Bearden is May Artist of the Month
The creation of art is for some people also an opportunity to teach others how to make their own visions come to life. That’s just one of the many inspirations that provides Margaret Bearden with the want to share her talents and love for various mediums with people of all ages at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center.
Bearden’s positive spirit for the arts is reflected in the joy she finds when she heads into classrooms at the RCAC, and one reason why she’s the Standard Journal Artist of the Month for May.
Her passion for art comes from a lifelong love of bringing her imagination to life.
“I always enjoyed creating things,” she said. “My grandmother was an artist. I didn’t have any art teachers in school until I was a bit older. An elementary art teacher was something I never had, so I kind of wanted to be the teacher I never had growing up.”
She met that goal in both her education and professional life in her early years as an educator.
A graduate of the University of West Georgia in Art Education, Bearden previously taught art to students at Euharlee Elementary and Central Carroll High School for 10 years until May 2016. During that time, Bearden was also named Teacher of the Year for 2007-08 at the school.
“Creating something out of nothing is, to me, one of the most rewarding parts of being human. I am driven to help empower others with the skills and confidence to make their own art, and make a mark on the world that is unique to then,” Bearden said.
No matter what classroom setting, Bearden said the joy she receives from teaching youth is all about enabling others to create.
“It’s really even more satisfying to me. I enjoy teaching, and making art is a little bit more secondary to me,” Bearden said.
What she really loves about teaching artists young and old is empowering them with the skill and confidence to create on their own outside of the classroom setting at RCAC.
When Bearden sits down to bring her own talents to the canvas, she finds inspiration in recent times in honoring her role models. Portraits of various artists, writers, politicians and activists have provided her plenty of people to celebrate on the canvas. The mixed medium portraits start with charcoal drawings and are brought to life with a mixture of paints and elements that provide texture and contrast in each work dedicated to the life of someone who has made an impact.
“I’ve always been drawn to mixed media. I like to take something traditional like a portrait — that have been around for hundreds of years, and are sometimes old fashioned. I like to introduce something unexpected, creating this kind of contrast and it draws people attention to it more.”
Four of the pieces in her series completed in recent months of her role models can be seen at the RCAC, though the Maya Angelou piece was on display at the Paulding Fine Arts Gallery in a competition show.
Bearden, a resident of Rockmart since 2008, hosts several classes for both young and adult artists alike. That includes Little Hands, Big Art is an hour-long class for 3-6 year olds with stories, handson play, and messy artmaking fun which is held on the second Wednesday of the month from 10 to 11 a.m. Her summer sessions of the class will be held on on Fridays, 10 to 11 a.m. on May 31, June 7, 14 and 21. The class is $15 per student, and youth must be accompanied by an adult to participate.
She’ll also be involved in Summer Art Camps for children, and holds art lessons for ages 7 to teens, home school art classes, private paint parties and more.