Wednesday, August 26, 2009

15 minutes with Maggie Ivy

Maggie Ivy came into my studio with her freshly nuked lean cuisine pizza- we had an interview to do after all and she needed some fuel. Maggie sat down at one of my studio tables and we got started, our interview lasted more than fifteen minutes, but here are the best parts.

Maggie Ivy was born in Arkansas in 1989, making her nineteen about to turn twenty at the end of September. I wanted to get a sense of her history as we began. Maggie started drawing around the ages of 4 or 5, and was encouraged under the care of her baby sitter Ellen Lewis. Ellen showed great excitement over young Maggie's abilities, and began to more seriously mentor Maggie from the ages of 5-8. Maggie learned oil painting and acrylics at this time. This initial support and interest in Maggie's artistic abilities went a long way as she had also been diagnosed with a severe language delay in speech and writing. Maggie didn't really speak until the age of 5 and when she finally did, it was in sentences. Maggie credits the "fake it till you make it" plan for helping her through school as she was still not reading or writing at grade level until around the age of 12, and even then it was a struggle. Maggie says this diagnosis along with expectations of her not doing well academically by teachers and peers kept her from trying and succeeding.

However, it was a different story when it came to her art. This talent would save her. Maggie felt her art was the only thing that was entirely her own and she excelled, won awards, and took the praise and attention she received there and ran with it. Maggie says that her art gave her a sense of identity that was missing and the rest is history...

Maggie attends the prestigious Florence Academy of Art, and at the end of September she will be heading back, this time to their sister campus in Sweden to continue her studies. Maggie looked at other schools as well, such as SCAD and Kansas City Art Institute. She chose the Florence Academy while in a Barnes and Noble with her father. They were looking through a 40 top artists under 40 article in Art Connoisseur Magazine and noticed that the many in the top 10 came from the Florence Academy and that is when she decided she wanted to apply. She and her family knew the odds weren't good, as most regard the Florence Academy as more like a graduate program and that she was much younger than the typical student at the school. She applied anyway, and a week later she received her acceptance letter. She got in!

I asked Maggie about her current exhibition So close to farewell at the Vault gallery in the Fayetteville Underground. She is very pleased with the response her work has been given, and feels it was a good showing for an early student. Six out of seventeen pieces sold from the exhibition and Maggie has sold another two pieces while showing and working at the Underground for a total of 8 paintings/drawing over the summer. Maggie praises her experience at the Fayetteville Underground, and says she has learned a lot from her studio mates as she bridged the gap between art student and professional artist. We have learned a lot from Maggie.

Just the other day I told someone that Maggie Ivy is the diamond of the Fayetteville Underground. She has given her time, attention, heart and poise to her peers and the organization and is already a consummate professional.

Don't miss So close to farewell, this is the final week for Maggie's exhibition, as it closes Saturday August 29th at 2:00pm. Her pieces are classic, elegant and unassuming yet packed with a bit of high contrast drama just like the artist herself.

Maggie Ivy
"So close to farewell"
Show remains up through this Saturday August 29th at 2:00pm.

Fayetteville Underground
One East Center Street
East side of the Fayetteville Square.
Fayetteville, AR
Gallery Hours W-F 12-7pm
Saturday 8-2
4 galleries: Open Studios

all art pictured above © Maggie Ivy

PS. Maggie likes snacks. Her 15 or so favorites are:
twix, reeces, chocolate chip cookies, captain crunch (crunch berry), Fruit loops, lucky charms, cookie crisps, drumstick dibs, any lean cuisine meal that contains meat and cheese, Lunchables (turkey with American cheese ONLY) sweet potato, lemonade, bagel and cream cheese, and when abroad she eats cheerios, pasta, and clementine oranges.. now you know....

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