MY ART STORY by

Monica Currie

Boardman
Ohio

My name is Monica Currie. I started creating art in a very undeliberate manner. I was about 19 years old, a young single mom living in the Cleveland, Ohio. I started doodling, basically experimenting, not sure what art was or wasn't, never intending to create anything special or serious. My son, then in kindergarten, was in school. I woke up very bored and felt a strong sense to start painting, and felt the leading of God to go to the art store and continue this journey. I found a small grassroots art gallery, went in, and the gentleman there was very art knowledgeable.

I moved to the east side of Cleveland a few months later, an Artist-In-Residence Building with some very well-known Cleveland artists. Of course I was very young and naive in art and had no idea anything like this existed. An artist named Rafiq Washington pulled me out of shell, taught me what art is and why I needed to be myself in art, not a cheap replica. Out of the two-year stay, my son and I learned a lot about the process of art and how it is important not to compromise your gift for money or to fit in with a social group. There were numerous of opportunities for art shows, open studio events, concerts in the building. Out of that stay also came a very serious art event in New York City with a gallery in Chelsea. I was blown away by all the things happening at that time. It seemed as if this what God had planned for me, and I was just following his plans.

More gallery shows came in Cleveland, and then I moved away and continued the pace opening different studios, keeping contact and close association with fellow artists, hosting events, and being honored by local newspaper. I want to mention that my education level was very common in art until I moved into the Artist-In-Residence Building. The artists in the building were well-known and educated in experience or degrees. I had to step it up. I began to study and read art learn history as well. My life has changed because of what I had within already. No one made me an artist, but I allowed God to lead me to gifted people that helped me meet my destiny.