"Art is my creative and spiritual path in life.
As I walk this path with heart,
I acknowledge these three things…
the power and energy of color,
the awareness of spirit and place,
and the intent to convey forward that which I perceive directly"
As a young child in kindergarten, I had an experience in which I discovered the power of color. Since I could read at 3rd grade level, my teacher would set me up in a corner to paint. She gave me a printed sheet that said, I am a blue bird, paint me blue. I was wearing a red painting smock, and stubbornly wanted to paint the bird red. In the process of disobeying the prompt, I also managed to paint the table, the floor, and myself with red tempera paint. Getting lost in the color, feeling it's vibration and hearing it's sound, I was enveloped in it. Nevertheless, I was punished, but it opened the door to a lifelong journey in my loving relationship with color.
My love for mural painting was born when I was a senior in High School. During the Chicano Movement, the Brown Berets took over my school. They painted cultural murals in the courtyard. I saw the power of the imagery and scale of the work to educate and influence people. It was at that moment in time that I realized that art had called me. As a result, right after graduation, I dedicated myself to becoming an artist.
My father who was a poet, encouraged and supported me to become an artist. These were his words that have forever guided me...
The time comes
when you whistle a tune that is strange
and the heart cares not where it was born
never to repeat it again not even once
knowing it is but the reflection of your soul
by Junio Lopez
Pola Lopez was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico. She is a self-taught artist and immediately after High School, dedicated herself to becoming a full time artist. She was an active member of La Cofradia de Arte y Artesanos in New Mexico, which was an organization, a brotherhood of Hispano Artists promoting awareness, opportunities and exhibits to share their creative cultural work in a market where they were underserved and unrecognized.
During those years, she owned and operated studio galleries in Las Vegas, her home town, and subsequent years in Taos and Santa Fe. She participated for many years in the Contemporary Spanish Market held on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2003, she relocated to Los Angeles in search of the Chicano Art Movement, where she explored different avenues and venues with her work, residing there until Oct of 2020. Most recently she has returned to her native New Mexico due to the Covid-19 virus.
Lopez is a prominent painter, whose work is a multifaceted and polychromatic array of symbolic imagery that is infused with spiritual vision and incendiary composition. She draws inspiration from a rich and diverse southwestern cultural heritage, by which various mythologies are filtered and conveyed through her palette of vivacious tones and highly stylized perspective.
Pervading the work, is an underlying energy that provokes the view to enter this luminous world of vibrant imagination, as expressed through her figurative and abstract paintings. The unique style of this dynamic work is fluid, but also manages to rest on the border between “magical realism” and “pragmatic idealism”. This contrary synergy of uncompromising duality, has allowed her success in achieving exemplary works of intense color which are profusely charged with meaning.
Stating that a striking use of color is her primary concern and subject matter secondary, she imbues meaning to her paintings through story, so as to create a positive experience for the viewer.
Through her endeavors and accomplishments as a professional artist, Lopez has established herself as one of the leading Latina/Chicana artists in the U.S. to emerge from and represent the Southwest. Her work has been the recipient of numerous Best of Show awards and is held in permanent collection in museums and art in public places. She has been profiled in book publications, articles and film documentaries. Her paintings are also widely collected by private patrons. In 2006, her work was presented at the White House, in Washington D. C., when she had the honor to represent her native New Mexico as the “official portrait artist, when the state provided the People’s Christmas Tree.
In Los Angeles, she maintained a public studio/exhibit space from 2009–2016 known as 2 Tracks Studio in Highland Park, CA. As a result of her involvement with several non-profit organizations as a teacher and mentor, she has completed several student-assisted murals with at risk youth in alternative high schools and probation camps. As a muralist, she has completed sixteen murals in local communities and schools.
In 2017, she was honored as the first Woman Artist to be selected as the Featured Artist of the Santa Fe Springs Artfest in California, and in 2019 was contracted to be the Lead Artist to restore the Daniel Cervantes mural at the historic Southwest Museum in Highland Park. That same year she was also selected to create seven LatinX Heritage themed banners for the Latino Heritage Month at the University of Southern California. This was the first time in the history of the University to have a Latino presence represented, displayed on the light posts on Trousdale Parkway, the central thoroughfare on campus.
The following are excerpts from selected reviews:
this is truly woman’s art from the heart…
a distinct vision…
hints of the transcendence amid the ordinary…
a contemporary way with color…