Texas Border Business
By Dr. Lisa Kay Irby
McAllen, TX — As the Rio Grande Valley celebrates Juneteenth, the International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) is excited to showcase the work of local artist, Dr. Lisa Kay Irby. Irby’s vibrant paintings and paper cut designs invite viewers into conversations about faith, identity and love. Faith, Hope, Love . . . The Journey Continues will be on exhibit at the IMAS now through July 3, 2021.
Lisa Irby is a professional artist with an innate ability to see the world through multiple lenses. She specializes in producing colorful acrylic paintings and creating intricate cut paper designs that convey visual and emotional stories to her audiences. Her artwork is an extension of her personal beliefs, her passion for life, and her love for people. Her belief is that the imagination holds such possibilities, and when one’s imagination is cultivated, it gives rise to creative expression. Her work expresses and reveals this artistic conversation between colors and lines in their various forms and shapes. The mediums utilized to create her work consists of two distinct forms. The first style entails the use of acrylic paint applied to paper or canvas in layers or thinned out to a watercolor consistency. Her second form of art is similar to the production of stained-glass design. The intricately cut shapes and patterns made from multi-colored paper is glued to a black mat board thus allowing the vibrant, colorful paper to reveal its design. At first glance, with either style of art, the viewer sees the overall image, however, through closer examination and study of the piece underlying conversations emerge.
From a very young age, Lisa felt the need to define herself through colorful and poetic stories represented in her writings. In addition, she found an observable and interpretative voice of expression through photography and the creation of abstract paintings and whimsical drawings. In 1980 she began her professional artistic journey in the field of photography at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Since that time, she has received several degrees ranging from her B.A. in Spanish and Linguistics from Indiana University, a Masters in Counseling and Guidance and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Making from the University of Texas Pan American. She has taught in several Valley school districts, been an Instructional Coach and also served as an Assistant Principal. In 2018 she retired from the field of education to pursue being a full-time artist.
Over the years her work has been displayed and sold in various art venues including Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, El Jardin del Arte in Edinburg, Beyond Arts Gallery and Art Nights in Harlingen, South Padre Island Convention Center’s Christmas Shows and Market Days, the 6th Annual Artrageous Fine Arts Show in Edinburg, Hope Foundation 2019, Juneteenth 2019 at the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library, and the South Texas College Pecan Campus Art Gallery. In addition, Lisa is a member of the Laguna Madre Art League and has recently joined and displays her work at the Laguna Madre Art Gallery in Port Isabel. During her time as an educator, she frequently integrated core content areas and art thus, providing her students with enriched, creative learning experiences. Other art instructional opportunities have included workshop presentations to fellow teachers, art league members at the D’Arte Studio in Harlingen, as well as Saturday art sessions for special needs children and parents at the Brownsville Children’s Museum.
She states, “My goal as an artist is to captivate my viewer’s attention long enough so that they may perceive my thoughts and understand my heart. My paintings and works are invitations for my viewers to experience color through subtle nuances or bold, dramatic displays. The unique characteristics of each of my images are meant to inspire conversations, penetrate imaginations, and ultimately entice viewers to linger longer and experience my passion for art and creative expression.”
The community is invited to visit the IMAS exhibits Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $1 (ages 4 & up). Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. are reserved for visitors with sensory sensitivities. For most up-to-date information or advance tickets, visit theimasonline.org or call (956) 681-2800.