Photo by Josh Huskin
Manola and Maria Ramirez are artists in their own right, but the sisters have also found a niche to help other female creatives share their work with San Antonians thanks to screen printing.
“The artists who come to us want to make their work available to people at an affordable price,” says Manola from Manola & Maria Printmaking: Art: Design. “Reproducing their work through screen printing enables them to do so.”
Unlike digital reproductions, screen prints are hand-made rather than hand-made and allow the reproduction of original works for sale online and at local retailers such as Felíz Modern. The Ramirez sisters grew up in San Antonio and share a love for painting and drawing. It wasn’t until they both took a printing course at the University of Texas at Austin that they discovered a passion for screen printing.
After graduating from BFAs in studio art just a semester apart, the two returned to San Antonio and began exhibiting in local markets.
They caught the attention of Kelly O’Connor, renowned collage artist and head of collections and communications at Ruby City, and they soon realized that screen printing could be more than a hobby or a sideline. “When Kelly asked us to reproduce one of her iconic pieces, we realized that this was something artists wanted,” says Maria.
The women now produce screen prints and pursue their own work as part of the all-female collaboration at Lavaca Studios. They strive for a balance between creating for others and making their own originals.
“We found that many of the artists we work with create strong feminist art and want to work with female printers,” says Manola, adding that their industry has traditionally been male dominated.
Their own artistic styles are similar, and the sisters say their skills in managing their website, social media, screen printing, and art are complementary. “We both like abstract, but I’m more controlled while Maria flows more freely. Says Manola. “That’s what keeps our designs in balance, it’s the right amount of each.”
Manola & Maria will receive Christmas cards and other items at the Christmas Night Market on December 4th at Lavaca Studios. manolaandmaria.com