Artist Profile: Kathy McCoy

Kathy McCoyFrom the artist: Kathy McCoy has been a soldier, artist , museum director, published author, performing arts director and lecturer. She holds a B.F.A. in sculpture from Northern Arizona University. She worked primarily in bronze and showed professionally in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Kathy was selected as the inaugural artist to show at the DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun in Tucson, now a National Historical District.

Kathy returned to her home in the southeast to complete studies in Applied Anthropology at University of Tennessee and Georgia State University. She became the founding executive director of the Monroe County Heritage Museums in Monroeville, AL, the home of Harper Lee and Truman Capote. At that time she began her journey from visual arts to performing arts. She founded, directed  and toured  nationally and internationally the production of To Kill a Mockingbird,  which was selected as a Millennium Year production at the Kennedy Center.

Kathy continued her visual arts artistry as a performing arts director in Pell City,  Alabama until her retirement . At that time she returned to her “roots” and began finding her way back into visual arts. Kathy now spends her time between Alabama, Florida and LeDoux , New Mexico.

In the eye of the artist Q. What art medium do you work in?
A. Oil and ink.

Q. Why that medium?
A.  I like the flows and colors.

Q. What inspires you?
A. Natural surroundings, animals, people. The  profound beauty of New Mexico is so overwhelming that one has to stop and take notice. And being an artist , I have the passion to interpret that beauty through my oil and ink paintings, whether they be on canvas, tiles or anything with a surface!

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. New Mexico!

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by the individual?
A. I am not influenced by one particular artist  but, like all artists I believe, I am influenced by the works of many ,many artist , past and present.

Q. What do you most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. I have been both a visual and performing artist all my life.

Q. Where can you work be purchased?
A. Black Belt Treasures, Camden, Alabama, and ARTSCAPE Gallery, Pell City, Alabama. Both are cooperative galleries.


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Author Profile: Carmen Baca

From Carmen’s Amazon Author Page: Hello! I’m Carmen. As if 36 years in the classroom weren’t enough, I now “teach” from home, helping aspiring authors with their own manuscripts, researching marketing strategies, and working on my next book. You can find me in the mountains of northern New Mexico where my husband and I enjoy a peaceful, quiet life caring for our animal family and any stray that happens to stop by.

Below are Carmen’s responses to a Q&A interview about her work as a writer and published author.

Carmen BacaQ. What genre do you work in?
A. The majority of my works are literary regionalism with a touch of magical realism. My first book, El Hermano, is a historical fiction based on my father’s induction and subsequent rise to leadership of our community’s brotherhood of Hermanos Penitentes. My second book, Las Mujeres Misteriosas, is a ghost story mystery, which pits La Muerte against la Llorona in a fight over the soul of a young woman. My third book, Cuentos del Cañón, is a short story collection. It’s a companion book to the first because it’s comprised of the backstories of characters featured in the first book. My fourth, Viajes con Fantasmas, is a sequel to the second, which will publish this summer. My fifth, a short story cycle, is called La Quinceañera. It’s a parallel narrative of three plots which intertwine in 12 separate short stories. It is currently in the editing stage. I have also published 17 short pieces, fiction and non-fiction, in online literary magazines since 2017.

Q. Why that genre?
A. I found my voice in the first book and discovered that my readers appreciate both the stories I tell and the style I use to tell them. The realization that I could be a small voice whereby I could inform, educate, and entertain those who are interested in my culture is why I love writing regionalistic literature. It’s what I know, what I love, and what I want to leave behind as my legacy to New Mexico’s literature. We New Mexico Hispanics have a rich history, but we are not well-known. We are distinct from Latinos of other countries, and I want to tell everyone I can reach about our uniqueness.

El HermanoQ. What inspires you?
A. A locked wooden box, which revealed the secrets of los Hermanos’ brotherhood, inspired my first book. I was disappointed with the way their religious practices were sensationalized in other publications. I wanted my book to show readers that the brotherhood is so much more than what people think. That box gave me the historical information I needed to set the record straight – so to speak – without revealing private information none of us has to know, since we are not of them. Now, I’m inspired by elements of my culture in addition to religion: dying traditions and customs, superstitions, folklore, and beliefs, lifestyle, dialect — all of which I include in most of my works to show younger generations how our ancestors lived, to remind those my age and older of the old days we share, and to preserve the past. I’m inspired by life and death, real human struggles, my career — so many themes in life to write about. I’m also inspired by a variety of writing genres. This allows me to experiment in writing.

Q. What is your preferred work environment as a writer?
A. I worked as a teacher for 36 years, leaving my beautiful home built by my husband on the land of my ancestors. I retired in 2014 and am living the life of my dreams: working from the comfort of my home surrounded by mountains and meadows. Several times already I have caught a movement in the reflection of my PC, which turns out to be elk or deer peering in the window next to me. There is nowhere I’d rather be.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by this individual?
A. That’s a hard one. I can’t focus on anyone, other than Jesus Christ. I admire those who persevere, who are honest, and humble, and who attain their goals through willpower and courage — too many to name individually.

Q. Where can your work be purchased?
A. All my books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and Goodreads; they can also be found on a variety of other websites as well as local venues: Tome on the Range in Las Vegas, Op.cit in Taos, Bookworks in Albuquerque and several other locations.

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Artist Profile: Sharon Stillwater

Bio of an ‘Accidental Artist’: From Sharon Stillwater’s website
I was born on a cold, snowy night Dec. 18. 1942—a volatile mixture of Native American, faded aristocracy, Scottish reclusiveness and French haughtiness. I grew up in far northern Ohio surrounded by flowers, farm and animals, and looked after by sainted, salt of the earth Midwesterners. It was out of this Edenesque early childhood, that I developed the strength and courage needed to face the struggles of life and to endure. Read more…

Sharon Stillwater has a lovely website. I recommend you go there and look at her stunning art and read her complete bio, including the tribute to her husband. This tells you much about a woman who has found a lifeline in art. She expresses herself in compelling ways with rich colors and creative imagery.

Below are her answers to questions about her has an artist. She is one of the coordinators for the Pendaries Art League show scheduled for July. See event details below the article.

Q. What art medium do you work in?
A.
Oil

Q. Why that medium?
A. It is where I first started painting and learning to mix colors in about 1997.  I had actually planned on heading to sculpture but fell in love with colors and oil paint. I love the sheen of oil and find it easier to get soft edges. I do a lot of mixing on the canvas. I also like that you don’t have to put it under glass.

Q. What inspires you?
A. Wilderness and the human psyche.

Q. What is your preferred work environment?
A. My home studio, which is also my sun room.

Q. Who do you most admire and in what ways were you influenced by this individual?
A. It is not one individual but so many friends and others who live with integrity. They inspire me to keep going, keep hoping and keep trying.

Q. What do Aspens in Winteryou most want visitors to the show to know about you as an artist?
A. That I feel that the art comes through me as a gift and I do not feel that it is something my ego can take credit for.

Q. Where can your work be purchased?
A. My home studio and through my website as well as my agent, (see my web site).

 


Follow Sharon Vander Meer at:
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