Meet Luz Helena Thompson, #ArtGlassFinest Spotlight October 2022
Its officially SPOOKY season, and we here at OGT couldn't be more excited for all things fall. Grab your pumpkin spice lattes and get ready for this months #ArtGlassFinest! Trust me... you won't want to miss this one ;) . This month we have Luz Helena Thompson from Imagery Artworks. She puts her heart fully into her art, creating one of a kind mosaic pieces. It's also her birthday October 1st so make sure to show her some birthday love :) Learn more about this special woman by scrolling down!
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself: who you are, where you are from, how you got into glass.
I am a professional glass mosaic artist, Marine Corps veteran and permanent resident of Oceanside, California. I teach a variety of art classes online and in-person at my private studio and I currently serve on the City of Oceanside’s Arts Commission. I began as a visual artist in 2011 after the passing of my grandmother Irene who was also an accomplished artist and my biggest inspiration. By 2014 I had created several pieces of artwork using broken mirrors and acrylic paint, on canvas. This kind of work led me to explore the use of stained glass and colored mirrors to begin creating large scale mosaic artworks.
2. How long have you been working with glass in general?
I have been working with glass exclusively since 2014. I was hired as a professional expert instructor teaching glass mosaic at the Vista Innovation &Design Academy in Vista, California. Throughout the next two years I completed several murals throughout the campus along with outdoor custom glass mosaic installations. I’ve also worked on numerous commissions and donated a few custom glass mosaic artworks for auction, to non-profits which serve the populations of disabled veterans and military families.
3. What is the focus of your work, any inspiration behind it?
The focus of my work is best described in my artist statement:
"The intention of my work is to unite the process of self-reflection with a tangible expression of creativity through imagery, thus appealing to one or more of our senses. The use of broken glass is to demonstrate the shattering of internal emotions that express a change and rebuilding of self-identity. Each of us possess an internal belief system about ourselves and though our worlds may have been shattered by devastation, I believe we can always rebuild and repair. The act of creating something beautiful from the most broken parts of ourselves is essentially the road we pave on the journey toward healing. The only guarantee we have in life is the inevitability of change and through my artwork I attempt to redefine the outcome of being, beautifully broken".
The inspiration for my work comes from my journey of recovery from trauma I experienced while on active duty service in the United States Marine Corps. For me, glasswork is meditative and healing and offers me an ability to constantly challenge myself creatively through artwork.
4. How long have you used our products, and do you use them exclusively?
I have used your products since 2016 and over the last year I have opted to use them exclusively.
5. Is there anything that makes our product stand out from the rest- a reason why you choose to use it? What do you look for in glass when you are sourcing it for your next project? (ie: color, texture, quality etc.)
Having worked with stained glass for years now, I have noticed that not all glass is the same. It differs in color, quality of the glass and accessibility. What makes your products stand out from the rest is the quality of the glass. It is easy to cut and doesn't fall apart when it is shaped on the grinder. When I look for glass I am looking for the highest quality glass that comes in a range of different colors. When working on a project like the Mad Hatter, it is essential that I am able to have a wide variety of colors to choose from. Once I have found the colors I’m looking for I then look at the thickness and texture of the glass to ensure it works with whatever project I am working on. Finally, what I appreciate most is that your company offers a Master Sample Set of 300 4x4-inch samples of glass sheets. As a glass mosaic artist this is so important to have as a catalog of colors that are available and accessible.
6. If you are teaching a class, what is it about? What will students learn? (If not a class, are you launching anything?)
I am teaching an 8-week Introduction to Watercolor Class starting mid October with an organization called “Path With Art”. I primarily work with the Veteran Cohort as a Teaching Artist and the classes as well as materials are free to Veterans. To learn more information about upcoming classes please visit www.pathwithart.org/vets
I also offer private classes in my studio and online. For more information about booking a private session such as “Introduction to Glass Mosaic”, please visit my website.
7. Do you have any big projects in the works or coming up? Any works you are particularly proud of?
My glasswork was recently featured at the SuperGirl Surf Pro event in Oceanside, where I also did a live art demo of a large mosaic I’ve been working on of the Mad Hatter character from Alice in Wonderland. This is the most technically challenging and time consuming piece I’ve ever worked on and I am particularly proud of how it’s turning out. My favorite piece is titled “Beautifully Broken” which is a combination of black stained glass and gold mirror. This piece is not for sale and part of my private collection however, I am currently accepting commissions for 2023.
Several of my mosaics will be featured in the Veterans Pop-Up Arts Cafe on October 12th at the California State Capitol, West Steps for the display hosted by VETART.ORG. I am so excited to be traveling to Sacramento for this incredible event. Also, my work is currently on display at the Oceanside Museum of Art in “Pop Smoke: A Veteran Art Exhibition” which is open August 13, 2022 - January 15, 2023.
8.Tell us one fun fact about you or your work.
One fun fact about me is that when I am not in the studio creating I like to get out to the beach and surf with my family up and down the Southern California coastline.
We wanted to give a big thank you to Luz for letting us interview her! This superwomen uses her craft to support, and give back to the community! Luz's strength is not only inspiring but also motivating! We are so lucky to have her in the glass fam :)
Be sure to check her out on:
Facebook (page): https://www.facebook.com/ImageryArtworks