Snapshot: Wooden Adornments

Written by on March 25, 2011

By Brandy Kayzakian-Rowe


I was born in the low country of South Carolina in 1979 where I spent much of my youth moving from location to location throughout the country. I have been shy and introverted my whole life and have always expressed myself through my artwork. Before I was a painter I worked in fabrics, photography, clay and pencils. In school I learned to cast silver and weld with which I soon became obsessed.
I graduated school with a degree in art education and quickly moved to Memphis, TN where I began work as an arts education outreach teacher for under funded schools with the Dixon Gallery. I drove a painted van all over Memphis and Northern Mississippi teaching art to elementary students, a different school every day. By the end of 6 months I had taught well over 27,000 students but every child truly taught me how to see the world… how to love it.
One of the last classes I taught was in Clarksdale, Mississippi. After my classes were over, a parent took me on a tour of the little town time seemed to have forgotten. I saw the Delta Blues clubs, ate at the delta tamale and catfish restaurants and heard all the stories of bluesmen traveling through the crossroads. I was mesmerized. I left my job and became a full-time photographer. I drove all over Memphis and Northern Mississippi attending shows and lurking in juke joints. You can see my Delta Blues project on my website, , it spent 18 months on exhibit at The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS!

But after a year of photographing the Delta my husband and I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I lost my Delta inspiration and didn’t create anything for months. Then I got the idea to paint my memories from my Deep South home and started painting for the first time. That was about a year and a half ago, I hope that my work continues to evolve and explore the deeply rooted stories of life and culture. I hope my work evokes love and compassion in all who view it.

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