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

Hi Luisa, what’s your definition for success?
For me, success is a flow of energy, an impulse to keep on working and creating. I don’t see success as a static place or level of achievement. It is fluid, a continuous process within my creative self in balance with my physical persona. Success is the process of creating, the opportunity to do so, the endless opportunity to learn, to seek and find solutions to the creative urge that manifest themselves in tiny works on paper, or in a large public space. Success is realizing that through observation, patience, and consistency I can achieve a balance between my inter-self and my environment through my creative output. Knowing with satisfaction that I have given my best effort to grow, to deal with some difficult challenges, and to find my personal voice through art, that to me is success.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work explores themes around fragility, the space(s) we inhabit, and the limits that define and demarcate imaginary territories. I use a variety of media, including works on paper, to create subtle borders and delimitations with thread and pins, which are materials that have been traditionally associated with feminine domestic work. In these imaginary worlds, I am protected from the many confrontations we face in today’s complex society, both in the physical and emotional dimensions. In this type of work, I focus on borders and limits an invitation to reflect on and give importance of my worlds that ultimately encompass us all. In a sense, the work questions whether it is possible for us to imagine new possibilities, in unison, and become the protagonists of beautiful new systems of understanding with the answer being something that is hopefully pleasing and beautify and detached from the turbulence that spawned its creation. One of my proudest moments was to be selected for the Texas Biennial in 2017, that gave a big push on reassurance that what I was doing was on the right path, and I am excited to continue growing in that direction, focusing on showing my work in a wider scale. I don’t see it as a difficult task, is more like finding constancy and showing up to your work every day, eventually, the work itself will tell you.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My H-town tour would start with a nice breakfast either at The Dunlavy, (https://www.thedunlavy.com) with its beautiful views and delicious food, or at Café Poêtes (https://www.cafepoetes.com), which offers a delicious Parisian feeling right in the middle of Midtown. Then, we would enjoy a nice stroll on Bayou Park to help burn off the calories — always a good idea.

After enjoying nature, we would go to the Menil Collection. The Cy Twombly Gallery is my number 1 favorite destination on the Menil Campus, and the New Drawing Institute (https://www.menil.org/drawing-institute) is also a must see.

An easy and informal lunch at Good Dog (https://gooddoghouston.com) is always nice before continuing on our tour. Close by is The Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology. The Foundation’s building recently won The Architecture Master Prize, (https://architectureprize.com/winners/winner.php?id=3483&compID=&count=2&mode=). I believe it is one of the most interesting buildings in Houston, and if we are lucky, we will find Surpik Angelini (the Founder) there, and enjoy a brief tour of the space. About a block away is Sicardi Ayers Bacino Art Gallery, where only the best Latin American Art is exhibited.

Continuing on with our H-Town tour, we would visit Sawyer yards, especially Silver Street Studios (https://www.sawyeryards.com/map-and-directory/properties/silver-street-studios), where my studio is located, and where I share the building with other very talented artists. A visit to the area would not be complete without a stop at Catalina Coffee for a rich Latte! Is almost mandatory (https://www.catalinacoffeeshop.com).

To end our day, we would go out for a very nice dinner and drinks at Oporto in Midtown, (https://www.oportomidtown.us) which has a warm and inviting ambiance.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have been very fortunate to be able to share my successes with some very loving, talented, and truly extraordinary people. I have to shout out to Elizabeth MacLean, she is a digital media strategist with a Ph.D. in communications. Her work is focused on helping artists and creative individuals build their presence online, amongst other services. Elizabeth has helped me with my online presence, especially my website, social media platform and guiding me with my written statements. ttps://www.drelizabethmaclean.com/ Instagram: @_emaclean) I also would like to shout out to VAA (Visual Arts Alliance) an organization that has given me a sense of community and a sense of belonging in the Houston arts community. http://visualartsalliance.org, Instagram: @vaahouston And last, but not least, and I have been lucky to share my life with my husband who is a motivator and honest critic of my work.

Website: www.luisa-duarte.com
Instagram: Luisaduarteart
Linkedin: Luisa Duarte
Twitter: @LuisaduarteArt
Facebook: Luisa Duarte Art

Image Credits
Graciela Socorro, personal photo image 1 and image 2 Tednoir photography / Ted Martinez Image 3, image 4 and image 5, taken by me image 6 Tednoir photography/ Ted Martinez