We Rise Los Angeles

I had the pleasure of participating in the 10 day pop up experience called We Rise with my piece Monarch Cluster. This event was sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. WE RISE calls attention to the critical need for early intervention, treatment, and care for mental wellbeing.

photos by Rafael Cardenas


New Acquisition by LACMA

Two of my editions, Family Quilt (2007) and There’s a Lion in My Mouth (2004), have recently been acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent collection. These prints were created at Self Help Graphics and Art. The first one is a collaboration between myself and my father Frank Romero. Both prints are now available for sale online. Clink on the print to see store.

Family Quilt by Sonia Romero and Frank Romero (click to purchase)

Family Quilt by Sonia Romero and Frank Romero (click to purchase)

There’s a Lion in My Mouth  by Sonia Romero (click to purchase)

There’s a Lion in My Mouth by Sonia Romero (click to purchase)

Lady Artesia Installed

LADY ARTESIA by Sonia Romero

see public art section of website for more photos

The silk screened ceramic tile composition features blue and white vignettes of people surrounding a prominent central figure. In reference to blue and white Portuguese and Spanish Azulejo tile, Mexican Talevera tile, and Chinese and Middle Eastern porcelain wares, Romero chose the reoccurring blue and white ceramic color composition to represent the city’s intense diversity and to highlight Dutch and Portuguese farmers who settled Artesia and the surrounding areas into flourishing dairy districts. 

The central female figure is meant to embody Artesian well water—the primary natural resource for early Artesian farming and dairy settlers. The water scroll motif woven throughout the pattern flows from the figure, underscoring the importance aquifer water played in the city’s growth. Each scene within the pattern highlights cultural landmarks, symbolic elements and traditions celebrated by generations of Artesians. A 1950s Artesian farmer and cow stand pictured in front of a barn notes the historic and contemporary significance of the dairy industry. Students who attend the weekly homework program at the library are posed in front of the original Artesia School House. Portuguese folk dancers are gathered in front of the iconic Artesia Divino Espirito Santo (D.E.S.) Hall gazebo. Other scenes feature individuals and families Romero met and photographed at cultural events, such as the city’s Annual International Fair and Portuguese Festa. Artesia’s eclectic mix of cultures, industries and community events is indicative of the city’s roots and how its residents continue to shape the city’s identity.

Work In Progress - Artesia

I've been working on a commission for a public art tile mural at a county library in Artesia for around 2 years! Here's a photo of all the 'water' scrolls I've carved for this design....

Hand Carved Stamps by Sonia Romero -work in progress 2017

Hand Carved Stamps by Sonia Romero -work in progress 2017

Press Release


Media Contact:

Tanya Diaz 510-984-4947



Process of an Artist: Exhibition reveals the untold story behind Sonia Romero’s public art installations


New photo series by Rafael Cardenas featured


August 2, 2016, Los Angeles, CA - Los Angeles based artist, Sonia Romero known for her large-scale public art installations opens a solo exhibition on September 10, 2016. The exhibition, opening at Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park is titled Public Artist, The Works of Sonia Romero with photography by Rafael Cardenas.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Romero’s sold-out debut show at Avenue 50 Studio, the exhibition will take audiences behind the scenes to narrate the process behind her works. Selections from Romero’s original designs will give an inside look at her process from concept and design to fabrication and installation for public displays around the region.

“People are familiar with my final large-scale installations in public spaces, but I am excited to share the research and artistic practice behind the process that can take me up to a year or more,” explains Romero a third-generation artist and Los Angeles native.

Romero’s meticulous process begins with photographs of people and movement that become original handmade designs created with linoleum cut printmaking and intricate papercut techniques. Designs are then fabricated into large scale installations. These original, handmade works will be the feature of the exhibition. Romero is also creating a public art installation with a mural on the outer wall of the Avenue 50 Studio space.

Local photographer, Rafael Cardenas is creating a new photo series for the exhibition to capture how the public interacts with Romero’s final pieces examining the role of public art in local communities. Cardenas has been collaborating with Romero since 2010, shooting models as references,capturing the fabrication and design process and cataloging final installed pieces.

Sonia Romero’s debut solo show in 2006 was held at Avenue 50 Studio in Los Angeles where she then completed a seven-year residency. She won her first public art commission in 2007 to create a 13-panel porcelain tile mural a the Macarthur Park Westlake Metro Station. Romero has worked with the Los Angeles Metro, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Community Redevelopment Agency among others. She has completed six total commissions around the region and is currently working on several new projects including a 1,000 square foot mural at Mariachi Plaza Metro Station in Boyle heights. Romero holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in printmaking. soniaromero.net

Rafael Cardenas, raised in East Los Angeles and based in Boyle Heights, is a self-taught photographer whose powerful black and white images explore his relationship with the streets of his beloved Los Angeles. His work shows a duality in both the subjects he captures and the art form he uses, straddling the edge of art and documentation, of photography and photojournalism. His newly released photography book, MAS ACA captures the often unseen faces and scenes around the City. Cardenas is one of five selected artists of the 2016 LA Metro Lightbox Project. He is currently working on capturing stories of Los Angeles backyard celebrations with his Summer 2016 project. Rafa.la

Located in Highland Park, California, Avenue 50 Studio is an arts presentation organization grounded in Latina/o culture, visual arts, and the Northeast Los Angeles Community, that seeks to bridge cultures through artistic expression, using content-driven art to educate and to stimulate intercultural understanding. avenue50studio.org



Bee Fantasy at the LA Art Show

 Bee Fantasy by Sonia Romero featured at the LA Art Show

Will L.A. Reclaim Its Title as “The Mural Capital of the World?”

An Exhibition by The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA)

Sponsored by the 2014 LA Art Show

 The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA), sponsored by the 2014 LA Art Show, is proud to present "Will L.A. Reclaim Its Title as 'The Mural Capital of the World?'” an exhibition curated by Isabel Rojas-Williams (Executive Director, MCLA) from January 15th – 19th, 2014, at the L.A. Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.  This event, embracing LA’s visual art culture, will include pioneer muralists Kent Twitchell, and John Valadez, together with emerging and mid-career artists such as Pablo Cristi, Augustine Kofie, Risk and Sonia Romero, MEAR ONE, among others. The exhibition, inspired by LA’s mural culture, will connect the politics of the street to the politics of the canvas.

To remain true to our mission, MCLA played a key role in the crafting and passage of the mural ordinance that lifted the 2002 ban on murals and was signed into law by Mayor Garcetti in 2013, thereby giving a new generation of artists the opportunity to create as freely as their counterparts did in past decades.

Bee Fantasy by Sonia Romero

Bee Fantasy by Sonia Romero

Public Underwater Photo Shoot in East LA

Sonia Romero was awarded a commission by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission to create public art for an upcoming project at Belvedere Park in East Los Angeles. The artwork will adorn the entry building of an Olympic sized pool which is currently under construction. To begin the public art process, Sonia Romero and the Arts Commission put out a public call for volunteer models in the surrounding East Los Angeles neighborhood. The photos from this underwater shoot will be used by the artist as inspiration for her artwork. See the results of the shoot below. Photography by Rafael Cardenas