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April Moore: Inside the Artist’s Studio

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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.

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Call for Entries Open for 2018 Art of Peace Tyler Visual Art Exhibit

Entries are now being accepted for the “Sowing Seeds of Peace” Visual Art Exhibit as part of the Art of Peace – Tyler celebration, a citywide commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21st.

“Art of Peace – Tyler is happy to once again to partner with the Tyler Museum of Art to invite regional artists to offer their creative responses to the idea of peace and to our 2018 theme, ‘Sowing Seeds of Peace’,” said Anne McCrady, co-founder and co-director of the peace event.

The visual art show will be presented as a juried exhibit in the museum’s education classroom September 16th-23rd, at the Tyler Museum of Art, 1300 S. Mahon Ave, on the Tyler Junior College main campus. The exhibit will be open to the public and admission is free.

The jury for selection will consist of members of the Art of Peace – Tyler committee and TMA representatives. The jury has the option to select up to two works per artist for inclusion in the show. Past exhibits have included the work of artists from Austin, Dallas, Lubbock and the East Texas area.

“We are privileged that the Art of Peace – Tyler committee once again has asked us to be the host venue for this exhibition,” TMA Executive Director Chris Leahy said. “The work we have seen over the past four years of our partnership has grown increasingly more dynamic and accomplished, and we are proud to have the opportunity to participate in such a great community event.”  

For more information about Art of Peace – Tyler events, visit tylerpeace.com. For questions about the art exhibition, e-mail artofpeaceart@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 23rd, there will be an Artist reception at 3pm.

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“David Bates: Selected Works from Texas Collections” on Exhibit

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This Month at Tyler Museum of Art:

The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. The Museum is supported by its members, Tyler Junior College, and the City of Tyler. For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001, tylermuseum.org, or email info@tylermuseum.org.

David Bates, one of the most acclaimed artists in Dallas, is the focus of Tyler Museum of Art’s summer exhibition, “David Bates: Selected Works from Texas Collections” on view through September 9th.

Curated by the museum’s Caleb Bell, the exhibition features close to 30 works surveying the prolific career of Bates, one of the most versatile and widely collected contemporary Texas artists. Spanning art from 1982 to 2016, works in the show highlight several of Bates’ most celebrated series and include a wide array of media: oil painting, lithographs, woodcuts, screenprints and bronze sculpture. The show was assembled from art in public and private collections throughout the state, including the museum’s own permanent collection. Bates’ work is widely exhibited and included in several museum and corporate art collections.

Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors. Museum members, students, TJC faculty/staff and city of Tyler employees are admitted free. Support for exhibit is provided by The Byars Foundation.

Family Days

Free admission, interactive art projects, light snacks and a festive atmosphere for all ages are on the menu from 2-4pm the second Saturday of each month with the Tyler Museum of Art’s Family Day. This popular program focuses on fostering a deeper understanding of the Museum’s spotlight exhibitions – and, above all, having fun! To RSVP for groups of 10 or more, please call (903)595-1001 or e-mail info@tylermuseum.org.

First Friday

The first Friday of each month, the TMA offers a full day of free admission plus guided tours of its spotlight exhibitions at 11am. From contemporary Texas art to Hudson River School to Andy Warhol, each tour is unique.

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Art Events Warming Up For Summer

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Events & Classes

Every Wednesday (6-8pm) and Sunday (1-3pm) – Acrylic Painting Classes will be held at Michael’s, 5839 S. Broadway, Tyler. Cost is $15. Topics include landscapes, life, and floral. To RSVP go to michaels.com and select the Tyler location. This class features master classic painting techniques while completing an image selected by the Instructor. Supplies are not included.

First Saturday of every Month (10am-2pm) – Eastside Fiber ARTist Meeting – The monthly meeting will be held at the Tyler Public Library, 301 S. College Ave, Downtown Tyler on July 7th. Please join the monthly meetings and participate in a variety of fiber arts from quilting, weaving, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, and mixed media and tons more. Guests and visitors are always welcomed. For more info go to facebook.com/Eastside.Fiber.ARTists. It is free to attend.

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