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Give Peace A Chance: Sylvia Morse
By Derrick White
“Art brings me joy. It gives me purpose. Art is so good for the soul. My greatest creation is my son Michael. He is a multi-talented artist in his own right, as an actor, musician, painter, sculptor, writer, photographer, and more,” asserts Tyler’s mainstay Sylvia Morse. She adds, “I am considered a professional student; I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge sparking my creativity. I spent years in the art department at the University of Texas at Tyler and even more time at Tyler Junior College.” Morse has led art camps for kids ages 7 – 14 with the TJC Summer Camp program since 2012, taught art to grades kindergarten through sixth grade at Tyler Classical School, taught jewelry-making classes at TJC West Campus, and led various demos and workshops at area makers fairs and events. Sylvia states, “When I was a kid no one told me I could grow up and be an artist. I am always encouraging kids to always make art and to follow their dreams, as I feel I was cheated out of the opportunity as a kid. I would have been a much happier person if I had pursued the arts right out of high school.” She adds, “I’ve had the honor to judge elementary school and high school art. Wow! That’s a tough job and a lot of pressure. There is so much good art out there and I would not want to crush anyone’s dreams.”
You can find Sylvia Morse at local festivals, fairs, and other events like the Edom Arts Festival, Winnsboro Art and Wine Festival, and Piney Woods Art. She will have a booth at the Hinds Gallery (on Broadway just south of the square) on May 12th and 13th with the Palette of Roses Art League of Tyler. Sylvia’s jewelry business is called Smooch-A-Licious Jewelry Designs and one can find more information about her creations on Facebook and Instagram. She pitches, “You can find my work right now at the Tyler Bloom Art show in the upstairs gallery at the downtown Tyler branch of Southside Bank, at The Annex Learning Center and Gift Shop in the Winnsboro Center for the Arts, at Gold Leaf Gallery in Tyler, at the newly opened gallery and gift shop O³ in Edom, and at Innovation Pipeline.”
The artist reminisces, “I began creating as a child and have been creative my entire life. I started wire wrapping and making jewelry when I was 10 years old after the telephone man gave me a long piece of telephone wire. It was so big and heavy, and I had to drag it home, then cut it open to dissect the 100s of colored wires inside. When I was twelve, my best friend and I made hippie beads for a vendor at a flea market twenty miles away. We used to take three buses to get to the flea market. We would make enough money to go out to eat and to the movies. We were little businesspersons, it was fun. In high school, I spent most of my time in art classes.” When asked about the frustrations of living a creative life, Sylvia replies, “There are not enough hours in the day to have time to create everything I want to create. My brain is always exploding with ideas, and I lose sleep dreaming about designing and creating art while trying to sleep.” Morse gets inspirations from psychedelic, pop artist, Peter Max, and art history benchmarks like Picasso, Chagall, and Matisse. She explains, “I have always been drawn to works of art using bold, beautiful colors. I am also subconsciously inspired by John Lennon and find his essence showing up in my work.”
“My style changes often but I consider the style of my ceramic pieces to be rather industrial. I love to collaborate with other creatives to inspire each other. I delve into many mediums, ceramics, small metals, sculpture, papier-mâché, fiber arts, painting, mosaics, copper enameling, jewelry making and more. My focus now is on creating art and jewelry from vintage silverware. I also approach cooking as an art, and I love creating delicious and beautiful meals,” she states. Adding, “I am enamored with the works of several local artists and feel honored to call them friends.”
Sylvia illuminates “I try to turn every negative into a positive by finding the humor in everything no matter how much it hurts. In January of this year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As devastating as that may be, I have turned this negative situation into a positive way to help others through my strength and humor. You can follow my journey on Facebook. There are so many things they don’t tell you while you are going through this tribulation. Luckily for me, we caught it in the early stages. I made plaster casts of my breast, and I am having molds made so I can create multiple planters and wall hangings to be donated. I have several artist friends that feel compelled to collaborate and add their talents to my sculptures. The first of which will be donated to The Ross Breast Center in Tyler, the next will go to Texas Oncology in Tyler. Others will be sold to raise funds for breast cancer care packages to be given to patients facing mastectomy surgeries and treatment. I am looking for sponsors to help with making molds, purchasing supplies, paying for studio space, and more to create these pieces. Please reach out to me at SylviaMorseArtist@gmail.com with any questions or sponsorship details.” Adding, “I don’t feel this thing (cancer) has happened to me but rather for me, to give me the opportunity to help others through art.”