Mission J.A.D.E., a nonprofit that fights against the labor trafficking of boys in Guatemala, will host its first Art & Wine Walk Fundraiser in less than four short weeks.

The outdoor art event takes place from 2-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3 at 10840 Beinhorn Rd. Tickets are $30 (they come with some perks) and can be purchased in advance at missionjade.org.

This event first came across my radar when Mission Jade founder Bonnie Tchorni reached out to me. Today I introduce you to one of the participating artists, Rocio Villegas, aka Rocio de Montserrat Villegas Santoy. In the art world she just goes by D’Montserrat (Duh-mont-sir-ought).

D’Montserrat was born in Monterrey, México, and moved to Houston permanently in June 2011. She graduated from CEDART, INBA Art School with a four-year education studying most of the fine arts and currently focuses on painting, mixed media and drawing. D’Montserrat works full-time but dedicates time to her real passion as often as she can.

Art Valet: How did you get started painting and when did you realize you had to share it with the world?

D'Montserrat: “My art journey started with a hard life lesson. At 18 I became my grandmother’s caretaker. When the time came to say goodbye to her from this mortal life, I had all sorts of questions that I asked myself while I sat at her bedside. I wonder if she was happy in life, did she have any regrets, and what might have been her last thoughts as she passed. It was in this moment of sadness, and saying goodbye to my loved one, where I had this epiphany. I realized I didn’t want to leave this earth with any regrets, or at least try not to.”

While grieving, a friend told D’Montserrat about the art school opportunity and she jumped on it. No regrets in this life was very fresh on her mind.

“I was not thinking of pursuing art as a career or to even show my art to the world, but rather do something that made me happy,” D’Montserrat said.

“What moves me now to make art is the reaction of the public. My mission is to awaken a feeling in the person looking at my work, and I mean any kind of feeling; happiness, sadness, anger, etc. I want my art to be beautiful, but not just serve as decoration, rather to make a statement. If I can evoke a feeling in you as you view my art, then my mission as an artist has been achieved. Nothing makes me happier than hearing what people feel when they view my art, and that is the moment when I feel accomplished as an artist.”

AV: Your name is fascinating - tell us more.

D'Montserrat: "Fun fact! The meaning of my first and two middle names translates to Rocio (morning dew) de (of) Montserrat (serrated mountain). All together it translates to morning dew of the serrated mountain."

AV: What’s next and how do we find you?

D'Montserrat: “I’d love to be more involved in the Houston art scene, it’s growing and vibrant and so alive. I enjoy meeting other artists and bringing my vision to others. You can always find my past and new upcoming work on my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/art.dmontserrat.”

Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com for additional highlights and artist’s stories.

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