Interview with the Artist: Cynthia Harper
Ever since she was a little girl, artist Cynthia Harper knew she was different. Growing up on a dairy farm near Lake Michigan, she spent her days in a tiny farmhouse workshop, making things with her hands. “By age four or five, I just knew I was made to make things,” she said. “and I fell in love with clay most of all.”
Before pursuing a career in clay at the age of 40, she spent her life in other artistic pursuits: she became an illustrator and graphic artist, then a fabric clothing artist, embodying that true Renaissance Woman.
“At about the age of 40, I made a conscious decision to step away from clothing and really pursue clay. I bought a used kiln, and the rest is history.”
Completely self-taught, Cynthia looked at magazines and clay catalogs for hundreds of hours until she had mastered her craft.
“I like the clay medium because it is ancient and it is from the Earth. There is just no way I could ever exhaust the medium in my life.”
Cynthia says she stays inspired by everything around her. She is particularly inspired by nature, her four rescue dogs, and great works of literature, particularly Walt Whitman. ” I just like to see a thing and make it happen. I can be inspired by anything, characters, galleries, fashion shows, everything is art.”
A vital part of the Sarasota art’s scene, Cynthia met Alan and Stan at the Sun Circle Art Festival in the Sapphire Shores neighborhood. “They came and bought a piece and next thing you know I was at their showroom, and their aesthetic is fantastic! It’s such an exciting and contemporary space.”
These days Cynthia can be found running an artist’s cooperative in Nakomis.
“I am the president of Nokomis Artists Cooperative, a recently formed group of artists exhibiting at and running a place called “Ruby’s Cottage Gallery” on 106 East Pocono Trail. Our goal is to develop a creative oasis that focuses primarily on the artists living and working in Nokomis and the surrounding area.
Cynthia will soon be collaborating in building an interesting art and antique sale/show, that will include vintage/ coastal and re-purposed furniture as well as fine craft. The opening show is scheduled for July.