Wrap it up, I’ll take it.
By Derrick White
“Art is everything to me. It is how I live, pay my bills, and how I learn. It is how I teach my children and anyone wanting to learn from me. It is how I sort my thoughts. It is how I meditate. It is how I stay sane. I believe we are made in the image of God. If so, we are all creators of our own worlds. I love to create, and I love to learn, so I can expand my world,” declares local artist April Moore.
Moore started out studying architecture at Texas A&M. She loved the design classes but not the technical part. So she moved on and spent a semester at home at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler. She graduated with a BFA in Visual Communications from UT Austin.
Moore spent the next ten years freelancing in Houston and Tyler, working for all kinds of businesses. She started working for Brookshire’s Grocery Company in 2001 as a graphic artist doing design work, including the ads you receive in your weekly mail, working with a food stylist to create the “Celebrate Cooking” magazine, and her first vehicle wraps. During a short stint in Louisiana, she set up her design shop called ‘April Moore Design Store’ to continue freelancing. Moore then came back and began working for the University of Texas at Tyler as a graphic artist for the Marketing and Communications Department.
Moore recently participated in Beauty and the Box, a beautification project hosted by the City of Tyler to turn the utility boxes around town into local works of art. The Beauty and the Box project challenged local artists to create pieces of art to be wrapped around utility boxes.
Moore is the creator of the artwork that led to the recent utility box art wrap hullabaloo. A resident wanted it moved out of view of their home and into a more public space instead of residential areas. However, others showed up in droves in support of the artist and the image.
“I was honored to get to do a box, and then when I heard it was immediately being removed, I was heartbroken,” she states. “For my ‘Hide & Seek’ utility box art, Bobby Conley, owner of The Tyler Wrap Company gave me the opportunity to draw the box they were sponsoring for the City of Tyler’s Beauty and the Box Project. I was floored by the support for my art to stay where it had been placed. It was so cool to see the community stand up for art in our city, where it is so lacking at times.”
“It is exciting to see the city make an effort to put some art on our streets. Art gives folks a place to gather and creates community,” states the artist. “My piece is called ‘Hide & Seek’ because it is a celebration of joy and play. I made the kids so colorful because I wanted to represent the fact that we are all colors – the way God created us. Also, I was creating street art, and I wanted the box to be wrapped in color like so many murals in large cities. Young children naturally play together. They don’t see race or color. So, I thought the theme worked well for this project,” she adds.
The art wrap was recently moved to a more public space at the corner of Hogg Elementary and The Children’s Park. “I am thrilled at its new location,” Moore said. “You couldn’t see the little girl before because of the one-way traffic where it was originally placed. She now faces Broadway so everyone can see her. I also hope I get to do more boxes because if I had my way, we would have little children of all colors playing all over the city,” Moore said.
Last year, Moore became the art director for UT Tyler. The artist declares, “I love my job because I touch so many different media, from the university viewbook and recruiting materials, to wall murals for athletics, to vehicle wraps. I get to work with an incredible team supporting me, at what I believe is a beautiful campus.”
Moore continues to freelance through April Moore Design Store, designing brand materials as well as car and boat wraps for The Tyler Wrap Company. “I love that I get to see my work driving down the road. Wraps have a much longer shelf life. I hate knowing that sometimes my hard work on a newspaper ad ends up in the trash,” laughs Moore.
This artist designs using Apple products. “I have always used a Mac. UTT sent me to a design conference opening the world of touch screen technology to me. I treated myself to an iPad Pro, and now I am drawing on it all the time. I can draw something and it could end up as big as the side of a building. I can paint on it, too. I am able to turn my iPencil into any kind of pen or brush tool I desire. I am also trying to learn the art of lettering on it,” informs Moore. She adds, “Our school is growing faster than we can keep up with, and we are figuring out who we need to be to best serve all of East Texas. It is an exciting time to be a part of the community here at UT Tyler.”
Like many artists, Moore grew up loving to create. She currently knits and crochets. Her grandmother and parents encouraged her by giving lessons and providing supplies for her crafting, drawing, and painting ideas. “I grew up oil painting with my teachers Daphna Lilienstern, Penny Sanders, and Ann Andrews,” remembers the artist.
Moore is inspired and influenced by impressionist and post-impressionist artists such as Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Georges-Pierre Seurat, and Henri Matisse. She also responds to the contemporary work of artists like Janet Echelman and her giant, floating, fiber sculptures. Moore explains, “I think I like all the backstories almost more than the pieces themselves, learning about the why and the how. Everyone has a story, and I love stories.”
