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I am so excited to welcome Margaret Roleke to Gypsy Mind. She’s a brilliant artist whose pieces, many of them politically focused, include works on paper, photography, sculpture, and wall installations.

I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret for the first time two years ago near her home base in Redding, Conn., because, she is also (drum roll please) the tall guy’s aunt!

Trust me, she’s every bit as cool in person. When she found out my camera had taken a dive on our visit, she spent time photographing me and the little guy on the beach and sent us some beautiful prints for Christmas. (If you don’t have an artist in the family, you should really get one.)

Lucky for us, Margaret was happy to share some more about herself, her art, and her thoughts on the creative process. Thanks, Margaret!
xoxo, Shannon

clip3Tinkerbell at War

Did you study art formally?
I studied art for 2 years at University of Dayton then transferred to Marymount Manhattan College where I got my b.a. I took classes at School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League both in NYC. I then got my M.F.A. at Long Island University C .W. Post campus in Brookville, N.Y.

Have you always loved making things? What do you love about it?
Yes , I have always loved making things. As a child I was always making candles, concoctions and stuff. I started taking drawing lessons and going regularly to museums and galleries when I was 12. I love making art because there are no rules and you never know what you will discover.

How did you embark upon a career in art?
When I  completed my masters I tried to keep making art and tried to find opportunities to exhibit. I worked as a teacher, window display person, and curator but just kept working and taking whatever opportunities arose. There is not a straight path to success as an artist.

clip2 Do Not Enter, Black Gun

How would you describe your aesthetic? 
That’s hard.. Maybe minimal multitudes. I would describe my work as political abstraction.

You use a variety of media in your work. Do you have a favorite?
Army men and stickers

A lot of your art has a level of social/political consciousness. How do you choose the subjects of your work?
There is so much war, violence, and craziness in the world that I think I just take in the news and regurgitate in my work in a very natural free flowing manner.

clip4Stop, Blue Men

Name three things that inspire you…
Nature, my children, my friends

What are your hobbies and interests outside of your work?
I love to travel to other countries. I just got back from Chile. I also like to exercise, take long bike rides and hikes.

Ok, you’re stranded on a desert island. Which five things can’t you live without?
Does it have to be things? I can’t live without my friends and my children. I don’t need things.

Check out more of Margaret’s work on her web site.