Alexa Mason is an incredible young artist, born and raised in North Dallas. Alexa first became interested in art when she was 10 years old, and she drew a “semi-impressive” cat with some oil pastels. “My grandmother actually still has it framed in her living room,” she says. “It was around that age when I realized that I really enjoyed drawing, painting and just creating in general.” Then in high school, her art teacher, Ms. Keeton, encouraged her to apply to art schools because she believed Alexa had a gift. But instead, she went to Texas A&M and earned a degree in finance. It didn’t take long, however, for her to realize she really had no interest in working in finance. And thus began her foray into art as a profession. “I remember being 22 trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do next, and during a visit with my best friend, her aunt and uncle saw some of my work,” she says. “They ended up asking if they could commission a painting of a Ralph Lauren-esque sketch of a horse.” She had never painted a horse before, but “after a three-week, hair-pulling experience” it’s still one of her favorite pieces she’s ever done. That experience is all it took. “I knew this had to be the path for me.” Now, Alexa draws and paints extraordinary portraits of women (primarily) with such exquisite detail it’s almost disarming. “I love painting people,” she says. “Portraits are my jam. I grew up with a big family with a lot of fabulous, strong, beautiful women, so my work definitely tends to lean toward the feminine, ethereal side of the spectrum.” She has no problem drawing/painting men, but “I’m really lucky to have grown up with a solid female influence, and that has definitely manifested itself in my work.” In fact, when she was invited to participate in her first national group exhibit in New York City in 2015, her entry was a portrait of her mother. “I had always wanted to paint her but had been intimidated because she’s my favorite person, and I of course wanted to do her justice. I was so happy that I got over that, and she became my inspiration for that very monumental experience in my life.”
In 2014, some friends invited Alexa to join them at Art Con 10, and she knew right away she wanted to get involved. “I had never been to an event like that before, and while it was positively freezing that night, we had an amazing time enjoying all the different pieces,” she says. “The whole venue was packed, and the energy was amazing. I was so glad that I signed up to get the Art Con emails; otherwise, I’d have missed the chance to participate the following year.” As with so many artists, Art Con allowed Alexa to expand herself as an artist and “step outside her comfort zone. I’m pretty shy when it comes to my work – talking about it, showing it, etc.,” she says. “I’m not used to working in front of other people. My nerves were definitely going crazy that first artist day!” But she met several other artists and Art Con volunteers, and “it made me realize how important it is to be brave and really put yourself out there and become part of a community, which I’m so thankful for.” Not only has Art Con helped Alexa come out of her shell a bit, but she’s grateful to what the group does for Dallas. “I think the most important thing Art Con does for this community is create awareness, but in a really fun way,” she says. “A lot of people, unfortunately, don’t realize the importance of art in all forms and how it can benefit everyone in a positive way. But Art Con does a fabulous job at not only supporting the arts in this community by raising funds for different programs but also giving local artists a chance to get involved and bring this booming, vibrant art community together.” You can check out some of Alexa’s work at alexamasonart.com, and definitely come bid on her one-of-a-kind piece at Art Con 12 this Saturday, November 12, at Cedars Union. Get your tickets now!
Written By: Martha Elaine Belden