WORDS AND IMAGES BY KELLY CASTER
Local artist organization, Brick Haus Collective, recently featured a solo show by artist Maria Razo. The show, entitled "Mi Tierra," contained 16 pieces inspired by the natural world, Razo's personal experiences, memories, and cultural background. Many of Razo's compositions include animals and plants that invite the viewer to connect with nature in a somewhat spiritual way. Most of the work in the show is lithography, but there were also monotypes, paintings, and some mixed media. The latter even incorporated found patterns, digital imagery, and textiles. Her reception on Saturday evening included local vendors, Sarah Westrup with Tierra Firme and Mayra Martinez of Everything Living, whose goods paired nicely with Razo's artistic sensibility.
Maria Razo came to Texas in 2012 to attend the University of North Texas and will graduate with her BFA in printmaking this month. Some of her artistic influences are Kill Joy, Raul Urias, and Neuzz.
Felíz Libertad, one of Razo's pieces featured at the exhibition was inspired by her late grandmother. It's a composition featuring hands delicately touching butterflies. Razo considers it to be the most special to her from this body of work.
Razo and I discussed the relevance of her work in our society, at a time when many in the US are speaking out against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She said indigenous farmers in Mexico are facing similar issues. The current political climate is fueling her to continue to make work about Mexican culture and heritage.
La Tierra Que Nos Vio Nacer was the largest piece at the exhibition. The latex painting features the faces of students she met that recently came to the US from Mexico or have grandparents still living in Mexico.
Her work is a beautiful portrayal of her cultural heritage, her love of nature and connection to the land. It will leave you breathless and wanting to see more from her. Currently you can find her on Instagram. The Brick Haus Collective is located at 215 S. Woodrow Lane in Denton, TX. You can find out more about them at their website or from our interview with the creators here.