Gallery Moab’s November guest artist is Margi Lucena, a pastel artist from San Antonio, New Mexico. Residents and visitors alike are fortunate to view some of Margi’s New Mexican landscapes in person at the gallery. On November 11, the gallery will host a reception for Margi Lucena during the final Art Walk of the season from 5-9 pm.
Margi Lucena knew by age 6 that she wanted to be an artist. She was exposed to art early in life, watching her father paint at his easel. Coming along with him at times to his job as a lifeguard at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, CA, she would spend the day on the pier and watch a woman she knew as “Mrs. Hess” painting seascapes and portraits. Her family later moved to Independence, California, located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There she was exposed to and influenced by the paintings and sculptures of Dorcas Birchim, another woman who made her living with her art.
After she married, moved to Hawaii, and raised a family, Lucena continued with her art, but not until 1990, when she and her military husband, Dado, moved to Oklahoma did she make painting her fulltime pursuit, winning honors in various art events. Later came moves to Arkansas, and finally to San Antonio, New Mexico in 2002, where Lucena resides today.
Margi writes, “I’ve always drawn and painted. When I was little, I would watch my Dad at his easel. The smells of paint, turpentine, and linseed oil were as comforting as the smell of home cooking. In recent years, I have found the pure color and amazing versatility of pastels have made it my favorite medium. The amazing and magical landscape of New Mexico keeps me simultaneously grounded and floating on air. The light, atmosphere and color in the southwest are constantly changing. “
In 2003 Lucena joined as part owner of Fullingim, Isenhour and Leard Galleries, and later Curious Crow Gallery, in Socorro, New Mexico. She painted and demonstrated there through 2013. During these years, she gained representation in the Selby Fleetwood Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, Cobalt Fine Art Gallery in Tubac, AZ, and RSHanna Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX. For the years 2012 and 2013 Lucena was also an Artist in Residence at the historic Inn at Loretto in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Lucena’s impressionistic and representational style of painting comes from a love of the landscape, which has grown tenfold since moving to New Mexico. The beautiful land, diverse culture, and simplicity of life in general has influenced her art in many ways. She paints en plein air, and in her San Antonio studio. Lucena also teaches plein air workshops, with emphasis on working with pastels on applied textured surfaces.
Gallery Moab, a co-op gallery founded by a group of local artists in March of 2014, showcases the work of a diverse group of artists who live and work in southeast Utah, and who cooperatively own, operate, and staff the gallery. The gallery, open daily from 12-9 pm, is located at 87 North Main Street in Moab.
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