For Michaela Fisk, art is about grasping life’s little details.
“(My art) is me looking at things and appreciating them,” Fisk says of her most recent works.
“Half of the drawings in (her recent Flamingo) show come from this one chair in my room,” she explains.
Fisk grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, a stone’s throw from the creativity of New Orleans.
A 2016 Belhaven University graduate, Fisk was drawn to the program through “the energy and excitement” of Bob Pennebaker, a professor and chair of the school’s visual arts department.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated high school,” Fisk says. “The only thing I didn’t hate was making stuff. I said, ‘I guess let’s do an art major.’ As soon as I started I was like, ‘Oh, this is where I belong.’ I was so happy. I loved it.”
Creative from a young age – sewing, paper quilting and sculpture – Fisk’s art teacher mother was a very present influence. Her father echoed her mother’s urging to attend art school.
“I wanted to dance for a while, then I wanted to be a baker. My parents were always super supportive (of my dreams). Birthday presents were crafty art kits or paint sets. It’s something they encouraged and I enjoyed. A few friends in college didn’t have quite that experience (of support from their families).”
Until recently, art has been a side hustle for Fisk. Newly exploring how to make money with her talents, she recently gave up a full-time job to pursue her passions.
“I’m trying to navigate, what direction do I go?” she says. “Do I make some things that are less of what I want to make so they sell better? Do I want to give lessons and teach kids? Right now it’s me, feeling out what that looks like. I’m looking at art markets so, hopefully, that will kick off and do well.”
Saturday’s show features fresh interpretations of her world, colorful abstracts based on her reality.
“I’m choosing the minuscule, regular things around, paying attention… sitting, looking, intently exploring. What else can I do with these shapes? What else can I do with these things? It’s letting myself be excited about the ordinary things I see all the time.”
A metaphor for Jackson?
“Yeah, maybe,” Fisk says. “You learn to love it for what it is. It didn’t take long to meet and know everybody. Fondren is the reason I love Jackson. Something’s keeping me here now and I’m choosing to be happy and embrace that for what it is.”
Fisk believes it’s the way any artist or person pursuing anything sees their world and the interaction their art has with it.
“You’re talking about one thing but you are talking about a lot of other things at the same time.”