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Connection to the past in creativity

Shea Stanfield~ 4/22/2015

“Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” ~ Walt Disney.  Local artist Betsy Halford has a similar vision in honoring her roots. Growing up in her native state of South Carolina, she was blessed with strong ties to her family heritage and items that came from her family history. Born with a creative and inquisitive spirit, Betsy began collecting old photographs, vintage china, and rusty metal, anything that linked her to the past. All of these items captivated her imagination and encouraged her to create endless stories relating to who she is and where she came from.

Betsy’s creative talents and attention to detail have been cultivated over time. She was unaware of how the objects, collected since childhood, would provide such a strong and permanent foundation for her creative work down the line. In that spirit, Betsy readily admits her inspiration comes from life and her motivation comes from the emotional connection she has for the pieces she uses in her work. Betsy works from her home studio, which she describes as a safe and energizing space, a place that nurtures her dreams and ideas for the imaginative and provocative work she is creating.

Two years ago, Betsy relocated to the southwest. Prior to moving to Arizona, Betsy lived in Atlanta, Georgia where she was represented by galleries in the Atlanta area.  She was invited to participate in numerous shows and exhibits throughout the region. The move west has given Betsy a renewed connection to her spirituality and intuition, which is apparent in her art. She says, “Life is constantly changing, therefore, my work changes. I enjoy learning new techniques, but in the end, I always put my own spin on what I learn.” Betsy loves living and thinking outside the box. The element of change is definitely a common theme throughout her work. She thrives on combining what seem to be unrelated objects. As if by inspirational magic, Betsy is able to bring out the common components, in each piece, enabling the viewer to make surprising connections. The dimensions in the relationships of life, those of humans to one another, and their interaction with their environment, continually intrigue Betsy. Her images are truly an exploration in alternative understandings of associations.

Betsy’s imaginative masterpieces can occupy a creative space in your life as a two-dimensional piece, a painting, or three-dimensional pieces of wearable art. All are fun, exciting, unique, and very original. To see more of Betsy Halford’s designs, to obtain one for yourself, a family member or friend, or to contact Betsy, visit her Web site at www.monkeygirlartwork.com.
Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.