ASSOCIATE DEAN OF LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES
In 1994, I was researching 18th-century English domestic tourism (similar to the vogue for visiting US National Parks). One of the highlights of my travel to England was the Westcountry picturesque tour circuit was the ruin of the 15th-century castle of Berry Pomeroy on Dartmoor in Devon.
Having convinced a friend to drive me out to the remote location of the abandoned castle we discovered it was closed to the public, enclosed by a high chain link fence, with a sturdy gate and no one around.
It seemed a shame to have come so far and not make our way to our goal – I needed to take some photographs and make some sketches in support of my research. The course seemed obvious: Storm the castle!!!! (well, jump the fence).
At the Schlesinger Center Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Gallery
“Sacred Earth, Healing Water” Mixed Media and Assemblage
Friday, October 11 – November 11, 2013
Opening Reception Saturday, October 12, 2013,
4 -6 pm with Artist’s Talk at 5 pm
“Sacred Earth, Healing Water”, an exhibition of mixed media and assemblage work by Anne Bouie, is on display from Friday, October 11 through Sunday, November 11 in the Margaret W. and Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery, located in the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, October 12, 4 -6 pm with Artist’s Talk at 5 pm. The Gallery Hours are 10am—4pm Monday-Friday and during performances.
Anne Bouie’s draws her creative inspiration from timeless, universal spiritual principles found in ancient, indigenous cultures that use art to heal, teach, and sustain meaning. Through her art, Anne brings these teachings into contemporary context, keeping them alive so they continue to speak to us of our connection to the Invisible, and to one another. She explains, “In pre-conversion cultures and even in contemporary spiritual traditions, along with the essential purpose of contributing beauty to life, art serves as a medium to connect with, and acknowledge the existence of consciousness on “both sides of the veil”.”
Ms Bouie’s use of botanicals in her artwork requires an intimate knowledge of seasons, cycles and the local landscape. She needs to know where specific plants grow and how to gather them without harming the sources. She also explores the beauty and utility in castaway objects she gathers during walks and travels. Anne’s intentional use of these components in her artwork results in a multi-layered experience for viewers. Anne elaborates, “The composition of work involves an interaction with the piece itself and its components. I often find that the piece itself has something it wants to say and I have come to respect that. It feels like we are working together to produce something of meaning—not just for ourselves—but for the viewer as well.” By creating artworks that are a synthesis of unexpected combinations, Anne challenges the prevailing conception of people, places and things to present an opportunity for viewers to see common objects with new eyes
Anne Bouie’s pivotal moment as an artist came during a meeting of the Black Artists of DC when she was encouraged to “stop sitting on her art ideas, and get busy doing it”. In 2006, her work was accepted in “Found”, an exhibit sponsored by Black Artists of DC. She has been working as an artist since then. Ms. Bouie has exhibited extensively locally, including Bowie State University, The Reginald Lewis Museum, The Joan Hisaoka Gallery and the Arts Club of Washington. She has also participated in exhibits in California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and India. She is a member of the Black Artists of D.C., Millennium Arts Salon, Washington D.C. and the Washington Sculpture Group.
The Fisher Art Gallery is located on the upper level of the Schlesinger Center, and is named for local artist, the late Margaret “Peggy” Fisher and her husband, Joseph Fisher. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and during performances. See Anne Bouie’s exhibition “Sacred Earth, Healing Water”from Friday, October 11 through Sunday, November 11, 2013 with an opening reception on Saturday, October 12, 4 – 6 pm and Artist’s Talk at 5 pm.
As a young adult, I considered joining the military – primarily for the educational benefits. However, I decided to pursue my education on my own. After earning my Bachelor of Science degree from Dakota State College in Madison, SD, I took a job teaching English in a small town in Iowa. In my second year of teaching one of my students was absent for a week. When he returned, I asked for his excuse and was intrigued to see that he had been processing for the Iowa Army National Guard. I looked into it and ended up joining. I enlisted as a Private First Class (E-3) since I already had a bachelor’s degree. I attended basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC.\
I worked full time for the Iowa Army National Guard as the State Training NCO for several years. I achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) by the time I left the service. I benefited from my service in the National Guard in many ways. I met my husband there and we got married under crossed cannons during summer camp (Field Artillery unit – they didn’t have swords) with our Battalion Chaplain performing the ceremony. Since I enlisted under a student loan repayment program, the National Guard paid my student loans from my undergraduate degree. I was eligible for educational assistance while I served and the Guard paid 90% of my tuition costs for my graduate degree at Drake University in Des Moines, IA.
“Recently took up skating with my daughter and has not yet been taken from the ice by the medics”
I can do a mohawk on ice, I know, this is crazy! First, I skated forward on one foot, tracing the line of a half moon, then I switched feet halfway through the moon and finish on one foot skating backwards! If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said, “no way!” and I would have looked at you as if you had 3 ears. Of course if this were easy, I would have had no interest in learning how to do it. I mean, what is the point of learning something you can already do? On ice, I get the added thrill of failure to execute a move well means immediate bruising, possible concussion or a broken leg. Those are some incentives to not mess up, huh?
Well, when learning to skate, take it from me; you WILL fall down, REPEATEDLY! It reminds me of starting back to school at NOVA as an adult. EVERYTHING was difficult. Not because I can’t learn, but because I did not know how to learn efficiently, and I had other important influences in my life. Instead of the ice making everything slippery, I had a family with health issues and later a daughter and I had to pay my own way. Instead of bruises for my incentive to not fail, I had life goals. I wanted to do something really meaningful with my life.
Nevertheless, just like on ice, each success was balanced by a fall. With every fall in school, just like on ice, I had to shake it off, stand up and continue. Eventually I continued through a doctoral defense and a career teaching Biology at NOVA! While skating is a serious challenge to me, it is so similar to my academic and life goals that I think I know the secret to success – keep working at it, stand up after every fall, find pleasure in the challenges and I will succeed.