On Friday I received a phone call from an emerging artist who had questions about how to approach showing her work. I regularly receive inquiries such as this in my role as Community and Collaboration Manager at the Cultural Council. This call was somewhat unique for modern times, however, because the caller didn't have a website, social media presence, or an email address. In fact, she didn't even have a computer. Because of that, I scheduled an in-person meeting and asked that she bring some of her work with her.
The woman's name is Marcie Wallace. She began drawing in 2013. In her words, she started doing it because it made her feel better. Ms. Wallace sits down at her table every morning and faces a blank page. She looks at that page until God tells her what to draw. Once she receives divine inspiration she puts color pencil to paper and begins.
Ms. Wallace is an outsider artist. Her approach to exposure is as non-traditional as her artwork itself. Twice a week Ms. Wallace staples her drawings to her jacket and walks around downtown Jacksonville exhibiting her work. She said people often stop and ask her for pictures, but she has never once mentioned that her work was for sale.
I'm a big fan of outsider art. Ms. Wallace's work reminds me of Daniel Johnston and David Liebe Hart, especially because of her color palette and the biblical themes present in her work. I bought several pieces by Ms. Wallace, making me her first patron.
There is a market for outsider art in the world of contemporary art. I sent some pictures of Ms. Wallace's work to Aaron Garvey, an art professional from this region. Aaron forwarded the images to his contact at the Atlanta Contemporary, who responded in a manner that indicated he was intrigued by her work and interested in meeting with Ms. Wallace when he visits in January.
I told Ms. Wallace I would help her show her work. I provided her some insight on pricing her work based on the size, subject matter, mediums, and her current demand. My visit with Ms. Wallace made for an interesting Monday and I'm glad she reached out to me.