Artist Profiles

Michael Rubio

Born in Australia to El Salvadorian parents, Michael is proud of his heritage. The Monte Lupo artist’s background inspires his signature artistic style of bright colours and delicate details.
‘Sometimes I get inspiration from El Salvador, also from my Dad. He really likes art.’
Michael is a familiar face in the Monte Lupo studio. He first entered the world of Monte Lupo after graduating from high school, and he hasn’t looked back since. When asked about his favourite pieces to work on, Michael has many. 
‘My favourite is decorating pots or screen-printing tea towels or bags… My favourite designs are the Cactus print and the Galah print, which is in store.’
Looking to the future, Michael looks forward to continuing his work in the studio.
‘I enjoy working with art, and I think I always will.’

Matthew Henry

Matthew joined Monte Lupo at the start of 2015 and is eager to pursue a career in creative design.

Working within the Monte Lupo team to transform colourless clay into something impressive has proved the perfect job for this talented artist. Matthew is currently busy preparing a wild new range for Monte Lupo, bringing elephants and other African creatures into the spotlight.

Drawing has always been one of Matthew’s passions, with his favourite subject being African wildlife.

“I want to keep doing great work for the shop and painting different things.” 

Sean Davenport 

An art career for Sean has been achieved the same way in which he has overcome every obstacle – with hard work and determination. A severe case of autism inhibits Sean from learning new things easily but he’s never let this hold him back. Thanks to an open door at Monte Lupo Arts, the opportunities to learn and grow keep coming.

From an early age, learning the written language was incredibly challenging for Sean. He was enrolled at Logan City School and quickly grew frustrated over being unable to read. Sean’s father watched him struggle and was inspired to find a solution. Handy with computers, he developed a unique program based on phonics and a behaviour method of teaching communication. Through characteristic determination, Sean did not give up until he understood how words came together. An ability to read and write has made all the difference. Sean now uses a mobile phone to text his family and even attained a driver’s license. After a work shift he enjoys driving around, looking at suburbs and is particularly fascinated by ‘no through’ roads. The rest of his free time is taken up by creating bush walking tracks around his family’s property, jumping on a trampoline, attending music concerts or practicing woodwork.

At school, Sean developed a passion for drawing, a skill that his parents enthusiastically encouraged. His grandmother once held a post at the Arts Council and so a job offer from Monte Lupo Arts was the perfect post-school opportunity. Sean tackles every design brief with the determination to succeed and has led to some distinctive works being sold through the Museum of Queensland and many more being scooped up by buyers in the Monte Lupo gallery cafes. Thanks to a supportive network of art mentors and plenty of hard work, Sean has found his way to a promising career.

Nathan Peters

Minimal fine motor skills has not stopped Nathan from flourishing at Monte Lupo as a ceramics assistant. Twelve years on and he is a promising new talent in the area of ceramic design.

Soon after Nathan was born, it became apparent he was not developing as he should. He remembers struggling to tie his shoelaces or do up his buttons and found it frustrating to see his brothers and sisters speed ahead of him.

Enrolled in Beenleigh Special School, Nathan successfully learnt to read and write well and displayed a real flair for Mathematics. As a teenager, he dreamt of becoming a famous cricket player like Michael Hussey.

Nathan enrolled in TAFE after school and learnt all sorts of skills including landscaping, cementing and art. The opportunity to work at Monte Lupo Arts arose during this time and Nathan applied for the job. His application was successful and since then he has never looked back. He says ‘I really like the people here and I have made plenty of friends, including meeting new people through the shop.’

Nathan describes his disability as frustrating but also gains a great deal of satisfaction out of the art he helps to produce – particularly when he gets the chance to exhibit his work. When he first began work at Monte Lupo, Nathan produced a series of glazed birds which were snapped up by shoppers. The thrill of this achievement is still inspiring him every day.

Kimberley Green

Since 2010, Kim has been sculpting a rewarding career as a Ceramics Assistant at Monte Lupo Arts.

Someone first spotted a creative streak in Kim during work experience and pointed her in the direction of an art therapy course. Kim soon discovered what she describes as ‘the bit that was missing’. It was a challenging start for Kim in her new role at Monte Lupo, overcoming poor motor skills, while developing her love for pottery. This required manipulating clay to sculpt and carve a large variety of shapes by hand and is a skill that has changed Kim’s life.

“Some days you come in and your hands just don’t want to work – so long as you get the job done, that’s all that matters.”

Peter Hughes 

Peter’s incredible designs have been picked up by art galleries around the world, thanks to an agreement between Monte Lupo and Access Arts.

As a self-taught artist, Peter’s pottery and canvas creations represent his own personal style and build on his passion for hand drawn caricatures with life-like colours. People with autism can be withdrawn by nature. Peter on the other hand, reveals his friendly and outgoing nature to all through his art. People feature prominently in his designs which often highlights current events or Christian icons. Peter often includes neatly written words and phrases in his pieces – a unique ability discovered during his early childhood. Whilst speaking can be a challenge, Peter enjoys talking through art and enjoys the social opportunities that his occupation creates.

His confidence continues to grow, with 13 paintings sold to the London Museum in 2011 as part of an exhibition for self-taught artists. In fact, paintings by Peter Hughes have graced galleries in New York, Washington DC, the JFK Centre for Arts and Europe.