-making through the limitations of lockdown. The collection expresses intimate fragments of everyday life often neglected or silenced, moments of solitude and companionship, triumphs and defeats, certainty and confusion, fear and effort, and incessant thoughts that roam in the conscious and subconscious mind.
Monica Lugo (b. 1992) is a McAllen-based graphic designer, illustrator, and muralist. Her work explores typographic design by blending type as image, abstracted semiotic signs, and illustrations that reference pop culture iconography. Lugo’s interest and passion in design stem from the unique relationship between letterforms and their possibilities in pictorial frames through rich, vibrant color palettes. Lugo received her Master of Fine Arts in Design concentration from the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley in 2021.
My absolute priority in the pandemic was my family’s health, finances, the readjustment of our routines, finishing grad school, and the daily responsibilities as a parent leaving creativity and art on the back burner. Finding new sources of happiness to minimize the impact of the pandemic on my son and validate my feelings as a woman/mother/artist helped me realize that being creative is essential to my mental health and wellbeing. Being an artist/designer gives me a sense of accomplishment aside from raising a family. Together they provide me with purpose, and I feel my most complete self.
Sam Rawls (b. 1990) was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. Rawls received her Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2016 and received her Master’s in Fine Arts in 2021. Rawls creates expressionistic figurative artwork in various media, including watercolor, inks, markers, and oil. Her work centers on feminism and self-love to portray the diversity and uniqueness of every female figure to convey that everyone has the right to be comfortable and confident in their skin.
Being a parent, wife, graduate student, and artist felt too overwhelming given the pandemic’s uncertainty. Adapting to my son’s online schooling became my priority, diminishing everything else. I lost the motivation to create artwork, but slowly I resumed my practice, finding worth and meaning in making art again.