Michael A. Pierce, artist, curator, and arts educator | 2013 Martha Stewart American Made Awards Nominee | Martha Stewart

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Michael A. Pierce, artist, curator, and arts educator

American Made Since 1962
I'm just an artist who draws rabbits, because who doesn't like a rabbit? They're cute, soft, safe, nervous, afraid, and symbols of sexuality.
Virginia

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."
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Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

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  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

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