Multimedia artist Rowena Luna received her MFA from the University of Miami in 1993. She was born in Guatemala and raised in Miami, Florida. The impact of two disparate socio-political and aesthetic impressions has led to a keen interest in different cultures, social systems, and identity issues. She translates complex and often paradoxical concepts into experiential installations that incorporate photography, film, video, sculpture, graphics, digital assemblage, original music, dance, and site-specific elements. Collaboration with artists from different disciplines becomes one of her strongest forces of inertia that drives her vision forward.
In April 1993, Ms. Luna presented a multimedia exhibit entitled Whyte Maile System Incorporated at the Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida. This site-specific sculpture installation communicated issues raised by a woman’s experience in the modern corporate world. The music video film, entitled The Corporate Jungle, was written, directed, and produced by Ms. Luna and was visually displayed on a 16-monitor video wall.
Since the completion of Whyte Maile System Incorporated, she has worked independently on urban design projects and commissions for Art in Public Places and the South Florida Art Center. In August 1993, she produced graphic images for a national anti-domestic violence campaign cosponsored by the Claiborne Foundation which was displayed on a monumental scale on Metro buses and Metro-rail trains throughout Dade County. That same year, she collaborated in the South Miami Heights Town Planning Charrette and actively positioned the integration of public artworks within the infrastructure of the community redevelopment.
In May 1995, she produced a commissioned proposal for an art installation at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport which included a sculpture, an identity logo, a vita course design, and a short animated film entitled Passion of Flight. In July 1995, she was invited to participate in a group exhibition entitled Sculpture in the Landscape at the University of Miami. Her installation, Maya Luna, incorporated acrylic, vinyl, zinc, stainless steel, stone, and sound as a modern-day Mayan stela to commemorate the life and death of her sister, Roxana Luna. In February 1996, she produced another commissioned proposal for a street furniture/conceptual art installation on Lincoln Road.
In 2002, Ms. Luna was invited to various group exhibitions to present a series entitled Homage to Wilfreda López Flores (Homenaje a Wilfreda López Flores), a tribute to her deceased grandmother who was an accomplished artist in Guatemala. Utilizing her grandmother’s linoleum-cut images filled with zoomorphic primitivism, Ms. Luna transforms the traditional into the hi-tech by using the contemporary medium of computer graphics along with her own personal imagery. It is also a journey back towards her past, family bonds, and ancestors. Two generations (grandmother and granddaughter), three different cultures (North American, Guatemalan, and Mayan), and two female artists coming together through art, giving us a better understanding of our incredible cultural diversity.
Ms. Luna was a board member of the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts from May 2000 to May 2002. As Chair of the Programming & Sponsorship Committee, she helped to raise sponsorship funds for the ongoing programs and activities of this non-profit organization. She also created and founded an arts mentoring program for neglected and disadvantaged children called ArtOpiA, which became a yearly program at New World School of the Arts from 2001 to 2016. Ms. Luna currently lives and works in South Florida.