By: SHEA STANFIELD
ARTS COLUMNIST –
Roses have come through the centuries in many written forms, from William Shakespeare, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (Romeo and Juliet),” to Gertrude Stein’s poem, “Rose is a Rose is a rose (Sacred Emily1913).”
Hand it to local Artist Andrea Cook to take the rose from prose and transform it into a three-dimensional art form.
It’s no doubt that growing up in Dallas, in the Yellow Rose State of Texas, became a subliminal undertone to Andrea’s creative start in life. She remembers that her creativity was influenced and encouraged by family and teachers. Her first art classes in drawing, watercolor and ceramics were taken at the local community center when she was in elementary school.
Smitten by the creative bug, Andrea continued her artistic pursuits into high school where she took classes in metals, ceramics and printmaking in her quest to experience and expand her range of mediums. Her creative journey would lead Andrea into the University of Texas at El Paso where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Painting graduating with honors.
Andrea held a variety of jobs after graduation in art related fields, everything from picture framing to art galleries to ceramic studio manager and instructor, but none of them “completed her life.”
“There just was never time enough for my own art,” Andrea said.
Andrea finally decided to pursue her passion and jumped out into the world as a full-time artist. She moved to Arizona at the end of 2015 and joined the Sonoran Arts League. She says it was one of the best moves of her life, and she instantly became part of the arts community participating in the local arts events and exhibitions.
Today, Andrea works, from her home studio, on her most recent collection entitled “Garden of Roses.” The Garden of Roses originally began as a large scale, soft sculpture, and temporary installation. Without question Andrea loves roses!
“They are so lovely and elegant, unfortunately roses only last for a very short time. I want to capture their beauty and create a permanent way to enjoy them,” she said while explaining further. “I always have a vision of the completed piece, but I freely admit the work does tend to have its own personality, naturally. My ultimate goal with the Garden of Roses collection is to create an illusion that connects with the viewer.”
The Garden of Roses collection is composed of hand dyed, painted pure fabrics made of canvas, burlap, muslin and cotton blends. The fabric is torn into strips, dipped into archival glue and formed into rose designs ranging in shape, size, and color. Each design is unique in texture and made to touch.
The Garden of Roses exhibit can be seen at The Gallery at El Pedregal, in the Town of Cave Creek’s public buildings, as well as the Anthem Civic Building. Her other collection entitled “Object Inspiration,” is on exhibit at Vision Gallery in Chandler through August 25, 2018 (visiongallery.org).
Desert Foothills residents and visitors will have a unique opportunity to experience Andrea’s Garden of Roses collection at the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree during the month of August. A reception to meet the artist will be held on Sunday July 29 from 3-4:30 p.m. (carefreetea.com).
For more information or for areas Andrea Cook is exhibiting check the “NEWS BOARD” on her website at andreaclayart.com.
If someone else has never promised you a rose garden, contact Andrea, so you can get one of your own!
Contact Arts Columnist, Shea Stanfield, on firstname.lastname@example.org.