The Cummer Museum's Concourse Art Shop welcomes Florida's renowned visionary artist, Mary L. Proctor. Like the folk artists in American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection, "Missionary Mary" uses powerful visual narrative to tell her unfolding life story. With themes of faith, love, struggle, and tragedy, her art is inspired by bible scripture and by memories of her grandmother or her childhood. Most include written messages of spiritual truths or life lessons.
In 1995, while grieving for her grandmother, aunt, and uncle, who were killed in a house fire, Proctor had a vision in which a sweet voice directed her to "paint the door." Since that time, she has painted compulsively. Upon the surfaces she paints, she also adds found objects or broken pieces of glass, mirror, or plates. To her, reassembling the broken pieces represents the process of mending. She sees herself as a missionary and the people who purchase her work as the deliverers.
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