Mexican artist makes U.S. debut on BI

Mexican artist Maria Romo showcased her art for the first time in the United States May 5 at the Bainbridge Island Windermere Office.

She brought 14 pieces for the one-day show. However, some will hang for the rest of the month.

She showed local residents the blending of her Mexican culture with the Pacific Northwest nature. “Mexican culture is very affectionate, expressive and passionate,” Romo said. “When I got here, I was impressed by all the trees and love them. When I saw the leaves fall, I took them and made a painting of them, too.”

Romo’s debut in the U.S. has been long overdue. She looked to sell her artwork in Mexico but people were unable to afford it. When she moved here last June and met husband Ben Pecora, they began to push her passion further. “We are looking to sell our house and buy another one with more light and a big studio for me,” Romo said. “We met someone at Windermere, and they offered me it.”

Although Romo is well known in Mexico, she is a small blip on the radar in the U.S. “MRomo is a brand in Mexico,” Romo said. “I expect them to like MRomo since nobody knows me except the friends of Ben.”

Romo’s passion for art began when she was 9 in Mexico City. She would draw before taking classes at the age of 11. Her mother would ask Romo to make paintings to give as presents.

Later, Romo pursued a professional career in graphic design. Her first show came in 1986 at Casa de la Cultura Querétaro. Her showcases became bigger and more often, showcasing her work nine more times and creating three publications in the last few years.

In addition, Romo became a professor at a couple of universities in Mexico for over a decade. “All my students loved me and thought it was amazing to share my knowledge,” Romo said.

Romo has a one-of-a-kind technique on canvas. “She is really well-known for texture and color and found objects,” Pecora said. “She is finishing one now where she takes things like toothpicks, screws, forks and rice, and gives the paintings depth.”

The most Romo has sold a piece for is around $40,000 but she hopes to make her name and paintings worth more in the future. “I would like the privilege to transcend in places like here and Europe,” Romo said. “I want them to know I make passionate paintings.”

Until Romo makes her big break, she will enjoy every moment in front of the canvas. “When I finish my art, it’s like my own gift,” Romo said. “When I am in front of the canvas, I look at what can I put on it today. It’s not planned, it’s just in the moment.”

Romo uses random objects to focus on the texture of her artwork.

Romo uses random objects to focus on the texture of her artwork.