• ,

Portrait of a creative space: Frances Rodriguez

Frances Rodriguez has a studio that’s not much bigger than a shoebox. But, that’s all the space she needs to make amazing art!

The room is filled with brilliant swathes of cloth, colorful spools of thread, a sewing machine, pens, needles and stacks of drawing paper. With her dog at her feet, Frances jumps between two media: textiles and figurative drawing. She splices together abstract tapestries that remind you of gestural paintings from the 50’s and Mayan clothing; and she creates whimsical illustrations that you might expect to find in a Caldecott award-winning children’s book. Her studio is like a miniature version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

“My favorite aspect of the studio is what it represents for me,” said Frances. “In shaping my career I had no guidelines, no footnotes, and not really even an example of how to go about making this my reality. I was hungry for it, though. After years of feeling my way through the dark, with many missteps, I have a sustainable and passionate livelihood making art. My studio is my first space wholly designated for all the sacredness of art making to come alive.”

According to Francis, the space may be small, but “I’m so happy in it!”



Frances will be exhibiting her work at Alltmont’s Frame Shop on Baronne Street in October and at the Claire Elizabeth Gallery on Decatur Street in December. To learn more about the artist and her work, go to http://francesmakesart.com


Folwell Dunbar is a New Orleans educator, artist and survivor of many things, from roaches to German U-boats and heartbreak. He is putting together a collection of these short stories and survival tales called He Falls Well (his name is pronounced “fall well”). NolaVie is honored to preview some of those stories here. Email him [email protected].