Word Up

Marlo Saucedo retells the art narrative

Every picture tells a story, be that as it may, but a painting composed from words adds another layer of meaning and intrigue, where we can perceive the message on many different levels. 

Marlo Saucedo has been painting since childhood, winning a 4-year art scholarship whilst at elementary school that provided summer art lessons at Glassell School of Art from grades 6 thru 9th. “They introduced me to everything, from papier mache to clay, but I didn’t really take it any further until I was working on my MBA at UT in Austin. I wanted to create a diary of how I was feeling, but I was writing all the time, I didn’t want to write, so I made it into a picture, and that was when I created my first word piece.   Returning to Houston became my inspiration, painting and shaping words into the outlines of the skyline, focusing on buildings with the words describing the architect, residents, address etc, and the background would have words telling us about the history of the City of Houston”.

Saucedo works from her home studio in The Woodlands and exhibits her work in her studio #231 at The Silos on Sawyer. Working on individual commissioned pieces using words provided by the client to create paintings celebrating memorable occasions, she also paints larger works for commercial spaces, those include MD Anderson, Houston’s Google Cloud Office and a total of 8 Methodist Hospitals in the Houston area. A recent commission from The Woodlands Arts Council was created when 260 members of the community wrote memories, traditions, cultures and heritages on tags which they hung on a papier mache tree during The Waterway Arts Festival. The words inspired “The AncesTree Project”, a 3’ diameter circular painting representing our diverse community entwined and growing together.

“The acknowledgment that we are so much more on the inside than each of us is on the outside, and the two layers which are in these pieces; there’s an outside and an inside, and there’s a lot more that can fit on the inside than you can see the shape of on the outside.” Marlo Saucedo

A recent collaboration with artist Leslie Gaworecki and Houston’s 5th Poet Laureate Emanuelee “Outspoken” Bean, has resulted in the largest project to date. A total of 9 panels each measuring 5’ x 6’ make up one painting, and 6 panels each 7’’ tall by 33” wide for a second painting, make this a project of epic proportions. These massive works were commissioned by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on behalf of the Houston Airport System through the city’s Civic Arts Program. The paintings were recently installed at Gate 5, Terminal D at Bush International Airport to welcome visitors disembarking from international flights. The words, by Outspoken Bean, are shaped into trees and birds painted with acrylic paint pens by Saucedo, which stretch across a kaleidoscopic colored sky, painted in acrylics by Gaworecki. 

“Welcome to H-Town where 

the capital H is the only letter                                                                                                                                    

where there's an actual bridge 

Two objects standing alone                                                                                                                                    

Then reaching out to come together” Outspoken Bean

The second painting heralds the greeting “Welcome to Houston’, written in 130 different languages, these words fill the contours of the Houston skyline.

“The H for H-Town 

Is the harmony hovering around all her hues 

We are a whole people, never hole people” Outspoken Bean

Saucedo and Gaworecki will collaborate again in 2025 presenting “Color Story”, a coming together of artists and poets, an art exhibition open with readings and slam poetry, where the worlds of art and poetry converge.

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