Rmay (aka) Mary Rivard
Tree, Bird & Crescent Moon Studio
treebirdrivard at yahoo.com
Website : www.mnartists.org
www.mnartists.org / Rmay Rivard
fb- Rmay Rivard
Tell me about your work?
Well, describing my work is like having six blind women describe an elephant.
Depending on the festival or show a spectator encounters me at, they could get
the impression that I am a mosaic artist or a doll maker or a ritual artist, of paper
shrines or kitchen shrines. Then there are others who have seen the Circle of Life
Grandma chairs and say, oh yes, Rmay, she’s the artist who created the installation
of those wonderful altar chairs.
What are you currently working on?
That’s a good question. I have a few irons in the fire. Lets see, I am working on the next phase for the installation which involves telling the stories of the women from my matriarchal lineage, that spans seven generations. So from present time with me, all the way back to around 1746. I chose seven generations because I remember reading that it is a belief of the Hopi that we can influence our predecessors as far back as seven generations by our actions and deeds and change the family story. When I was creating the chairs, I realized that I also had created a folkloric mythology surrounding each women by the imagery chosen for their altar. Story fodder!
How is this different from past projects?
This truly, is the most encompassing project I have involved myself with. I began my
1st chair in 2005 for my grandmother Stella. I had been invited to submit a project for
A Seat At The Table Show. Hosted by The Women’s Caucus for Art Minnesota Chapter. www.nationalwca.org Now, I have eight chairs. No, that’s not a typo, my great aunt Helen pestered me from the grave until the right chair was created into an altar for her.
Yes, there are stories to tell about this project, and each of the women. And more from each workshop I facilitate with the grouping of chairs.
Working on an installation is different from working a series of work. Each piece of a series can be sold separately or collectively as a body of work. This installation is a collective of work that should remain as a body of work not to be separated.
How did you become an artist?
Throughout my grade school career I was utilized by teachers to enlarge or draw or
copy something that they wanted for the class room wall. I could oblige them. So I
was challenged in a way that allowed me to problem solve beyond the box. The perk
was that I got out of the regular class room grind and got to do something fun. It was years later in my early 20’s that I was inspired to submit a portfolio to MCAD by someone who had seen some of the publicity work I had done for a local band and flyers for a bar. The rest is history. So to answer the question I never decided to be an artist I just was one. The mediums may change but creativity is the constant.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I guess it was to show my portfolio to MCAD, and quit farting around .
Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work? How
do you market yourself?
For me a lot of my sales come from word of mouth. Someone buys, lets say a doll.
they seem to get gifted out a lot. Then a friend of theirs sees it and decides to maybe get one for themselves and for a friend. I have consigned to many a gift store, shown in galleries, home studio, festivals, conferences and even the farmers market. Hung art in coffee shops, book stores and restaurants. Law of averages I guess.
How I market myself? Well I offer workshops at my studio. I facilitate workshops at specific conferences that attract the demographic group who buys my art. Some times it is prosperous and sometimes a bust, but it is what I do. If you are curious about what
I have been talking about remember you can check out my art on mnartists.org search Rmay. I tried Etsy, got more hearts than bucks.
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
I’m gonna limit myself here to my top three and each of them has a presence on www.mnartists.org.
Linda Crouch of Thirteenth Moon Studio.
Felicitas Maria Sokec of FMS Enterprises.
If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota which places would we go?
What would we see?
You have to keep in mind that summer art tours differ from winter. Being that this
is spring equinox with snow still on the ground I would start off the tour at my home
Studio / gallery. Since its nice out we would walk over to Lake Street to see my favorite
Mural of the Eagle and the Condor on the side of the building of the Americas. Then we’d hop the bus over to the Heart of the Beast Theater to check out the progress of
the art being made for the mayday parade. www.hobt.org maybe catch some lunch
at midtown market before heading to MIA. www.mia.org I enjoy the art in bloom show, but it’s a little early for that so we’d just have to visit the Buddha statues and see what’s
new. I like going without an agenda. Then if you had any energy left maybe catch a show at the Cedar Cultural Center. www.thecedar.org . That would be a fun day.
In addition to www.Local-Artists-Interviews.
I have to admit I usually check out the City Pages for art shows instead of on line.
Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Since you asked, as a matter of fact I will be part of the Tchotchke
Wonderland show sponsored by Altered Esthetics Gallery. The opening night is Friday April 4, 2014, from 7-10PM.
The location is
Peace Coffee at 3262 Minnehaha Avenue south , Minneapolis.
www.peacecoffeeshop.com I will be showing one of my cake pan shrines
titled Puberty Happens.
1) Puberty Happens
2) Daddy had a dark side.
3) New moon in May Prayer Doll
4) Honey Dew
5) Gran group - 3 generations
6) Gran group 5th and 6th generations