Louis Paul Lubbering III (Mr. Lube) is one of San Antonio’s most prolific and eclectic living artists experimenting over 50 years in many mediums including sculpture, watercolor, photography, painting, lithography, printmaking and charcoal.
His subject matter is equally varied and diverse including figurative works, landscapes, images from his service in Vietnam and religious and spiritually themed images. His artistic influences include everything from Paleolithic cave paintings to Rembrandt and Van Gogh and on to Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol in poster art thru Shepard Fairey in photography and UK graffiti artist Banksy.
Mr. Lube, nicknamed so by generations of students and colleagues, is a San Antonio institution in his own right having graduated with art degrees from San Antonio College, Trinity University, and UTSA as well as teaching in the Incarnate Word system for the last thirty years as of 2010.
Born a twin war baby in 1944 in San Antonio, Mr. Lube was given encouragement from his beloved father, Louis Lubbering Sr., a San Antonio building contractor and his mother Caroline Lubbering, owner of the Lad-n-Lassie day care centers.
His Aunt and Uncle, Evelyn and Guy Linton, owners of the infamous Green Gate Burlesque Club which publicly closed its doors in 1970 for Jesus, inspired him to experiment and paint as Louis evidenced a natural ability to depict his life experiences in artistic medium. Uncle Guy was also a gifted painter and turned the nightclub into a gallery in downtown San Antonio selling paintings to locals and visitors.
Louis graduated from Thomas Edison High School in San Antonio in 1962 where he pin striped hot-rods in exchange for maintenance of his own cherished hot-rod. Louis was on the high school newspaper and yearbook staff working as a cartoonist and illustrator.
Upon graduation, he began work as a commercial artist and a student at San Antonio College where he learned design from mentor/instructor Mel Casas. Louis was drafted into the United States Army in 1965. He went to Vietnam in the spring of 1966 and was in the 61st Battalion, 32nd Med- Dep Nha Trang for 7 months then moved to Cam Rahn Bay until May of 1967.
While on leave in Vietnam, Mr. Lube made artistic pilgrimages to the National Gallery in Japan and other galleries which would later influence him to paint hundreds of images in black ink on various white/off white styled papers. However, Japanese in style, the subject matter instead depicted Louis’ inner reflections of life post-Vietnam America.
Upon returning from Vietnam, Louis entered Trinity University on national defense loans and married Marilyn Lubbering, who became the primary subject matter for many of his figurative works. At Trinity University Louis learned how to draw from life with the help and guidance of Trinity professor Jim Stoker.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity University in May of 1970 and entered graduate school as a teaching assistant at New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, New Mexico with three young children aged two, one and newborn along with a wife in tow.
He received his Master of Arts degree in the summer of 1971 and was voted into the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. While in New Mexico, Louis’ two greatest influences were his mentor and graduate school supervisor Elmer W. (Skinny) Schooley and artistic legend Georgia O’Keeffe who was a celebrated living artist in Santa Fe during the time Louis studied in New Mexico.
In the fall of 1971 he began working as a full-time faculty member in the Art Department of Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe Louisiana. He was employed there until he entered the MFA program at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the fall of 1976. Having served with many people from various ethnic groups in Vietnam, Louis was an outspoken advocate of diversity especially in academia and particularly in the arts. While at UTSA, Louis was heavily influenced by teacher and mentor Felipe Reyes, “a master colorist” according to Louis.
Upon graduating from UTSA, Louis opened his gallery on the San Antonio Riveralk called Lube’s Art Studio from 1978 To 1990. Many international visitors to conventions on the Riverwalk and visiting military Air Force personnel taking weekend leave collected Louis Lubbering art, which was shipped, around the world. Lube’s Art Studio also represented other artists and Louis invited local artists to show their art in front of his studio on weekends.
Louis began teaching at Incarnate Word College in 1982 and taught art history and studio until 1990. He transferred to Incarnate Word High School in the fall of 1989 and is still teaching there. Occasionally, Mr. Lube teaches adult education classes at the University of the Incarnate Word. Hundreds of students have learned to appreciate art from Mr. Lube and he has taught classes such as “Art for the Terrified Beginner” to students who required art credits to graduate.
While Louis isn’t teaching he likes to take art pilgrimages to New York City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. to see retrospectives of his favorite artists including Van Gogh’s retrospective at LACMA, Leonardo da Vinci’s show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and the Whitney Biennial. He likes visiting the Rembrandts at the Getty in LA and the El Greco’s at the National Gallery in D.C..
In the 2005 “Best of” issue of the San Antonio Current Louis was named one of three best San Antonio Art teachers. Louis won the annual San Antonio Art League “Julian Onderdonk Award” in 1987 and is a member of the Marion McNay Museum. Louis has exhibited in over fifty national juried art competitions throughout the United States and has shown his work in roughly twenty art shows nationally and abroad.
Louis Lubbering has four children, Paul, Karl, Julie and Sarah and sons-in-law Jesse and Eli. He has four grandchildren: Madeleine, James, Dottie Lu, and Orson Lewis.