Turning history into art at Kramer

May 31, 2018
For her mixed media work “Lula’s Horses,” Alice Hobbs Parsons glued a Photoshop reproduction of a 1921 photo of her grandmother, Lula Hawkins, to the inside bottom of a silver chest Hawkins bought in 1934. The little hinges remain; the larger metal pieces are horse bits.

Belfast — “Family,” a mixed media exhibit by Alice Hobbs Parsons, is on view for the month of June in the Kramer Gallery of the Belfast Free Library, 106 High St. The gallery is located on the ground floor of the library and is open during library hours.

In this exhibit, Parsons honors her family by focusing on their lives in rural Kentucky from the mid-19th through the 20th century; and by acknowledging their influence on her art. There were no boys in her family, and Parsons liked helping her grandfather and stepfather with repairs and outdoor chores, “thus my admiration for tools and metal.” Her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother wove carpets, quilted, sewed, crocheted and embroidered and, as a result, so does she.

“All of them taught me to be creative by using items for unintended purposes. For this show, I have combined photographs, stories, broken furniture, tools, metal and fiber, sometimes instilling seemingly mundane items with beauty," she said.

Parsons' untraditional college education began at age 26 and ended at age 44, with an Associate in Arts degree from the University of Maryland, all while she worked full time as a secretary/administrative assistant for 32 years. She augmented her art education with extensive travel in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe, experiencing firsthand numerous art museums and historical sites. She and her husband Jerry retired in 1995 and moved to Maine.

In her younger years, Parsons hiked the Grand Canyon; walked through Stonehenge (allowed in 1970), the Coliseum and the Acropolis; and climbed several pyramids in Mexico. Now she enjoys Maine's natural beauty, art galleries and museums; and, when not creating art, flower gardening, baking and socializing with friends.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.