A&M Artists Interviews June 21 2023

June 21, 2023

Video Transcript

Speakers: Marian Osher, Painter Printmaker Mixed-media. Janet Thomas Barnard, Fiber Artist. KOREY RICHARDSON , Mixed media artist

How long have you been an artist?

Marian Osher: I had double vision until my eye operation at age four. With new eyes, I was delighted to see the shapes of things. Then I began to draw. That was probably the beginning of my life as an artist.

KOREY RICHARDSON : How long have I been a artist? I've been using art as a form of self expression. I would say since I was about six or seven. I just remember being a kid in the back of the class drawing in my, in my notebook and just drawing all the time. And, and I just remember at the age of as early as six or seven, gravitating toward art. I didn't really, really realize that being an artist was a thing until I enrolled in college and got a lot of encouragement from the faculty at Prince George's County Community College, and also University of Maryland, to pursue art as a profession. And I would say if you include my college career, I've been an artist for about eight years now.

Janet Thomas Barnard: I think I've been an artist all my life. When I was very young, my grandmother started me on the needle arts. I learned embroidery, knitting, crocheting, but I did many other kinds of art, painting and mosaic. So from the time I was little. It was only about 25 years ago that I seriously got into weaving and silk dyeing. And I started doing that because my kids were out of the house and I had time to do it.

What are you working on right now in your studio?

Marian Osher: I am currently working on a series of mixed media paintings using denim. Denim jeans are my favorite personal clothing of choice. And I'm fascinated with the role that denim has played in social history and music. I'm using denim jeans from people I know which brings their energy into my art. I'm also working on several pet portraits to express the personality of the animals that I'm painting.

KOREY RICHARDSON : What am I working on right now in my studio? Right behind me, I have a portrait of John Lewis which is a commission for the CLC. The CLC is a nonprofit voting rights advocate for underprivileged and underserved people in this country. This portrait behind me is a part of a series which I call the Continuous Line Series. It's composed of one continuous line throughout. That continuous line represents the continued struggle for African Americans here in this country. It also represents how the legacies of the people I choose to paint continues to inspire and uplift African Americans to continue to fight for their freedom and rights in this country.

Janet Thomas Barnard: Well, right now in my studio at Artists & Makers, I'm really weaving some very simple yardage that I'm going to incorporate into some table linens. At home, I have a much larger room which allows me to do more in-depth designs, and normally I use them for scarves. I'm also doing a lot of dyeing at home. I have silk yardage that I'm dyeing with French dyes and a painting technique that I use, and they will all be made into scarves as well.

What do you hope to communicate with your work?

Marian Osher: Art is like a river running through my life, taking new directions inspired by my life's experiences. Whether working figuratively or more abstractly, I enjoy experimenting and creating a body of artwork that provides new insights and opportunities for personal growth. Making art enables me to share my appreciation for the infinite variety of colors and textures in our world, to take risks and to have fun. The common thread of my art work is to share the connection that we all have with each other and with all of nature.

KOREY RICHARDSON : What do I want to communicate through my work? I like, I would like to communicate understanding of the past. I like to use my work to honor the past and to uplift. I also use my work as a catalyst for change and imagining new possibilities.

Janet Thomas Barnard: What do I want to communicate with my art? I think the fact that it brings me so much joy and I would wish everybody to have as much happiness as I have when I'm creating. If you see behind me, you'll see I love color. I love geometrics. I love the process and I think I would encourage everyone to look inside and see what his or her talent might be and to try to develop that. But also let's get our kids doing it. It's very important for our brains and our hearts, and children need to have that ability to express themselves without boundaries.

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