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Artist’s work reflects mother and child connection

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From sacred portraits of the Virgin Mary to timeless artworks such as Whistler’s Mother, the maternal figure is a favorite subject for many talented visual artists–including some that are moms themselves!

This Mother’s Day, Hernando residents can enjoy a collection of maternally-themed artwork at the Rusted Jade Art Collective, located at 1142 W. Jefferson St., in Brooksville. This collection is all the work of a Spring Hill artist who knows a thing or two about her subject.

“Treat the mom in your life with something unique, thoughtful and one of a kind, this Mother’s Day!” read a Rusted Jade notice. “Nancy Barry has some beautiful original artwork that showcases the role of mothers in the shop. Come check out her work, the other handmade art/jewelry pieces and our current gallery rotation!”

A devoted mom herself, Barry counts motherhood among her favorite artistic inspirations. The centerpiece image of her Rusted Jade mixed media collection, in fact, depicts the topic in sacred and spiritual terms.”I love working with mixed media so I drew the image and then played with inks, pens and markers,” she said. “I think as a mom I look towards symbolism that represents motherhood in our history as humans.”

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This particular theme, in Barry’s view, plays an important role in art history as well. “It’s amazing to me that the sacrifice, and the unconditional love, even learning more about yourself,” she said, “seems present to famous works of historical art.”

Barry also expresses her admiration of Max Grey, owner/photographer of the Rusted Jade. “Max is an amazing mom and her photography and work in the community and all she does for her family is why she wanted to represent all the mothers out there,” she said.

Max Grey is proud to showcase the work of Nancy Barry at the Rusted Jade Art Collective. “Nancy’s art is very relatable to a lot of people,” said Grey. “And, of course, there’s nothing more relatable than motherhood. The connection between mother and child has provided the most impactful details of her work.”

It is these details, along with her creative use of various media (ranging from watercolors and acrylics to pen and ink) and natural materials, that distinguish Barry’s art in Grey’s mind.

“She is a mother,” said Grey. “And the more you look at her work, which sometimes also includes written poetry, the more you see these precious details.” Grey also feels that a trip to an art gallery makes the ultimate Mother’s Day activity for moms and families.

“An art gallery can be a fun place to tour and choose a gift for Mom on Mother’s Day,” she said. Especially when the subject of this art just happens to be Mom herself.

“We would not be here if it wasn’t for our moms, and all the women that came before them,” said Nancy Barry. “Mothers are a tribe where we all understand just how hard, yet how incredible it is to witness our children grow.”

Artwork provided.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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