We had the good fortune of connecting with Loida Wexler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Loida, were your parents strict, free-spirited, what sort of parenting style did they have? How do you think their parenting style affected you?
My parents were hardworking, highly intelligent people. My father was a visionary. He was working as an Electrical engineer at Clark AFB in the Philippines and was sent to the US for an overseas assignment in the 70s. Upon setting sights on the “American Dream” he was determined he and all his children (10 of them to be exact) should have a slice of this…the freedom to pursue and materialize their full potentials. He eventually worked to get a sponsorship along with expedited papers from the US government to move his family to America. Funny story…they asked him how many visas and he answered 12. They said, “no, no just your immediate family”. He replied, “That IS my immediate family – me, wife and 10 kids =12.” (Side note: this is the normal family size in the Philippines in those days). My mother, a full time homemaker handled the home, children and budgeting while my father worked. She was highly instrumental in bringing his vision to reality.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The best part of my work is seeing the JOY in my clients faces when they receive a final product. Art makes the soul smile. Some people cry after receiving a portrait of their pets as a present. It’s fun to know people are thinking of others as they commission a piece of artwork from me. It’s a bonding of humanity. My proudest work so far is being commissioned to do 3 murals and 2 portraits at Eighteen36 Bar / Roadster Grill. These guys were fantastic to work with. There was a lot of press received through this work but most poignant is the revisiting of the forgotten forefathers of Houston – the Allen Brothers – without whom Houston would not have happened. Great story. Look it up. For me, doing the research was so incredibly fascinating as we don’t hear much about it these days. I was mentioned in Paper City, Buzzfeed Magazine and many other publications. Proud moment! Although I always exhibited a talent for art during my younger years, my parents ( rightfully so) tried to stir me towards more practical academic pursuits. So I ended up with a Masters in International Business from St Thomas University. I applied this to 20+ years experience in Corporate America here in the oil and gas industry. But my true love always beckoned me to return. My physicist husband finally said one day “go BE who you are! I will cover you”. He continues working in Corporate and allowed me to go after my art career (and antiques). What a 3 years it’s been since I went professional. I am currently in 2 galleries, antiques store, vet clinic, hospital, local restaurants, and a strong online presence. Nothing is ever easy, but anything that fulfills your destiny is worth doing. I was born an Artist, I could never be anything else. I use lots of vibrant colors which reflects my personality. A lot of times we hold ourselves back from being too colorful in order to fit in or be more accepted. I feel such freedom to just be me, and it’s ok. Life is short, make it colorful, make it real.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First, we would have a drink on my rooftop patio overlooking the downtown skyline where I have a mural done of the Austin skyline Commissioned by my husband. . Next, I would take them up Eighteen36 for some cocktails and great food by Roadster Grill to view my artwork there. Excellent bar by Jason and Jake and food by Nick. Then we would go to the Heights on 19th street show them my booth at AG Antiques and introduce them to Cynthia and Debbie, the fabulous owners of the best antique store in Houston. Then we would go to the Continental Club to listen to live music, take them the Buffalo Bayou for some bike riding, and then down to Galveston to see more of my art at From the Heart Gallery and Affaire d’art. Then I would rent a home n go fishing – canal or offshore. So much to do in this beautiful city of ours.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My AMAZING parents without whom none of this would have been possible. I deeply appreciate ALL the sacrifices they made and the hard work they put forth to allow us the opportunity to make our dreams come true.
Shoutout also to my wonderful husband who believed in me and encouraged me to take that leap of faith to be the real me.
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