By Page Leggett
Art for art’s sake is a perfectly good maxim, but Rebecca Lipps believes art can also be useful. Practical, even. “When a person uses a handcrafted piece of art,” she says, “the person builds a strong connection with it.”
Art isn’t just a lofty ideal for Rebecca. It’s also utterly earthbound. Not only is she inspired by nature, but she’s “interested in the connection clay has to the earth we walk on. The artistic interaction with clay involves removing it from the ground, molding it and changing its purpose.”
Her desire to be an artist began early. She recalls being 8 years old and drawing birds, in detail, from her grandfather’s bird species book.
The Cincinnati native moved to Charlotte in 2013 and has been a full-time art teacher in the Fort Mill School District since then. Rebecca loves the classroom as much as the studio; she’s currently working toward an MFA at Winthrop University. She majored in art education at Xavier University.
Rebecca trained as an oil painter but has expanded her repertoire to include mixed media works in clay, installations and video.
Her favorite artists are as varied as her favorite mediums. She loves the Impressionists and Vincent Van Gogh, but more modern inspirations include Mary Reid Kelley, a video artist who works with a black-and-white palette, and Janine Antoni, an artist who combines sculpture, photography and performance art.
Just as Rebecca believes art can have a purpose, she says art has given her purpose.