Michael A. Pierce, artist, curator, and arts educator
Tell us about your business.I've been drawing since I was a child. I love making marks on paper. I use familiar visual signs to explore materials, process and identity issues. I create a series based on my own documentary photographs of prize-winning rabbits from the Virginia State Fair. In the transition from photographs to drawings, the rabbits have been freed of their cages, and the gesture of the hand-drawn mark takes precedence over photographic representation. “Who doesn’t like a rabbit?” I have asked, knowing full well that there are those who find these images too safe and sweet. I incorporate French words and phrases into the work, using Google translator to translate descriptions of rabbit behavior and symbolism into French, a language I neither speak nor understand.
What makes your business stand out?I use Martha Stewart housepaint colors as the gesso for my drawings. Her old K-Mart paint color "pencil eraser" has frequently figured into my drawings, because I use a number 2 yellow school pencil eraser as the bending stick for my oil pastel drawings.
What's the best business advice you've received?Be really care how you say "no," and really try not to say it ever. Instead, say when you can get to "yes."
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.Nominate yourself
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
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