'Speaking of Art': Morgan Lugo

Morgan Lugo is an Atlanta-based welder and sculptor. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Lugo)

Morgan Lugo is a sculptor living in Atlanta. She specializes in works made with metals, including cast bronze, aluminum and iron. She also makes forays into fabricated steel, resins, concrete and, most recently, neon in her sculpture. The work often deals with the “physicality of memory,” as Lugo crafts representations aiming to make physical and tangible her fleeting moments and memories.

Lugo described an impactful moment for her, a head injury she suffered six years ago that caused memory loss for a month afterward. She’s since explored a fascination with memory and the strange side effects she experienced after her injury, like vertigo and a sense of weightlessness. Lugo’s sculptures around this theme, she says, “have a lot of swirling structures with multiple faces, fragmented body parts, all arranged within molecular structures.” She calls her work surrealist, as it pursues meticulous detail and realism while representing the unreal or intangible. 

Outside of her artistic pursuits, Lugo is a professional welder and engineer. She was born and raised in Atlanta and praises its warmth of community for its diversity and creative culture. “Atlanta’s the heart of the South, and I think people constantly forget how much we defy Southern stereotypes,” Lugo said. “We’re a majority-minority city. When we go anywhere in the world, you’re hearing people sing about our gas stations, our culture, our people, and it’s incredible.”

Morgan Lugo’s work is visible on Instagram at @morganlugosculpture. Her work is included in “Something to Declare,” an exhibit of contemporary Latinx artists at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, Georgia. She also has a solo exhibition at Day and Night Projects called “When the World Feels Weightless.”