Today we’d like to introduce you to Ann Tracy.
Ann, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
In my family, painting and photography go back generations. Visual art must be in my DNA because it is just my thing. I grew up in rural Minnesota without access to the arts. Don’t tell anyone, but my Mom would encourage us to play hooky for a day or two each year. She’d take us into Minneapolis for a culture day. I always wanted to go to the Walker Art Center where I was this happy kid looking at work ranging from Franz Marc to Isamu Noguchi to Lee Bontecou. I couldn’t get enough!
I tried “practical” majors but ended up going with my passion, receiving a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and attending graduate school at San Francisco Art Institute. I moved to Arizona shortly after that. I’ve had a demanding day job, a family, and chronic illness, but I’ve never stopped being an artist. It gives meaning to life, and is something I’ll always have.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My work is about water. I’ve lived in the Sonoran Desert, San Francisco, and Minnesota. In each of those places, water is important for different reasons. In the past, my work has been geared toward an emotional response. But I’m an environmentalist who is getting more concerned about climate change, and water, our life source. It’s predicted that water rationing may begin in Arizona as soon as 2020.
I’m working on two series right now, confluences and ghost nets. A confluence is where two bodies of water meet. The confluence series are wall installations of specific river confluences in Minnesota and Arizona. Rivers in Arizona are now mostly dry. New developments threaten the remaining running rivers. My installations are hundreds of tiny squares that climb across walls forming confluences.
Ghost nets are abandoned fishing nets. Ghost gear accounts for 30% of debris in our oceans and in the Great Lakes. Ghost nets cause unintended deaths of marine life: fish, seabirds, turtles, and thousands of mammals including seals, dolphins, and whales. (Source: 2015 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program report) The ghost net series are acrylic and graphite on canvas. There is always an aesthetic goal; I want the work to look good. But I hope people become more aware and informed on issues concerning water.
How can artists connect with other artists?
Place significant effort into building your tribe/s. Put a spin on JFK: “Ask not what your art community can do for you ―ask what you can do for your art community.” I have fabulous art school friends/mentors from Minneapolis and San Francisco. I’ve spent time in printmaking and mural communities. I was a member of Dinnerware artists cooperative in Tucson. Those early experiences were critical in understanding the idea of working cooperatively. One of the joys of being an artist is the opportunity to be part of a community. That isn’t something readily found in other professions. There are many ways to help artists and your community. Join, volunteer, speak up for the arts, learn, educate, share opportunities, attend art openings, buy art, promote other artists on social media … Make it happen.
I have long friendships with artists in both Phoenix and Tucson. Those relationships go back to the early 90s, when I was a gallery artist at Paulina Miller Gallery, which used to be near Roosevelt Row. More recently I’ve started a women’s accountability group in Tucson. It has developed into a small group that I love. It’s work, but if you give, opportunities and support will be returned tenfold.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Please take a day trip to Oracle on January 6th 2019! I have a solo show opening at Rancho Linda Vista Gallery. Oracle is a small art town, located southeast of Phoenix. Rancho Linda Vista is an historic cattle ranch founded in 1910, later converted to a dude ranch, and then an artist live / work community. Andy Warhol, Rita Hayworth, and Gary Cooper have stayed there to make films. There are several venues to see art in Oracle, and a sculpture walk takes visitors through rolling foothills. You can also zip line, enjoy pie at the Patio Café, and stay in an historic ranch cottage at Triangle L. It’s an authentic Arizona experience.
I’ll participate in group exhibits around Phoenix and Tucson as the 2018-2019 season unfolds. Check my website for updates, or follow me on social media. I’m active in Phoenix arts, but I live and work in Tucson. If you’re ever in town, contact me for a studio visit!
- Website: www.AnnTracyArt.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/anntracyart
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/anntracy
- Twitter: twitter.com/anntracyart
- Other: phoenixurbanguide.com/business/ann-tracy
Ann Tracy and Graham Wilson