Tree of Life Series: Phase 1
Usually expressed as three-dimensional folk art, Trees of Life have grown in popularity in Mexico over the past century. Mexican Trees of Life are most often ceramic, and vary widely from the rustic to the exquisitely artful. Thematically they frequently center on Creation, or celebrate the history of a particular familia, tracing it back to a certain pair of ancestors, if not all the way back to Adam and Eve. The nativity is popular as well, but when one looks a little deeper, Trees of Life can be found on a myriad of topics…from the totally traditional to the unbelievably unorthodox.
My newest series of paintings interprets the Tree of Life two- dimensionally and with a contemporary edge. The paintings depict modern women integrated with trees of life. Influenced as well by 18th and 19th Century Spanish and Mexican Portraiture, iconic religious images and masks they are elaborate with ornamentation. Inspired by folk art, the intended effect is quirky and unpretentious.
Each tree of life incorporates a set of thematic figures that represent what the woman is thinking, or obsessing about at the imagined moment.
The paintings on display represent the first phase of my Tree of Life images. I expect to complete the series of two dozen paintings by summer 2010. - Kathy Sosa
Kathy Sosa reinvented herself when she stepped off the fast track of the advertising world and moved with her husband Lionel Sosa to a small town outside of San Antonio, Texas.
The couple re-created a classic Texas farmhouse from the ground up and an existing workshop on the property was turned into a painting studio for Lionel, where artistic friends and family were invited to join in the fun on the weekends.
Tired of just watching the group paint, Kathy picked up a paintbrush for the first time at age 45. Soon after, she began studying with renowned portrait artist Nelson Shanks at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia. In 2006 she began experimenting in mixed media portraiture which collage her oil portraits with textiles and wallpapers.
Her rapid artistic growth and unique style soon captured the attention of the arts world. In 2006, she and Lionel were tapped by the San Antonio Museum of Art to conduct a workshop on portraiture in conjunction with the nationally touring exhibit “Retratos: 2000 Years of Latin American Portraiture,” and was commissioned by the Texas Conference of Women to do a portrait of keynote speaker Martha Stewart, to whom the artist personally presented the work.
In 2007-2008 she received national recognition for her series “Huipiles” which was featured at the Mexican Cultural Institute in D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s season “Mexico at the Smithsonian” before traveling to the Museo Alameda in San Antonio. Her work has been featured on CNN, in FiberArts Magazine, Skirt! San Antonio Woman and and is available locally through Anarte and the Regali Gift Gallery at the Mysei Alameda.
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Blue Star Contemporary gratefully acknowledges major support from the City of San Antonio Department for Culture & Creative Development; The Lifshutz Family; Ann Griffith Ash; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Charles C. Butt; Capital Group; Penelope Speier and Sonny Collins; H-E-B; Ricos Products Co., Inc.; Valero Energy Corporation; and Weston Urban. Additional essential support is provided by 1010 South Flores Lofts and 1111 Austin Highway Lofts; Argo Group; Bury, Inc.; Casa Rio & Schilo's; C.H. Guenther & Son, Inc.; Pat and Geof Edwards; Frost Bank; King William Association; Muñoz and Company; The NRP Group, LLC; Rackspace; Silver Eagle Distributors; Strasburger & Price, LLP; Texas Commission on the Arts; and the Community Partners, Members, Individual Donors, and Board of Directors of Blue Star Contemporary.
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