Colorado Latinos/as to Know and Support: October 2022
Elise Lopez, creator of Wild Lobo, is a self-taught Yaqui and Rarámuri metal artist. She is from Denver and currently resides in Grand Junction.
Elise has always loved creating art and has made things for as long as she can remember. She and her sisters were always painting and crafting. At one point Elise was trading art for art, which inspired her to pursue art full time. She taught herself how to metalsmith and from that Wild Lobo was born! In 2021 she was able to put all of her energy into her art and began selling handcrafted jewelry full time.
"In 2020, I began working from home due to being immunocompromised. This really put life and my priorities into perspective. Living with autoimmune diseases that disable me is always a rollercoaster ride. ... In 2021 it was becoming nearly impossible to work at the animal hospital I had been at for 5 years. So in April, I quit my job and had a silly little idea to finally start creating and selling art full time. Almost one year later and here we are! ...
From childhood, I always adored one of my grandfathers beautiful silver work. From his many turquoise rings, money clips, and belt buckles made by the one and only, Effie C. I had always dabbled in creating art and selling part time but never felt like I found "my thing". Then it clicked and it felt like getting back on a bike after not riding for a bit. It was organic, silversmithing has come so inherently natural that I know my ancestors are guiding me on this path. Thank you for being here! Thank you for allowing me to rest when needed and still share my energy with you beautiful souls. Being able to hug a little piece of earth in metal just for you is something I just want to keep doing until I can't." - About Elise, WildLoboJewelry.com.
Elise is currently working on a made to order ring collection. The collection consists of multiple stone rings that can be finished in your size.
Manassa turquoise set in .999 fine silver and .925 sterling silver Royston ribbon turquoise resembling a river. Set in .999 fine silver and .925 sterling silver.
How would you describe your work?
One of a kind keepsakes.
What is the purpose of your art? For example, do you create as a form of therapy, to convey a message, or simply to make something beautiful? I create to keep a connection to my ancestors and earth.
What moods, feelings, thoughts, or questions are you trying to evoke from your audience with your art?
I want my customers to feel confident and hot in their bling.
What work are you most proud of and why?
I'm most proud of my most recent, 111 ~ intuition collection. it was a moonstone, opal, and turquoise necklace collection.
Tell us a bit about being a Latino/a artist or the Latino/a artist community.
It's a small community here in Colorado, and I enjoy learning more about everyone and meeting like minded folx.
Do you incorporate your heritage/identity/culture into your work?
Absolutely. It's all that I do! In some indigenous cultures, certain stones like turquoise are considered highly sacred and have a protective meaning. Each piece is a connection between us, the cosmos, and our ancestors.
Provide an example of your work that reflects and/or includes your heritage/identity/culture: Land Back necklace
What do you hope to share with the viewer by including your heritage/identity/culture?
I hope to share the beauty and pain of my culture with my work.
All images are the property of Elise Lopez.
Some content may have been edited for clarity.