Peggy Banks was born August 20 1953 in Baltimore Md. She knew as a young girl that she wanted to be an artist. She won her first art contest when she was in elementary school. “ I recall vividly the feelings associated with that honor and knew this was something that really resonated with me.” But studying art formally was discouraged in her early years so she pursued nursing after high school. Soon however the allure of art cast its spell and she embraced her life long dream.
In the early 70’s Under Zen master Hal Rieger from California, Peggy studied Raku at Arrowmont where she developed a kinship with organic processes . This was further enhanced when she studied under renowned artist Grady Kimsey at SCC whom she credits with sparking her interest in mixed media. Graduating from the University of Florida in 1984 with a BFA degree she was introduced to a visiting gallery owner Raleigh LTD at her senior show and signed on with her the next week. Raleigh was a strong marketer for Banks in those early years and she credits her for helping to steer her career.. She had many thoughtful and inspirational teachers but it was Grady who said all art should be provocative or evocative. “That pronouncement has stayed with me my whole artistic life and more than any other pearls of wisdom it has defined my path.”
Banks became a full time studio artist using art as her sole means of support traveling the art show circuit in Florida, the northeast and Midwest for many years participating in over a hundred art venues such as Disney Festival of the Masters, Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival, Las Olas Arts Festival,, Boca Museum, State Street Art Fare in Ann Arbor, American Craft Museum Exhibitions in Baltimore and Atlanta, Columbus Festival of the Arts, Ohio, and Lincoln Center New York to name a few…
She has been included in several museum and gallery exhibitions including the prestigious Tampa Museum of Art, ( Paper Works) Deland Museum of Art, ( Trappings) Ormond Memorial Museum, ( When the Spirit Moves) University of Florida Fine Arts Gallery , Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, Florida Craftsman Gallery, Mount Dora Center for The Arts ( solo Exhibition) and The Casements Cultural Arts Center, Daytona Art League ( Color my World) and The Florida Women’s Museum.
Past Gallery representation includes Clay and Fibers in Taos, Pieces in Chicago, Carmel by the Sea in California, Timothy’s and Albertson Peterson Winter Park, Raleigh LTD Wynwood Art District Miami, Woolf Gallery Deland and Arts on Douglas in New Smyrna Beach. Peggy has won numerous awards including 4 Best in Shows, but she is most proud of being selected and commissioned for Art in Public Places. To her credit , she is part of the Daytona International Art and Public Place Collection, Bert Fish Medical Center, New Smyrna Beach Library, Port Orange Library, The Deland Courthouse Collection Lincoln Center and the White House Washington D.C.
Peggy’s work is composed of handmade paper using banana leaf fiber called abaca, hand dyed silk and copper. This is from the Outside The Box series and was influenced by the jazz music of her husband George and his band mates. Improvisational jazz rhythms often permeate our home which is filled with art and music at its center. One of my favorite quotes that synergizes both art forms is from an inspirational quote from Wasily Kandinsky. “ Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, and the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul. “
My Euro Series resulted from a trip with students and friends to Europe on a tour called The Artists of France and Spain. How could you come back from a trip like that and not be inspired? Each major piece reflects a garden, an architectural fete, or as in as in Dancing with the Bull, Spain’s alluring Flamenco is captured. Therefore, my art records my experiences through vivid memories of faraway travels and close encounters with those I love.
Peggy has dedicated the past 22 years teaching art through the Volusia County Schools. My students have taught me as much as I have taught them . I owe them much. Through teaching I became a better artist. I was introduced to the world and led my students on numerous trips across Europe. Travel has opened the world to me . It has been an inspiration to my art as much as my interest in music, nature and spirituality. We can choose the mark we want to make in this world. Why not make it restorative? Art is the expression of your imagination, a visual language and mine is my footprint which weaves a tapestry of textures and colors, joy and elation, peace and tranquility. Please enjoy!!