Faith Lopez and Jack Morillo at Spring Break Community Celebration at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2024. Photo by Tasha Gorel.

2024 Martel Award Faith Lopez

Faith Lopez has been selected as the recipient of the 24th Annual Marian and Speros Martel Award of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). The Martel Award is given annually to a graduating senior chosen by CAMH in consultation with the visual arts faculty at the senior’s high school. The selection criteria include: production of a significant and meritorious body of work during the senior year, plans to attend an accredited college, university, or art school, and exceptional promise in the visual arts and attendant professions.

One of my earliest memories from my adolescence is how much my sister and I were constantly moving. Back and forth we would go from Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX, to Blackburn, Oklahoma. Back and forth, house to house, never quite feeling connected to a certain place. Instead, I grew connected to what I could carry with me–my interests, my toys, and my memories.

Growing up as a young child in the early 2000s, I was always drawn to elements older than I was. Relics of the ''70s/'80s/'90s have always sparked my interest. I remember vividly playing “house” with my grandparents' old stereos, telephones, and VCR. For hours on end I would play, envisioning myself within the period these artifacts would have been used. Countless hours were spent playing in what I called my “little world,” where I would surround myself with toys that resembled my favorite cartoon characters. Playing pretend in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth with my little sister or immersing myself into the galactic world of Stars Wars was my idea of heaven. The happiest car rides consisted of a wide variety of old artists–Bowie, Prince, The Beastie Boys, and my mother’s favorite, Eminem.

Above all things, movies were the thing that fascinated me the most. Films such as Little Monsters (1989) and Steven Spielberg’s E.T. captivated my interest with their weirdness and eccentricity. My fascination with these films not only was held as I watched them, but it grew when I watched the behind the scenes parts as well. Eventually, I started to draw these favorite characters and later broadened my horizons by incorporating them into other mediums.

This kind of unique unworldliness that draws me to these films is something I find comforting and aim to capture within my art. The mediums that I find I am able to most successfully capture my expression and memories of my childhood are sculpture, mixed media, and film. These three main medias allow me to find a sense of renewal within the relics of the past, through which, because of their 3D elements, I am able to create a time capsule of nostalgia–a memory one might say–of a time gone, but not forgotten, because of how they have shaped and formed who I am today.

— Faith Lopez, 2024 Martel Award Recipient

About Faith Lopez

Faith Lopez is a creative and hardworking aspiring film director, who is currently a Senior in the Visual Arts department at HSPVA. Faith uses her love of mixed media and nostalgic pop culture to create eccentric, whimsical pieces that reflect childhood and innocence. Faith is an artist who enjoys learning, especially English and The Arts, spending time with her family, and watching movies! She is extremely gregarious and loves meeting new people. Faith loves working with others and has a very open mind, which she uses to enhance her understanding of the world around her. Faith will be attending College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, Michigan, where she has been accepted into their Film Program. Faith’s long-term goals include producing and directing film, where she hopes to spread her sense of wonderment, creativity, and nostalgia with others.

Work Samples

by Faith Lopez