We had the good fortune of connecting with Lorena Morales and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lorena, why did you pursue a creative career?
My love and passion for art are a natural consequence of having grown up surrounded by art.  My mother is a visual artist as well. She owned an art gallery that she managed for many years, in my birth place Venezuela.  There, I had the opportunity to participate in countless activities related to the artistic world and meet many talents of the Venezuelan visual arts.  Today, I am an artist because I have the need to apply what I have learned and through my proposals create new experiences.  I really enjoy the challenges that being an artist brings.  I love those moments when, after hours of experimenting in my studio, I finally achieve what I am looking for and even more when the viewer discovers exactly what I am trying to communicate.  I like to chat with other artists about art, I like to exchange ideas and be inspired.  I like to learn, to create, to explore, to share and to inspire. 

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I do painting, sculpture, drawing and installation art. My work focuses on the concept of “Home.” I moved to Houston from Venezuela 17 years ago, then last year, I moved for 8 months to Angola and now I am back to Houston. My perception of home has changed; is home where I live now or is home where I am from? Lately, being confined in my home prompted me to reconsider an environment, which I thought I already knew. Using abstract geometric and organic forms, I explore intersections of feelings and memories. Constantly, I am in the search of materials that would allow me to create an experience filled with movement and perception. I apply color and pattern over transparent/translucent surfaces to cast shadows and project colors to fill a space beyond it. My first series of artworks where done with acrylic paint over transparent polycarbonate sheets I found at the hardware store. I would paint some areas leaving others transparent to cast shadows. Then, I started experimenting with enamel in spray. So far, I have done drawings and paintings over prismatic acrylic light panels, six pack rings, colored and transparent acetate, transparent and colored polycarbonate sheets, acrylic rods, aluminum sheets, mylar film, duralar film, etc. I am proud to have accomplished some of my “artist dreams” as having my work showing in prestigious art galleries in the USA and Venezuela and having artworks included in private collections worldwide and in public spaces in Texas. As you may guess, getting to where I am today it hasn’t been easy. I needed to learn a new language and to learn a new culture, while studying art at The Glassell School of Art (MFAH), built a networking in the art world and find my place within. Then, being fulfilled financially and emotionally is a continuous aspiration that requires hard work, commitment, time, peer support, take risks and, once in a while, luck. This year has proven to be a difficult one to many people including myself, however I prefer to count my blessings. The world as we knew it has changed including the art world. This change has open up to new opportunities, let’s say, “virtual ones”. In addition to three already planned exhibitions in gallery spaces, I have connected with other artists and curators internationally. There have been online artist talks, online exhibitions, online art discussions, online art projects, and more to come. Lessons learned? Be ready to learn and adapt. Believe in your talent. Perseverance and discipline are your best allies. Enjoy the journey with its ups and downs. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Trust your instincts.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would be a trip filled with visits to art museums and picnics in parks. Would combine, for example, after a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, a picnic at the sculpture garden then visit the Glassell School Building and the Contemporary Art Museum and go to dinner at Tiny Boxwoods outdoor patio, next to the plant nursery. Other day, after breakfast at Common Bond Bistro & Bakery in Montrose, we would visit The Menil Collection, Sicardi Gallery, Houston Center for photography, Rothko Chapel, and TransArt Foundation including a lunch at the patio in the Bistro Menil, all buildings are located within walking distance, dinner in the Patio at The Pit Room. Next day, after a breakfast at home, would be a visit to my art studio at Bermac Building in Midtown, make a stop for lunch at Local Pho near Sawyer Yards, then visit the Sawyer Yards, one of the largest creative communities in the nation, to take a look at the exhibitions in the corridors of buildings and to visit artists studios, Later, we would stay in the area to go to the Drive-In at Sawyer Yards to watch a movie projected on thinking almost 100 foot tall walls of The Silos. For dinner, we would order some of what they offer to eat in the car. Other day, would be a visit to Buffalo Bayou park, walk around to enjoy the beautiful park, have a picnic for lunch and, in the afternoon to take a tour in a pontoon boat to ride along Houston’s historic waterway. Other days would be, one full day to visit Space Center Houston, a beach day in Galveston and a day trip to the Brazos Bend State Park to see a fantastic variety of birds and other wildlife including alligators.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Without a doubt my mother, Glenda, deserves a huge shoutout. She taught me to follow my instincts, don’t be afraid to explore, to think outside the box and to be perseverant of pursuing my goals. She taught me to be respectful with my fellow artists and their artwork. My mother is still my advisor and one of my strongest art critics. I am also giving shoutouts to my husband and children, for their continuous support and patience. To The Glassell School of Art, the place where I felt welcomed when I arrived to Houston and got my formal art education. To all the teachers there!!! To my friend and mentor, Arielle Masson To Visual Arts Alliance, an all volunteer run, non profit art organization in Houston. I have been an active member of the VAA for many years. I had the opportunity to volunteer in the exhibitions committee, had been the membership chair, and then had been the secretary. I have been able to meet with many talented artists, that have become dear friends, while learning about the art world and improving my skills . To Latin American Women Artists of Houston ( LAWAH) a group of amazing women that formed a community to mentor and support each other in their art careers. To my art dealers Geri Hooks/ Yvonne Garcia from Hooks Epstein Galleries, Houston, and specially to Troy Campa from Camiba Art Gallery in Austin, and Francisco Troconis/Gary Culbertson from Contemporaneo Gallery, Asheville, NC for their trust in my work and their support during this year. To all the visual artists who, despite all the challenges, continue to create and inspire.

Website: https://www.lorenamorales.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lorenamoralesart/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtByLorenaMorales/
Other: Art Studio Bermac Arts Building, 4101 San Jacinto St. Houston, Tx 77004

Image Credits
Images 1,2 and 3 by David Bailie Others by the artist

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