ART IN THE GUILD ROOM
Currently on display, Guild Room
From Anne Nydam, artist:
I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where I began writing poems and creating imaginary worlds since at least the age of six. If asked at any point since then what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered, “a writer.” That is still my answer. My love of language – especially the English language – led me to major in linguistics at Yale University. Upon graduation an unexpected detour found me teaching middle school art for ten years. Teaching art was how I became, de facto, an artist myself.
I am essentially self-taught. I’d always been active doing a variety of arts and crafts, but never expected that it would be more than a hobby. While a teacher I took two summer classes for art educators at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and while I definitely found them interesting, fun, and helpful, they also confirmed in me my belief that the “art world establishment” is not and should not be the sole arbiter of what it means to be an artist. I taught my students that making art is part of what makes us human, and that everyone can and should explore their artistic impulses, both by making art and by appreciating all the art they see around them.
I made the choice to give up full-time teaching upon the birth of my children in 2002. At the same time some of my work was being exhibited in a six person show which, although it was not my first show, was the first time that I made sales enough to make me start thinking seriously about showing my own work. In 2005 I published my first book, of which I was both author and illustrator, combining my two loves.
I now live outside Boston with one husband, one cat, two children, and assorted houseplants. In addition to block prints and writing, I enjoy gardening, quilting, music, and failing to do housework.
When I left teaching I really missed it, but getting serious about my own art and writing has been a way to reconnect with people, and a way to share what I love and what I get excited about. Both writing and making block prints are very solitary pursuits for me, and I like that I can balance the solitude of working out my ideas with the human connections of sharing my work at shows. I believe that both art and writing allow us to envision our world in new ways that just might be the key to making the world a better place. I really enjoy sharing that vision with people – through open studios, through my blog, through classes, and through school visits, library programs, conventions, and other presentations.
For more of this artist’s work please visit her website.