While some artists create to transfer the ideas from their minds into a reality, others may create to make a social statement.
Either way, all artist have a reason for putting paint on a canvas, capturing a moment with a camera or molding clay into a form. Mary Jane Taylor creates for a feeling from others.
“The biggest pleasure I get out of creating art is the joy other people get from having it around them,” she said.
Taylor is one of three artists featured in the Summer Arts Series at Brenau University. The exhibition will kick off with a reception from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at the Simmons Visual Arts Center, 200 Boulevard, in Gainesville. The event and reception are free.
Taylor has had a long and fruitful relationship with the university based in downtown Gainesville. She recently talked with The Times about art, inspiration and what it means to be a part of the summer series.
Question: What does it mean to you to be a part of the President’s Summer Arts Series at Brenau?
Answer: I’m very fond of Brenau. I spent 24 years teaching there and I was chair of art and design. I have a real affiliation with the university. I think highly of them. They’re really good to their students. I’ve watched students develop and they have so many connections for students in the art world. It’s nice that the Brenau president supports this program.
Q: What kind of artwork do you create?
A: What I do is mostly sculptural work. I base (my work) on a form that I throw and then I alter it and add appendages and other kinds of attachments until I create a form that’s more sculptural in essence than a teacup or a mug. Something a little more different.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: I’ve always loved nature. We’ve always hiked. We did all this kind of stuff in the Adirondacks and all. I’ve always picked up little rocks or berries and kept them, you know how kids do. I just loved, particularly rocks, but also seapods and some of the pods that come out of trees and all. I take that and I draw that. I use those (objects) to get the idea of different kind of vessels that are actually altered from that.
Q: When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
A: My grandmother was an artist. My mother was a painter. I’ve always loved to draw and I knew I wanted to be an art teacher. I took a class in college in clay. You have to take a little bit of every (kind of art class) to be an art teacher. I just got hooked on clay. I’ve been doing it ever since I was in college.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
A: They need to continue to work consistently, even if they don’t get to exhibit in the beginning. They need to keep producing work because their ideas grow that way and all their concepts develop. Becoming a successful artist takes years, so they just have to keep making art, not just thinking about it.
Q: Where can people view and purchase your pieces?
A: I have a website. People can also see them in shows, hopefully even more. I’m also looking to put it in a gallery within a driving distance of Gainesville. Mostly it’ll be online right now.
At press time, Taylor’s website was not active. The artist hopes to have it up and running next week.