Carol Shutt

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Carol Shutt

I am a mixed-media artist and writer living and working on Mount Desert Island. I believe my art practice has been influenced by my many years of observations and experiences in Maine. I grew up in a family of artists in California and came to Maine in the late 1970’s, after earning a degree in Fine Arts from Syracuse University in New York. My art and ideas have also continued to grow through the travels and retreats I’ve taken to other countries, made possible by Astor Grants I received as the elementary school art teacher in Northeast Harbor, Maine. For the almost 30 years I was there, my life was full of revelation and the children I taught inspired me daily. From my young students I’ve learned that art is exploration and discovery, and the best part of being an artist is the process itself. As the painter Mark Rothko (also a K-8 art teacher for 20 years before he began painting his color field abstractions) said, “A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.”

Now retired, I have a full-time studio practice that includes painting, drawing, making collages, creating and altering books and writing poetry(using the Exquisite Corpse process developed in the last century by Surrealist artists and writers in Paris.) More recently, I’ve been working in my husband Rocky Mann’s pottery studio making small forms with the blue marine clay I dig along the shore and tidal rivers near my home. This clay fires earthen-red and provides me with an exciting new surface to paint and create imagery on. I am an artist of ideas and am always most excited when I get to explore new concepts and materials. I believe this is partly my inherent artistic temperament, but is also the result of the years I spent teaching inquisitive young children. As Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”