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Born to Create

I can't remember a time when I wasn't creating something. Some of my earliest memories are of times when I put pencil to paper or fingers to clay. In first grade, I remember that we learned writing using the lined tablets with dotted lines in between the solid to show where the top of the lower case letters should stop. I was very careful to make my letters neat and accurate, but I was so not careful about keeping the margins of my pages neat. I had drawings in all the margins. When I compared my tablets to the neat kids in the class I would think I should follow their examples of perfectly clean pages and margins and I would vow to keep clean margins like them. But after a day or two of trying to ween myself from my illustrations (I now realize thats what they were) I couldn't hold back any more. I just couldn't help embellishing my papers. I was born to create. My sister Eleanor would remind me of how I use to carve images in my mashed potatoes at dinner. From the very beginning, any blank surface or malleable component might become an art medium for me. My mamma realized this early and she would scrape together money from our meager budget to buy me modeling clay and then marvel at the things I could reproduce in clay - she would name it, I would make it. Funny that sculpture didn't become my primary medium, but I suppose my assemblages are close to satisfying the yen for the three dimensional in my work.


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Entering Memphis State University when I did was a was a unique experience. The University had been integrated, just 3 years earlier. Many of the restrictions that were instituted when the first group

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2016 Annette Fortt