Fayetteville High School has seen it’s share of important artists, stretching back to Sarah Caldwell (first lady of American Opera) and Jason Moore (director of Avenue Q). Soon to be among their ranks is local artist Maggie Ivy. I’ve been lucky to have grown up with Maggie somewhat; we both graduated in the class of 2007 and lived in Italy together. And whenever I’ve run into her, I’ve had the joy of watching her art grow progressively better.
Born in Little Rock, Ivy has spent most of her life in Fayetteville. When she was just 18 months old, she suffered a language block. For the next 12 years of her life, communicating with others was a difficult chore. In order to communicate more effectively, she turned to art. Eventually, as she honed her talent, she began to discover that art was not only a way to communicate with others, but a way to express her internal feelings in a way that language could not.
Upon graduation from FHS, she picked up and moved to Florence, Italy, where she attended the Florence Academy of Art. At age 18 she was the youngest person ever accepted to the academy. Her next youngest classmate was 22. Speaking no Italian, she worked 12 and 13 hour days, perfecting her craft down to the millimeter. After two years in Italy, Ivy has returned to Fayetteville for a relaxed summer.
She is now a visiting artist at the Fayetteville Underground (the youngest artist there, as well), where she spends most days painting in studio 13. September will find her once again moving, this time to attend the Florence Academy of Art’s sister school in Gothenburg, Sweden (where she will focus on painting). Before that happens, though, she will be the featured artist in the “So Close to Farewell” exhibition at Fayetteville Underground, with a reception on August 6th.
With all of the places that her art has taken her, I have no doubt that she will one day be someone to make Fayetteville proud. That stated, she is looking for people to sit for portraits for her show—imagine being in a famous artist’s early work. Now is your chance. Contact information and a gallery of her work can be found at her website, maggieivy.com.