Announcing the Rio Grande Ceramic Artist in Residence; Souther Recio

Words By Josue Ramirez 

Trucha, in collaboration with Carla Hughes Studios, are proud to welcome Souther Recio as the inaugural resident artist for the Rio Grande Ceramics Residency (RGCR). The goal for RGCR is to provide local artists the resources to create new socially engaged ceramic work or projects. The month-long program will provide mentorship, space, materials/equipment and a stipend for Recio to develop work focusing on their experiences with self-acceptance as someone who identifies within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. 

Souther didn’t have very many queer role models to look up to growing up in Brownsville in the early 2000s. “At one point, I was the kid in desperate need of a queer role model,” they describe. Unfortunately, those she did look up to took advantage of gay youth in the worst ways possible which caused her to retreat inward, “Trauma shaped me into a less colorful, less true version of myself.” 

Souther Recio, Inaugural Artist in Residence for the Rio Grande Ceramic Residency

Years of therapy have helped Recio to constantly work to unlearn the damage caused by homophobia and to accept and love themselves. Creating tactile work, specifically molding forms into life, helps her heal because it reminds them of our ability to mold and shape our world and experiences. A character they’ve developed  that helps her on the journey of self acceptance takes the shape of anthropomorphized cartoon style flowers which she calls “Flower Pal.” 

To Recio, they represents the young queer person who has always been inside of them, waiting to be set free. “They are vibrant, they take up space, and they are 100% themselves. Every day I work with Flower Pal, I’m rewriting my own story – I’m shaping who I am and how I show up in the world.”

Recio plans to create brightly colored and graphic, 3D body parts that jump off the wall to bring the viewer into a psychedelic, surreal experience. Their previous sculptural work included bioluminescent qualities that transform into something different under the cover of darkness. According to her, it gives the work a transformative ability that feels like a depiction of their life and the journey to truly understand herself and their gender and sexual identity. 

Stay tuned for Recio to share their process and as we learn more about the historic value of the medium of ceramic regionally and in shaping our narratives. Mark your calendar for the presentation of their work in a solo exhibition at Carla Hughes Studio on September 30th.

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