Making art by breaking the rules

Categories: ASC, Blog, Community Supported Art

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

Some of us are adults by the time we learn that it’s okay to color outside the lines.

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Local artist Marcee Musgrove in her Eden Street Market studio in Davidson.

Take for instance artist Marcee Musgrove, who works out of her Eden Street Market studio in the shadow of Davidson College.

“I’m a rules follower,” Musgrove said. “I worked for corporate America for years. It’s been a hard transition for me as an artist to break the rules.”

However, she’s slowly learning to do so “because there is forgiveness on the other side.”

The Arts & Science Council’s Spring 2015 Community Supported Art (CSA) program, which connects regional artists to local arts patrons, provided her the perfect chance to break the rules while breaking the perception many have of her.

Musgrove is likely better known for her wearable silk art, which has gained her fans and followers throughout the greater Charlotte region.

But, as this season’s CSA shareholders learned, she’s equally as talented a mixed media artist. Her contributions to this spring’s CSA crop were artistic representations of the birch trees and nature scenes she grew up with in Michigan.

When she was a child, there was oil in the wilderness of West Branch, where she and her family vacationed. However, pursuit of the liquid gold left unnatural hills and valleys in the picturesque landscape.

She didn’t look forward to those vacations as a child, but upon her arrival she would always notice the quiet of the deep woods.

It’s the kind of quiet you don’t experience in your day-to-day life in the city or suburbs, the kind that slowly allows you to connect to the serenity of nature. It’s a quiet she’s missed in her 20 years living in the Carolinas.

“When I create these paintings, I’m re-creating that feeling of only being present,” Musgrove said.

One of the scenic mixed media images local artist Marcee Musgrove created for the Arts & Science Council's Spring 2015 Community Supported Art program.
One of the scenic mixed media images local artist Marcee Musgrove created for the Arts & Science Council’s Spring 2015 Community Supported Art program.

She produced her works on wooden boxes she had specifically made for the CSA program. Each piece contained five layers, with images spilling over to the sides.

“I want these to be seen,” she said. “It’s not about just what you see on the front.”

It’s about what’s outside the lines, too.

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