B. Michele Maynard
When you can make art on your own terms, it’s like trying to remember a dream when you’ve just woken up. You have to enter a state between reality and dream and attempt to maintain it so it can be mined—with marks and color and imagery—and it’s really slippery and impossible to nail down. And that is what keeps you trying. It’s intuitive rather than rational.
My work often celebrates and honors the beauty of the natural world, another place, which like our dreams,provides a portal to a contemplative level of consciousness.
Michele Maynard was born to a pair of Southerners who moved her to Honolulu when she was nine. Her love of color, pattern and the outdoors took root while growing up there.
Back on the Mainland in time for college, Michele earned a BFA from Georgia State University and worked as a white water canoe instructor for the outdoor program at the school. She obtained an MFA from University of Michigan in 1980 and applied for one thing upon graduation-- a year residency at Oregon School of Arts and Crafts in Portland. She got it and stayed on as faculty for a few years in the Fiber arts department. With a good run career wise in Oregon, work purchased for public and private collections, commissions public and private, and acceptance into state art museum biennials, she decided to leave town. Not before casually executing a few designs for a friend’s t shirt company, Fabric Art, Inc The business really took off and Michele was one of the principal designers for ten years, long distance from the East Coast.
In 1989, while teaching at the Penland School, Michele met her husband and, consequently, moved to Chapel Hill. The birth of three boys in five years took a little wind out of her sails. She still managed to show now and then, and also continued to do design work such as illustrations for Whole Foods Markets private label products( now defunct) , a campaign for World Wildlife Fund Canada and a short gig with Vietri, Inc. With her children grown, she is back in the studio for longer stretches of time, where she concentrates in painting and textile collage.