Influences Range from Greece to Florida, Tools Range from Photos to Paint
ST. MARYS CITY, Md. (Nov. 3, 2009) Stewart's Author, artist, and educator Mary Stewart, whose mixed-medium pieces have been influenced by ancient Greek philosophers and current Florida landscapes, will give an overview of her artwork at a public lecture at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 11, 2009, in St. Marys College of Marylands library, room 321. On campus for two months as artist-in-residence at Artist House, Stewart also will give creativity workshops to students, and work on a three-panel eight-foot-high triptych of multiple photographic fragments of a Costa Rican cloud forest.
All of my recent artworks combine photography and drawing, Stewart explained. The images are first constructed from my own digital photographs via Photoshop, then printed out in large scale. This print serves as the under-panting for a much more developed drawing, using colored pencils and acrylic paints.
In her talk, Chance, Choice, and Connection, Stewart will show 30 or so older images of works influenced by the philosophies of Plato and Socrates. For example, in one, recurrent images of train stations, clocks, ruins, boundaries, and gates, suggest connections between memory and knowledge described by Socrates. As the viewer scans a room of four walls of drawings with the titles Learning to Sink, Learning to Swim, and Learning to Breathe, the repeated titles create a cycle of death, transition, and renewal. Her talk will then transition to artworks from the past three years, when a move to north Florida became her inspiration.
Stewart is director of Foundations Program for the art department at Florida State University and co-founder of the Integrative Teaching Thinktank, a national organization devoted to strengthening college-level teaching. Her work has been in over 80 exhibitions and she has received two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants for choreography. She also is working on the fourth edition of Launching the Imagination: A Comprehensive Guide to Basic Design, a textbook for first-year students used by more than 400 colleges.