Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Featured Arkansas Artist: Jo Magee

The Arkansas Studies Institute houses four art galleries, including a retail gallery, featuring the work of Arkansas artists and art related to the state. This post is part of a bi-weekly series featuring ASI gallery artists.

Jo Magee

Jo Magee was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and grew up surrounded by her father's art. After graduating from Hall High School, she followed in her father's footsteps into a career producing commercial art, beginning as staff person, then working as a paste-up artist for advertising agencies. While at the agency Mangan, Raines, Ginnaven, Holcomb and Associates, she became the first woman vice president of print production in Arkansas.

Jo married and started a family, which kept her busy volunteering at schools and in the community while raising her daughter and son with her husband, Bob. Desiring to return to fine art in 1996, Jo began to produce work in pastels and oils, while studying almost daily with Suzie Patton and Debi Steppach at The Mansion Art Centre in Little Rock. Since then, she has taught pastel and other fine arts workshops for children and adults.

Jo's subjects have included portraits of adults, children, animals, still life and landscapes. She enjoys learning new techniques, attending workshops, and painting with other artists.

Artist Statement
While I am often drawn to highly graphic subjects, which is an influence of my experience in advertising, I seek out images that allow me to explore the full spectrum of color and values from light and dark. I don't see a river or trees, but an opportunity to examine the play of light and color.

I welcome the opportunity to stretch and investigate not only new subjects but also new materials—I've recently begun working with Wallis paper, which has opened many avenues for me creatively. I work primarily in soft pastels on Wallis sandpaper, and I love the way soft pastels melt into the paper, creating the purest of colors.

Click here to see more work by Jo Magee.


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