Memories, fleeting and fragmented, play a key role in the abstract sculptural works of Georgia metal artist Morgan Lugo.
Artist: Born in Marietta, GA, Lugo earned a BFA with a concentration in sculpture from Georgia State University (GSU). It was at GSU, where she was introduced to metal casting and mold making.
She also learned many of her technical skills while working at various professional foundries in Atlanta, Berlin and Solsberry, IN.
In 2015, she suffered a severe head injury and lost her memory for a short time. While healing, Lugo became fascinated with what the physical representation of memory would look like and used it in her art practice.
Company/studio: Lugo, who started making sculpture in 2014, lives and works in East Atlanta, where she has an in-home welding and molding studio. Lugo also works at Inferno Art Foundry in Union City, where she does her metal casting, and creates ceramic shell molds.
In the beginning: Lugo grew up playing sports (including ice hockey goalie), not creating art. After high school, on a whim, she took her scholarship to study art school at GSU.
Lugo struggled for a bit until she landed in her first ceramics class. The 3-D art form clicked.Then on her way to the school’s sculpture studio, she saw her old professor and a friend pouring bronze. Needing a third hand, they asked her to help. Lugo was hooked.
Art & materials: Sculpture, mostly of cast bronze or fabricated steel, frequently interconnecting the abstracted human figure and geometric
What’s popular: Small wall and table-top works ($300 to $800).
- Sculptures in cast forton, a more affordable alternative to bronze
($800 to $2,500).
- Medium-sized bronze cast sculptures ($2,500 to $ 7,000).
- Large bronze works ($15,000 and up).
Process: Metal casting takes a minimum of three months to through the multi-step casting process. At the end of the hot, loud, labor-intensive process, Lugo says she “drinks several beers and takes a very long nap.”
- Plasma cutter
- Crucible, which is the pot that holds the molten metal while
- Dental tools for detail wax sculpting.
- Surrealism and Futurism.
- Art Nouveau, especially Alphonse Mucha, a Czech painter, illustrator and graphic artist.
- David Altmejd, a Canadian sculptor who lives and works in Los Angeles.
Fun commissions: Funny trophies for her friends, especially herbrother’s fantasy football league.
Part of the inaugural year (2020) of Emory University’s Arts & Social Justice Fellowship program, which included a documentary of the artists involved, released in 2021.
Recent project: A giant amethyst stand for her older brother and his wife.
What’s next: A traveling group exhibition, “Something to Declare/Algo para Declarar,” Aug. 8-Jan. 6, 2024, at the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art in rural Buckhead, GA. The exhibit celebrates artists of Latinx/Hispanic origin. It was previously shown at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art and the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, GA.
Where to buy:
Get social: Instagram: @Morganlugosculpture