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14 July . 2010

Getting to Know The Artist: Volume II

Today we are pleased to be talking with Marcelle Harwell Pachnowski, a well traveled and highly acclaimed local artist. Marcelle shared with us her passion of painting in the interview below. You won't want to miss the latest installation of both Marcelle's and Tamera's work this Saturday at Briar Chapel.


Q: Tell us a bit about your artwork and where you draw your inspiration.

“Painting is my passion. The act of painting--the movement, the gesture, the process of selecting brushes, palette knives, paints and colors, and textured mediums. Music is essential part of the process--underlying and reinforcing an exuberant ritual.

All five senses are part of this painting / ritual process that has been the essence of my adult artistic life. Due to having lived in many different areas north, northeast, south and southeast, I am not identified by being from a specific region of the country or identified with a specified style of painting. This has at times been isolating, but it is essential to my creative process, and to my quest for recognition, validation and acceptance. My place as a woman artist, raised and educated in a male-dominated society, is also at the heart of my process. My paintings are a mirror of my life – heartache, grief, loss, pain, joy, love, bliss, lust, and excitement. This is who I am, a colorist in a digital age.”


 Q: In addition to The Chatham County Arts Council Gallery, where else might we find your work

I have exhibited on national and international levels and my work is in numerous collections which include the Malt Beach Art Center in Tampere, Finland, the College of Charleston, the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center in Brooklyn, NY, University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Department and many private collections. I have taught at the University of Maryland, Western Carolina University, Columbus College, Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Gibbes Museum School in Charleston, SC to name a few.

At the present time I have work in various venues in Chatham Arts satellite spaces. Most recently Legal Aid in Pittsboro, Chatham Arts Gallery in Pittsboro, and Coldwell Banker in Chapel Hill to name a few.


Q: If you could spend your day doing any one thing besides creating artwork, what would that be

I have a variety of interests and personal family commitments.


Q: To folks interested in “dipping their toe” into an art community and making a name for themselves, do you have any advice

Yes, get involved with you local art council and local arts organization. If you have a community arts center, take classes, get to know the arts community, go to openings, and join your community/county arts gallery and volunteer!!!


Q: As an artist, is there anything you would like to share with the general public in their pursuit to discover/find original, local works of art

Search…go to artists’ open studio tours, go to local galleries, go to openings. There are also numerous online websites for practically any genre of artwork imaginable.


 Q: Who is your favorite artist

 Abstract Expressionist – Mark Rothko


Q: When you are creating, do you prefer music or silence If music, what kind/favorite artists

Definitely music. My art is truly channeled through music. It depends on the day. Some days John Coltrane (jazz), others Rachmaninoff (classical), rock, salsa, New Age. It really depends on the day.


Q: When did you first see yourself as an artist

I was in High School


Q: Do you think kids today are more or less inhibited to express themselves in creative ways

No, obviously younger children are totally uninhibited, the teen years cause some inhibition, but no I think it depends on parents exposing their children to art, museums and artists.

Exposure, exposure exposure!!


Q: Regardless of age, how do you encourage people to embrace the inner artist

 Just do it!!


Thank you so much Marcelle, it was great learning more about you. We also invite folks to visit your website to read more about you and your beautiful creations. We invite you all to stop by our gallery installation and artwalk at Briar Chapel on July 17th – for additional information you can call 888-249-9429 or visit www.briarchapelnc.com/whats-happening/events/.

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