Local artist continues family legacy ahead of next art exhibition: Granddaughter of late local artist Rie Muñoz is about to hold her first art exhibition sharing her same gallery
The sun shone through the open doorway of the Rie Muñoz Gallery as the soft sound of music and the crackle of walking dogs played in the background of Mercedes Muñoz’s potter’s wheel. She sits in the studio part of her late grandmother’s namesake building, surrounded by finished and unfinished ceramic pieces, paintings and other knick-knacks that make the studio look well-used and well-loved – this that he has done.
Muñoz was busy preparing for the release of his summer collection and his first-ever exhibition at the Rie Muñoz Gallery, which is set to open Sunday at 10 a.m. Her art will be exhibited in the same gallery that was originally opened by the late grandmother, Rie Muñoz, who was known for decades as a renowned watercolor artist in Juneau for a decade. Following Rie’s passing in 2015, Muñoz continues to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and said the show had a double meaning as it was also her first show since she swapped her home studio for the her grandmother’s old studio. She said the art featured in this Sunday’s event has no particular rhyme or reason, but is instead inspired by things that give her joy or what she is inspired to do on that day. -the.
“The forms I create are inspired by my own daily life – mugs for coffee, egg cartons for collecting chicken eggs, tiny bud vases for picking flowers with my children,” he said. she stated. “But my favorite part of the process is bringing a shape to life by decorating it. I paint playful illustrations of plants, animals, fruits, and more from Alaska inspired things that are bright, colorful, and bring me joy.
Born and raised in Juneau, Muñoz has always had a passion for art.
Between spending time with her in the studio creating art, taking classes throughout high school, and drawing and painting for fun, she realizes that creating art is where she has found the most joy and fulfillment, which led her to take the leap of faith by pursuing art as her full-time career.
She graduated from Montana State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Studio Arts with a major in ceramics, which she says is where she discovered her deep love for ceramics in particular. and from there, she continued to create pieces that she loves to make and that are practical on a daily basis. life.
“I was so fascinated that I could do something on the wheel and then a few weeks later it could be used – this tangible art – I really fell in love with it,” she said.
After graduating from college, Muñoz returned to Juneau with her current husband where she continued to create art in her home studio and worked at the Canvas Community Art Studio as a receptionist and pottery studio manager before to move on to working full-time on her art at home. studio and now at the Rie Muñoz gallery studio.
Muñoz said she feels very lucky and grateful to do what she does, and especially since becoming a mother of two young children, she has always intended to dedicate and value her time to create, reserving time for it to grow over the years. She said the studio and gallery were something very dear to her and her family, and she said it was special to see generations of her family continue to use this space as a way to keep life alive. inheritance from his grandmother.
“We’re kind of breathing new life into this space that we all care about and love so much,” she said. “She passed away just as things were getting started, it’s kind of crazy to think about everything that’s happened since then,” she said. “My dad always said she’d be ‘tickled pink’ that I moved my gallery studio here – I’m so honored and excited to be here.”
Juan Muñoz, her father and owner of Rie Muñoz Gallery, said he was excited about the exhibit and the work his daughter continues to do.
“I’m proud to see Mercedes doing such a wonderful job, we built this building in 1992 and it’s great to see Mercedes creating here like her grandmother did,” he said. “I know Rie would be thrilled to see her studio in action.”
Juneau resident and local business owner Lauren Heide said she discovered Muñoz on social media and has been hooked on her art ever since. She said Muñoz shows always draw large numbers of people and at several shows she has seen dozens of people line up waiting for the doors to open. Heide said she plans to go to the show this weekend and is excited to see what Muñoz has in store this time around.
“Mercedes is one of those artists who creates amazing, usable art and makes you realize that art shouldn’t just be something that hangs on your wall,” she said.
know and go
What: Launch of the Mercedes Muñoz summer collection
Where: 2101 Jordan Ave.
When: 10 a.m. – noon, Sunday, August 28.