During the month of January, I always grieve the loss of my mother, gone four years now after a courageous 10-year battle with breast cancer.  
But this year a wonderful thing happened to bring me out of my annual funk.  The Kuumba Collective Art Gallery in Sacramento, CA, requested to honor my mom as the featured artist for Women's History Month in March 2011.  POR SUPUESTO! (Of course!)

So I've been thinking about which in her very large collection of original watercolors she would like me to bring to represent her large body of work.  

From an early age, sitting on her tight corner of the sofa in her family-of-7 home, she would draw and paint.  She took art classes by mail as a teenager and learned to perfect her craft. She dressed windows at one of the two Department stores in her home town of Mt. Vernon, Ohio.  

She was the yearbook editor and used her art skills to make it one of the most memorable yearbooks ever.  

Mom doodled faces on newspapers, college homework, napkins, everywhere . . . throughout her work life as a teacher then principal in Sacramento, CA.  Yes, she was particularly gifted with figurative work.

But when mom retired from the Sacramento Unified School District in 1989, she wanted to learn how to paint something else. She was great painting flowers and landscapes, but they did not soothe her soul.  Mom absolutely LOVED abstract art and she tried numerous techniques for expressing her love of the abstract.

Since this is an African American art gallery, I will certainly bring a good sample of her ethnic work.

I have been asked to give a talk about mom's life and art career on March 5th from 5-6 PM at the Kuumba Collective Art Gallery, 1001 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA.  I think I'll bring my laptop with a slideshow on it. And I, the eldest child, am the keeper of her journals and her early work so I'll probably bring a sample of those treasures too.

I hope you can join me in honoring my mother on March 5th, as part of the African American Art Tour.  I will also be at the Kuumba Gallery on March 12th, 6-9 PM, as part of the Second Saturday Art Walk.  

The gallery is open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday form noon to 6 PM.

More of Mary Marshall's original watercolors may be viewed on her webpage: http://www.kanika.us/1MaryMarshall.htm


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