This local talent shows no signs of slowing down. She brings an enthusiasm to all she does. “When a graphic designer creates a logo for your business, they are giving your business a branding identity so people can find you and recognize what you do, so you can make money. This value is going to bring back your investment tenfold. Pay your graphic designer what they are worth,” recommends Moore.
For more info follow April Moore on Facebook and Instagram.
Call for submittals for the “Elephant in the Room” exhibit
Artists are invited to submit their work for the jurying phase of Gallery Main Street’s “Elephant in the Room” fine art exhibit. The deadline for entry is midnight on Sunday, Feb. 25.
“The Gallery Committee wanted to offer a theme that sparked some free thinking and a little risk,” said Amber Rojas of the City of Tyler Main Street Department. “The theme ‘Elephant in the Room’ allows artists to let their creativity run free and interpret the theme in their own style.”
Artists should visit www.DowntownTylerArts.com and click on “Gallery Exhibits” and then “Gallery Exhibit Information for Artists” in the left-hand column of the page. That link will lead artists to a page that provides all of the information they need, as well as links to the actual entry service site.
The description for “Elephant in the Room” offers the following: “Be inspired to create artwork that defines a very large issue that everyone is acutely aware of, but nobody wants to talk about. Perhaps a sore spot, perhaps politically incorrect, or perhaps a political hot potato, it’s something that no one wants to touch with a ten foot pole.”
Gallery Main Street is a project of the City of Tyler Main Street Department in cooperation with the volunteers of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition. The Gallery opens a new juried exhibit approximately every eight weeks.
Information on Gallery Main Street hours and rules for entering the exhibit jury process can be found at www.DowntownTylerArts.com or by calling (903) 593-6905.
Feb. 14th: Heart Bombing Downtown Tyler
City of Tyler to Host Second Annual Heart Bombing in Downtown
What are Heart Bombs? They are love letters to historic places that appear at historic sites nationwide, on local landmarks, and around places both safe and threatened. Unfamiliar with the concept? It’s simple, really. Heart bombing is the act of showering an older or historic place with tangible expressions of affection and devotion. The Heart Bomb initiative is part of the “This Place Matters” program, through the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The community is invited to help advocate the revitalization of historic Downtown Tyler through the creations of paper hearts to place on the outside of the historic Downtown Cooperative Savings and Loan Building. The historic building is the future home of the Wilcox Lofts developed by Invest in Tyler. Free public creation stations will be available the week prior to the event. Those who are unable to attend the creation stations are encouraged to still design hearts and bring them to Gallery Main Street. The size and design of the hearts are only limited by your imagination.
The morning of February 14th, the outside of the building will be covered in all the hearts created over the week. A public open house from 11am-1pm. will be held at the future site of the Wilcox Lofts, allowing the public to get a glance of the inside. Invest in Tyler representatives will be present to share their vision for the property. After you had a chance to check out the building make sure you check out the pop-up green space where you can enjoy a celebration reception with light refreshment from Strada Caffé.
February 5th-9th (9am-6pm) – Free Creation Station – Gallery Main Street (110 W. Erwin St.)
February 8th (5-7pm) – Free Creation Station – Strada Caffé (302 E. Front St.)
February 10th (12noon-2pm) – Free Creation Station – ETX Brewing Co. (221 S. Broadway Ave.)
February 14th (11am-1pm) – Open House & Reception– Wilcox Lofts (230 S. Broadway Ave.)
“Shape and Form” on Exhibit at Gallery Main Street
Featuring Work by Jessica Sanders and Cierra McGuckie
An art show featuring two emerging local artists, Cierra McGuckie and Jessica Sanders, will open February 10th in Downtown Tyler and be on view until May 31st, at the Martin Walker Law Firm, 121 N. Spring St., Downtown Tyler. They will host the exhibit in its award-winning facility, which historically served as the Arcadia Theater but now serves as the law firm headquarters.
Pieces to be displayed at the show will include paintings by Cierra McGuckie and sculptures by Jessica Sanders. Cierra’s work comprises large-scale oil on canvas psychological portraits which depict fictional women from the mid century era. The paintings are reminiscent of the mood and color palette of that time. Cierra will be showing a new body of work within her series. Jessica’s sculptures and her practice are based on an assemblage of small handmade fired and glazed porcelain tiles using wire. The labor-intensive work generates fluid, fabric-like irregular shapes which are mounted on the wall creating abstract compositions.
The show is curated by Dace Lucia Kidd, who has recently produced second edition of the annual international juried Arcadia Art Show (AASH). The event has been sponsored and couldn’t be possible without the generous support of Martin Walker P.C.
For more info find it on Facebook or call (903)258-7274.