Mary Ruth Maggard

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"Living outside the box"
The Kentucky Advocate
Sunday, January 16, 2005

 

Outsider Art
     Dislike of discarding leads artist to innovative form

by Scott Gowers

Local Danville artist Mary Ruth Maggard hasn't been an artist long -- since the middle of December, 2002 to be exact -- but her pieces are now moving like hotcakes.

"Tutu" is Maggard's nickname and the name that close friends and family use to refer to her.  She considers her art to be "outsider art," or folk art.  She began as many folk artists do, by using materials she found lying around her home.  The materials happened to be paint chips or paint samples.

Her distaste for discarding inspired her to create collages with strips cut from the paint samples.

"Well, I had all these paint chips, so I started putting them together in little pictures just to suit myself,"  says Maggard.

In the  process of creating pictures, Maggard then found herself entered into the world of folk art, where she could bring childish, fantastical places to life.  Those imaginative places are where pajamas grow from little stems in the pajama garden, where one can pick whichever pair is wanted.

Arranging the collages for a show was an inspiration that came from a friend.  The friend saw one of her pieces and told her, "It's good enough, people would pay money for that."

A week later, someone else inquired if her pieces were for sale.  At that time, the answer was "yes".

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The UK Center for Rural Health opened a Pediatric Section with a ribbon cutting on August 19, 2004.  In attendance was Kentucky Govenor Ernie Fletcher and University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr.  Featured in the lobby of the Pediatric Section is "One Trick Pony with Barnyard Friends", a work by artist Mary Ruth Maggard.

 

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