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Local Artists Live: Marguerite Edwards
July 10, 2021; 10:00 AM–10:30 AM CDT
This special Local Artists Live will highlight the work of Marguerite Edwards, the featured artist of the 44th Montgomery Art Guild Museum Exhibition. During her 30 minute takeover of the MMFA’s Instagram account, Marguerite will broadcast live from the Museum where some of her paintings are currently on view, and offer the virtual audience insight into her creative practice and art.
This program is part of the series:
Meet the Artist
What is something you appreciate about life in the South?
What I appreciate about life in the South is that it is home. But that I have lived in Montgomery, Japan, Virginia, and Hawaii as a child made coming home all the better.
What are some works of art in the MMFA’s collection that inspire you and why?
The Sargent painting of the woman holding her pearls is my favorite in the MMFA collection. I have always heard that every portrait painter wants to paint like John Singer Sargent. At least it used to be. Now I see in the art publications there is a tendency to see how realistic one can be to the point that spontaneity and impasto are replaced by photorealism. The museum has a wonderful collection in which Mary Cassatt and Frederick Freer are some of my favorites, and one can see [such] spontaneity and impasto in their work.
What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?
The last piece of art that I create is always my favorite. If it is not, then I start over again. It’s like asking which of your children is your favorite.
Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person? If you have, how did you feel in that moment?
I just keep discovering which work of art that I see in person is my favorite. I think because we all grow and learn new things, we get a different perspective on the works of art we keep looking at and love, and learn to appreciate works we did not even like. By continuing to study under different teachers we learn to look at what could be a bland or boring subject and see something unique and beautiful. We can look at a work of art we love and see new things about it we did not see before.
What drives your creativity?
I don’t know what drives my creativity. I just always wanted to draw pictures. Both my parents were artists as was my grandfather “Spang”—Frank Spangler—whose political cartoons are in this Museum’s permanent collection. The MMFA has had to my knowledge three shows of his cartoons.
What advice would you give to beginning artists?
My advice to beginning artists is “I don’t know”. Art is a tough way to make a living. It is a calling. I had parents to support me until things took off. I was in the right place at the right time. My parents sent me to the Art Students League in New York City after college. My first commissions were of deans of the University of Alabama. The head of the art department of one of the three colleges I went to, who had been one of my teachers, called me and chewed me out for “who did I think I was” to be commissioned to do all these portraits. He taught only abstract, which I liked and think it served me well with portrait painting being loose and free.
What excites you the most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene, and how might we further these efforts throughout our community?
The art scene in Montgomery is lucky, as is everyone, to have this great museum and this whole complex. The Montgomery Art Guild is indeed fortunate to be able to have its members’ art displayed in this museum every two years—and to have the museum honor a local artist each time is truly a gift to inspire the artists. The first artist that was honored in this way was my father, Chuck Whitehead.