The Art of Mardi McGregor, March 16, at Back Room Gallery
ST. JOHNSBURY – The art of Mardi McGregor will be shown beginning March 16 at the Back Road Gallery. Follow McGregor’s journey, visually hearing the music and dances of her heritage and travels around the world in her paintings and collages. It all began in the footsteps of her grandmother Rose, a dancing gypsy queen and her Nordic grandfather, shipwrecked in Italy, whose Teutonic name translates as “Famous Wolf Dances.”
Mardi McGregor is a self-taught artist who has exhibited her collages and paintings in art fairs, retail stores, and group and solo shows in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Guanajuato, Mexico.
She holds an undergraduate degree in Art History from the University of New Hampshire, and a graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University. She is a native of Hanover, N.H.
Mardi moved from Hanover to Piermont, N.H., in 1985 and participated in its Community Art Show from 1991 to 1999. She was employed at Dartmouth College during these years, first in the Art History Department, and then in the Environmental Studies Program. Her painting, “Perils of Carbon” hangs in the Hornig Library at Dartmouth.
After graduating from Antioch in 1996, she worked in the community mental health field, taught psychology courses at the Community College of Vermont, and continued to make collages and paintings. In January 2000, her collages appeared on the cover and in the body of a PBS series companion book on microbes, “Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth.”
In 2006, McGrego and her husband Don moved to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. During the eight years of their residency, they renovated two houses and engaged in art-related activities of that community. In 2014 they returned to the States and opened a small bed and breakfast-gallery in St. Johnsbury. Since then, her work has been exhibited at the Artisan’s Guild, the Piermont Library, and Bert Dodson Gallery in Bradford.
Collage was Mardi’s first medium to work in. It was economical: just some cardboard, magazine pictures, and glue. She chose images that when combined, became constructs that didn’t exist in real time and space. Like totems, or the images in dreams, they appeared as visual haikus from the personal and collective consciousness.
Simple in structure, they invited the viewer to look more deeply into the meaning of their own personal images.
During the late 1980’s, wanting to try a new medium, Mardi turned to acrylics. She painted a few landscapes and still lifes from her travels, but preferred to paint those dreamscapes from her previous and current collages. This exhibit at the Artisans Guild is the first solo show of her paintings.
The Back Room Gallery at the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild is located at 430 Railroad Street.