TREES OF LIFE
BY 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 south of San Antonio, Texas. The couple re-created a classic Texas farmhouse and turned an existing workshop on the property into a painting studio for Lionel, where artistic friends and family regularly joined in for artistic practice and study.
Tired of merely 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 with a form of mixed media portraiture, which combined her oil portraits with textiles and wallpapers from her extensive collection.
In 2006, she was commissioned by the Texas Conference for Women to do a portrait of keynote speaker Martha Stewart, to whom the artist personally presented the work.
In 2007 Sosa began to explore the artistic expression of mestisaje, the blending of peoples, races, ethnicities, languages, ideas, habits and cultures that characterizes the Texas-Mexico border region that has been her home since childhood. She received national recognition for the result of that passion, the traveling exhibition “Huipiles: a Celebration,” which debuted at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Latino Center’s 2007 summer season “Mexico at the Smithsonian” before traveling to the Museo Alameda in San Antonio in 2008. 2009 saw Sosa’s one woman show at San Antonio’s Blue Star Contemporary Art Space. Her work has been featured on CNN, in FiberArts Magazine, in Skirt!, San Antonio Woman, Country Lifestyle, Destinations, and is available in San Antonio through An Arte Gallery.
About the Trees Of Life
Paintings that re-interpret the traditional folk art form, the 3-dimensional Tree of Life, into 2-dimensions, adding a contemporary edge. The paintings depict modern women integrated with Trees of Life. Influenced 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 tematic figures that represents what the woman is thinking, or obsessing about at the imagined moment.