Marian Baker is a contemporary folk artist living in Alabama whose work is widely beloved for the charming scenes & characters pulled straight from her fantastical storybook imagination. Marian's creativity was encouraged by her mother at an early age, and she started out creating portraits from family photos, eventually developing the signature style showcased throughout this exhibition. Marian's artistic appreciation for simple yet vibrant scenes allows for the harmonious coexistence of calm energy which typifies her work with popping bold colors, joyful humor, and a whimsical sense of mystery. Several of her pieces feature numbers, an ode to the artists fascination with lucky numbers. Marian's lucky number is 11, which was regularly featured in her early paintings.
"Each piece of art has a story behind it. If there's no story, there's no painting."
Marian’s pieces rely on exactly 9 steps from start to finish. First, wooden boards are cut & sanded, then vintage papers are adhered to the board. More papers are added to provide depth to her finished pieces. Once this is complete, she layers her pieces with a brown wash, followed by a gesso wash. Next up, Marian paints her scenes on the prepared canvas with acrylic paint and outlines the final design with pencil & charcoal. Finished pieces are set for 10 hours to allow the charcoal to cure, and as a final step Marian wax paints each piece. 60% of her pieces are made from recycled materials, some of which pre-date the 1970s. Besides drawing inspiration from family life and personal stories, Marian finds many of her ideas in the stories & materials she collects while on the road. Her frames are often old screen-printing frames which she salvaged from a burned down warehouse. Collecting and incorporating these vintage elements adds the value of timelessness to her work which is integral to what Marian seeks to express in her art.
Over the years, Marian Baker's artwork has become increasingly recognizable, and has been featured on several movies and tv programs. At least twenty-five pieces of Marian’s art are on display at the LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. Marian is a long-time Kentuck Festival of the Arts artist, and you can find some of her available pieces in Kentuck’s Gallery Shop!
It's Story Telling Time by Marian Baker is on view at Kentuck's Gallery at Hotel Indigo in Downtown Tuscaloosa until November 2, 2021. A closing reception for Marian's exhibition will be held on October 28, 2021 from 6-7:30 PM. We encourage you to stop by and experience her work in-person!