FINAL FRIDAY RECEPTIONS January 25 | 5 to 9PM February 22 | 5 to 9PM
Cedar Rapids-based artist Tara Moorman has long been known for her exquisite watercolor paintings. This exhibition displays a series, inspired by old photographs of Moorman’s relatives found at her mother’s home. While these paintings are of Moorman’s family, she believes some universal experiences — love, loss, and the keeping of secrets — are present in the work.
When my mother, Patty Nation Fisher, of Erie, Kansas passed away, I inherited a large cache of old family photos and was immediately struck with the idea of bringing my relatives “back to life.” At the time, it was a way for me to honor my mother and to keep the family memories alive. The photos became an invitation to merge my art with my love of family, history, and storytelling. I painted their spiritual light with an aura of rainbow colors, to create an etheric atmosphere, at the same time showcasing their period clothes, beautifully patterned dresses, boots, hats, and cars.
As I began to interpret these old family photographs into paintings, a dialogue of sorts began with my ancestors. Their stories are published in a book accompanying the show. My ancestors, including my great, great grandparents, Samson and Nancy Nation with their family, homesteaded in Doniphan County, Kansas, in 1860, arriving via covered wagon. His brother, David, my third great uncle, was married to the once infamous, Carry A. Nation.
My ancestors bring to mind Garrison Keillor’s phrase, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” Please enjoy getting to know my spunky, maternal grandmother, Anna Stubblefield Nation. Follow her life as a young girl living on the farm, through her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Charlie Nation, and her life as a widow. If you see your family in mine, please join me in honoring and reconnecting with those who came before.
Tara Fisher Moorman September 2018
(top) detail from My Nannie, Auntie and Her Dollies, Watercolor, 29 x 36”, 2014