I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors from Bradley University in Peoria Illinois. Shortly thereafter, I became Director of the Peoria Art Guild, a large fine art gallery in Peoria Il. I was Artist Liaison for the Bradford Exchange in Chicago; hired to contract artists for the company product designs, which meant a great deal of traveling in US and Canada. After five years, I left to work full-time as an artist.
I lived in the Washington, D.C. area for 15 years. As a full-time working artist, I exhibited my work in galleries in the East Coast and Washington, DC. I taught pastel painting at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD and substituted for other professors from time to time. Teaching was one of the highlights of my career.
While living on the East Coast I was elected as President of the Maryland Pastel Society. During that time I exhibited my work with MPS members in shows. My work was accepted in the National Organization of Pastel Societies and Pastel Society of America.
Over the years, I have exhibited my work in numerous solo shows, numerous group shows and with Montgomery College faculty exhibitions. I have taught a number of workshops in both pastel and papermaking.
I have received numerous awards and my work has been featured in American Artist Magazine in 2000 and 2002.
My work is in corporate and private collections in the U.S. and Europe. I’m represented by Newman Gallery in Washington, DC and member of Mid America Pastel Society and Chicago Pastel Painters.
Cabinet - Nicaraguan Potters
The Lopez Family Potters
The Plymouth art display cabinet currently features pottery made by the Lopez family of potters, Cándida, Fanor, Isaias, and Leandro. The Lopez family currently works and resides in the Nicaraguan village, San Juan de Oriente.
Fanor and Cándida learned the ancient art of pottery making from their grandparents, who learned it from their grandparents… “We don’t use machines,” Candida says, “We are artists in the ancient way of our Mayan ancestors.” Potting isn’t just a business for the Cano-Lopez family… it’s a treasured family art. “I hope my grandchildren’s children are still keeping this art alive,” Candida says. “It is part of who we are.”
In an effort to keep this art alive, even through the difficulties of poverty (when the arts tend to die), international outreach organization, JustHope issued two microloans. The family used the first loan to build their own ovens. Over time, this has helped decrease their costs because they do not have to rent space in their neighbor's oven or wait 2-3 weeks for their turn to use it.
The lease was cancelled where they had been renting retail space for several years, and without a store, they would have had no way to sell their ceramics or feed themselves. And so...the second loan was used to build their own store which opened in July 2013.
As part of our international outreach efforts, Plymouth Church will not be taking the usual 15% commission on the sale of these pottery pieces. The entire sales amount will be used to help the Lopez family with their artistic endeavors. To find out more about JustHope, go to JustHope.org to see how you can help.
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