The Artpace Teen Council is a nine-month, paid program designed for San Antonio area high school students (15–18 years old) to become advocates for contemporary art and young leaders in their community. Teen Council members work with Artpace staff and artists to develop teen programs, support Artpace events, and create community-based projects throughout the school year.
This year, Teen Council members will research and write an Artpace blog entry about the innovative art and artists that make up the thriving San Antonio community.
About Monic Reyes, by Rachael Ulrich
“My goal is to transfer every feeling, thought, or idea in every painting, giving real meaning to my work. I create modern fine art abstraction paintings. My primary medium is acrylic on canvas. I love the visual thickness of textures, and i use different mediums, such as gels and modeling paste, that allow me to step outside and explore my creativity. I enjoy combining color schemes and sometimes use vibrant or neutral colors. As an artist, I have many different styles I want to express, and I do not limit myself to learn and evolve through my work as my desire is to keep exploring with an open mind. My key objective is to make people feel a connection or relate an emotion, then create an idea of what my art means to them, and whatever that may be, I feel accomplished.” -Monic Reyes
In honor of International Women’s Day that just recently passed, I want to introduce you all to Monic Reyes, a San Antonio Texas-born, and self–taught abstract artist.
Monic describes her art as “abstraction, but elevated”, and is seen introducing vast amounts of textures into pieces. Her higher-finished flair on abstract art combined with multiple textures seen throughout pieces most definitely solidifies her position and uniqueness in the contemporary art community.
Her beginnings in art started in fashion design. Monic was exposed to design from her mother’s career and as a child, she would make clothing for dolls. She later assisted her mother’s company, ‘Malen Reyes Couture,’ carrying on a generational passion for art. In 2013, her personal love and career in art were solidified by creating paintings for her mother’s home, and Monic has been making art ever since, “I do owe it all to my mom. I owe all my creativity to her and me falling into this career, she’s pushed me a lot”.
Monic is currently a part of the ‘San Antonio Artist Collective’; a gallery consisting of many artists of many different backgrounds, allowing for an extremely diverse selection of artwork. Monic points out that despite having some artists all working under the label of “abstraction”, there’s almost no way to distinguish similarities between art in the abstract genre, everyone almost seems to be a part of their own genres due to how diverse each piece is.
Monic experiments with themes, ideas, colors, and textures through her art and a piece she currently favors (that experiments with color) is ‘Serenity’. the soft blending of the soft, pastel background colors mixed with an overlay of white textured paint “brings me peace”, she says.
One of her favorite paintings is ‘Retro Chick’; a beautiful amalgamation of bright colors, cream-colored circles, and a “retro-styled” woman in the center of the piece. The name is very fitting to the piece and the bright colors and large hairpieces bring me right back to music videos from the 80s that my parents would show me. I asked her if femininity played a role in her art, like this piece, she said that although elements of femininity are constantly present in her work, she had never thought of it as a defining factor until now. Monic describes this as a subconscious connection to her inner femininity, that her femininity is always present in her art, especially when it can be so easily noticed in a very male/masculine dominated art scene.
Monic credits her career to her family, specifically, her brother and mother, “I honestly owe a lot to both because I have felt doubtful at times and I believe having that encouragement has made a huge impact on my career and the artist I’ve become now”. Family is one of the most important aspects of Monic’s art career and offers this advice to young artists: “find a group of people either family or friends or even others who share the same passion as that can be the most important thing to help build that confidence in pursuing your dreams or just that little push you needed. We all need a good support system to encourage us to stay focused and motivated!”.
This is Rachael Ulrich’s second year participating in the Artpace Teen Council.