As is the story for many, Maggie Rapp has a gift evident to her and others since she was very young. Often, the deciding factor lies in whether or not those with talent seek to keep their passion as a hobby or to follow it with full-force. Rapp, the gallery director for the Hoosier Salon New Harmony Gallery in New Harmony, Ind., chose the latter.
The Hoosier Salon began in 1925 with its first exhibition at Marshall Fields and Company Galleries in Chicago. The high quality art was applauded by critics and the public alike and featured notable Indiana artists T.C. Steele, J. Ottis Adams, and Will Vawter. In 1940 the annual exhibit moved from Chicago to Indianapolis. Now in its 88th year, the 2012 exhibit was held in mid-August at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center. The Hoosier Salon galleries in Broad Ripple, New Harmony, and Wabash, host over 30 special shows each year.
When did you first become interested in art?
I have loved drawing and painting since early childhood and have never had a time when I did not create art during my lifetime. Now that I am retired from teaching, I have more time to devote to my personal art.
What was the first piece that made you recognize your talent?
My mother always said that I could draw before I could walk, and the proof was on the walls. In school, even though we did not have an art department, my teachers always encouraged my art. In junior high, I won a prize at an art show at the New Harmony Working Men’s Institute. I think this is why I am so eager to pass on the love of art to young people, and I am pleased that we have a children’s art program at the Hoosier Salon.
What made you want to be involved with Hoosier Salon?
I was asked to become the director of the Hoosier Salon New Harmony Gallery in 2005. I enjoy working with my grandchildren and other children to teach them the joy of creativity. I am able to do this through the Hoosier Salon summer art programs. I love sharing my art with family, friends, and neighbors, and I appreciate the opportunity to encourage other artists in their careers. For this work, I was recognized with the 2011 Arts Advocate of the Year Award by the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana.
Who is your biggest influence in the art world?
I love the art of the old world masters, particularly the French Impressionists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet. Currently, I love and appreciate the work of Indiana artist C.W. Mundy.
How do you find inspiration?
I believe artistic ability is a God-given gift, and my inspiration comes from the beauty of the natural world.
What’s been the proudest moment in your career?
Two come to mind. One was when I was inducted into Signature Membership in the Indiana Watercolor Society, and the other was when two of my courthouse paintings were purchased for the permanent collection of the Indiana State Bar Association.
For more information visit Hoosier Salon New Harmony Gallery or call 812-682-3970.