Solo Exhibition | Jackson, Wy
Altamira Fine Art Jackson is pleased to present a solo exhibition for wildlife artist Mary Roberson, opening September 28, 2020.
Please join us for an Artist Reception Saturday, October 3 from 2-4pm.
If you would prefer a private tour of the exhibit, please contact the gallery (307) 739-4700.
Art Heals Both the Artist and the Viewer
Art as a conduit for hope and truth. As a vehicle for story and history. As an outlet for isolation. As critique and connection. As life itself. Altamira Fine Art closes the summer with a suite of artists attuned to the moment.
My dilemma is that I have to keep myself from visiting moose and bird habitats. I’ll get going on that and neglect everything else. The pandemic has made me realize how much I love to isolate. Right now, everything seems unreal. The same is true with my paintings; painting for me is magic. I’m an artist because I have deep feelings and I know how to express them. I haven’t watched the video of George Floyd’s murder and I never will. I can’t watch news of a mountain lion getting hit by a truck. When something hurts me, I paint. I set aside my emotions and focus entirely on painting. This spring, because of the pandemic, I’ve been painting 10 hours per day. It affects my eyes and I don’t sleep. I exhaust myself but I love it. During those long days, I don’t necessarily finish a painting. In my bird paintings, I incorporate three-dimensional objects—grass and flowers—in the encaustic. A lot of that is experimentation. I don’t see how it’s possible to stay the same. I have all of these things I want to do. Sometimes I can’t—or won’t—settle on one thing. I’ll work on something for five hours, and then shift gears. I’m bad with money and finances. All of a sudden, it occurs to me: Uh-oh, what do I have left? It’s not true that creativity has nothing to do with money. It does. If I need $500 worth of art supplies, I can’t call Amazon and say, “I’ll give you a painting.” Creativity has a lot to do with comfort. When I start to worry about comfort, I turn to painting. Keeping myself financially down heightens my creativity. It makes me focus. I know that about myself. There’s no other way out for me. I don’t see how individuals without a creative outlet have hope.
The fact that the pandemic has benefited wildlife inspires me. Species that’ve been close to extinction may now have a chance. I don’t believe there’s a difference between us and a bird, a bear or a tree. I see everything as one, as alive, as capable of goodness. I don’t necessarily suffer over the loss of life due to the pandemic, but if it was killing elephants… as Jim Carey once said: “You are only criticizing me because I said it.” I was raised that way, that there’s no difference between you feeling, thinking or saying something. There’s no guilt trying to feel or think a certain way. It’s who you are. As humans, we think we have a grip on things, but we don’t have control over anything. Fear is the root. I’ve always been drawn to animals, even reptiles—I’m not afraid of any animals. My parents didn’t instill fear in me. But when it came to white supremacists, there was fear. I was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas. My parents were anti-racist but they had to be quiet about it. Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to see equality among the races. And then the George Floyd murder: the awareness that has come from it—it’s indescribable, the possibility. Whenever I feel I’m not good enough, I think about the oppressed and that inspires me. I find it fascinating how many individuals won’t talk about Black Lives Matter or the pandemic or Trump. Maybe they’re not in touch with their own feelings. I’m not afraid of anyone attacking me personally. If my heart is in the right place, then you can criticize me, and I can respond, “Thank you. I’ve got things to do now.” I’m not arrogant, but I consider myself generally insightful: I’m a liberal, yet, I see the good in having Trump as a President. He’s been instrumental in the world waking up. I don’t see the benefit of hate. I have optimism. Nature heals: that’s always been true for me. I see the good.