MICHELE MAYNARD: ARTIST STATEMENT
I work with two or three concepts.
The first : I have an intense love of the natural world. From the time I was five my dad would take me into the woods or out in his canoe to sit quietly and just look. I save every turtle I can when they wander onto the roads. I watch the birds in my yard every day and I have a lot of them thanks to my garden and feeders. Our family goes to National Parks as often as we can to hike. Running rivers is the best thing on earth. You get the picture. My work celebrates this passion at a time that society seems to be turning it’s back on the natural environment at it’s peril.
The second: Sometimes I just can’t be so serious. I have done cartoons and caricatures since 7th grade biology. So when in despair (about the state of concept the first), I have fun. I indulge my love of color and pattern and set up a scenario, bring forth a memory or place I’ve traveled, or vent about life’s absurdities.
The third: I immerse myself in the sheer pleasure of play and create ” threadpoems”.
Michele Maynard was born to a pair of Southerners who then moved her to Honolulu when she was aged nine. Her love of color, pattern and the outdoors took root while growing up there.
Back on the Mainland in time for college, Michele earned a BFA from Georgia State University and worked as a white water canoe instructor for the outdoor program at the school. She obtained an MFA from University of Michigan in 1980 and applied for one thing upon graduation, a year residency at Oregon School of Arts and Crafts in Portland. She got it and stayed on as faculty for a few years in the Fiber arts department. With a good run career wise in Oregon, work purchased for public and private collections, commissions public and private, and acceptance into state art museum biennials, she decided to leave town. Not before casually executing a few designs for a friend’s t shirt company, Fabric Art, Inc The business really took off and Michele was one of the principal designers for ten years, long distance from the East Coast.
In 1989, while teaching at the Penland School, Michele met her husband and, consequently, moved to Chapel Hill. The birth of three boys in five years took a little wind out of her sails. She still managed to show now and then, and also continued to do design work such as illustrations for Whole Foods Markets private label products( now defunct) , a campaign for World Wildlife Fund Canada and a short gig with Vietri, Inc.
Recently, Michele was juried into FRANK, as a member of Chapel Hill’s new artist’s collective which opened in April 2010. She thinks of herself as a REemerging artist.