Mary Ann Browning Ford often tells her art students, “Don’t just look at the world around you — really see it.” She encourages her students to notice even the smallest details — the depth of color, the bright white highlight hitting the leaves, the textures of a concrete wall or the spectrum of colors in a sandy beach.
Ford is using this same theme for her featured artist exhibit in April at The Society of Bluffton Artists’ (SOBA) gallery in Old Town Bluffton. An opening reception will take place from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 17 at the gallery, with the exhibit running from April 6-May 2. These events are free and open the public.
“I decided to paint ordinary things that we often take for granted that are lying around or that we use every day,” Ford said of her upcoming show, titled, “Ordinary Things Can Be Beautiful in the Eye of the Beholder.”
“ … These paintings are my take on what I see almost every day — giving the viewer a different perspective of the ordinary.”
Ford is an award-winning artist, who received “Best In Show” at SOBA’s 25th Annual Judged Show last year. While growing up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio she attended children’s art classes at The Cleveland Museum of Art and years later, the Cleveland Institute of Art and Western Reserve University.
After divorce in 1970, she raised her three children while building a career in the advertising world — including J. Walter Thompson in Washington, DC and Bank of America in San Francisco. She was able to pick up her paint brushes in 1992 and started a new career as a muralist – painting for her clients throughout California, Seattle, Dallas, Charleston, Hilton Head and and even Argentina.
Ford is a member of the National Association of Women Artists, a board member of SOBA and Hilton Head Island Land Trust. Additionally, she’s scenic artist and designer University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Center for the Arts. She also reaches art to seniors at TidePointe and Bayshore assisted senior living communities on Hilton Head Island.