We had the good fortune of connecting with Anne Marie Price and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anne Marie, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am originally from the village of North Fond Du Lac in WI. A place where everyone knows everyone and the area schools and events really were the center of this hard working, middle class community. I grew up in a religious household that encouraged creativity but it wasn’t encouraged as a career choice. It was also very restrictive in what self expression should be so I secretly read a lot of books about favorite artists and just literature that would be disapproved of. It wasn’t the easiest childhood for a young artist who had tons of questions and was curious about everything but I found and was found by good role models and adults who could see my potential as an artist who encouraged me to do more of it. I think the early struggle of just staying true to myself and who I was really influenced me as an adult and artist in many different ways. It definitely gave me a drive to accomplish certain goals. And being brought up in a religion that teaches you to be resilient and steadfast no matter what anyone says about you…well that really has only helped me in the sometimes very competitive field of art. It puts the focus on what matters to me and what I want or feel the need to express with my art. Not on what others think of it. So I think my childhood and where I began in a small town really influenced a lot about who I am today in that I am very grounded and secure in who I am and what I want to say.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I create all kinds of things and always have but I found my niche with mosaic art. I just love working with glass and materials to put together something that inspires or intrigues me. I’ve made all kinds of mosaics with different substrates and materials but I really love working with stained glass. And I like the challenge of saying something simply..but with complexity involved in some way within a piece. I think this is what sets me apart but you know I’m really am focused on just doing what makes me happy and content and just expressing what I feel at a particular moment. Recently I’ve been working on upcycled surfboards and had a mosaic surfboard I created invited to be part of a two year exhibition with “Art in Embassies” in Muscat, Oman. A wonderful honor for me to represent American art and artists and my city of Huntington Beach and it’s surf culture. I’m also very proud of the instructional videos I created with a wonderful company “Mosaic Arts Online” and their incredible library of top mosaic artists from around the world. Especially in a very uncertain time for artists and teachers…these instructional videos have really helped me while I can’t teach my classes in person at the Huntington Beach Art Center. I also do temporary mosaic beach art using shells found on Bolsa Chica Beach. Just something I do to practice creativity and a challenge of using only what I find around me on the beach. Sometimes it’s shells and other times it’s plastics I find. I started using plastics as a way to bring awareness to this problem we have in our oceans and on our beaches and I think I’ve been able to get people to think about it more. I know it’s helped me think about what I use so you know..I hope it helps in some way. Another highlight for me was in being a winner of a contest to have my mosaic art on a Surf City Still Works Vodka bottle label last year. What an exceptional company to work with and have the honor of having my art on their quality product. It’s just been such a positive experience and I’m so proud of where this young company is going and how they are promoting local art and artists. How I got to where I am today is by working very hard almost every single day for the last 10 years when I arrived in CA from WI. Wether it be in creating, learning, finding inspiration, marketing, networking, learning how to photograph my work or making decisions about where my work is seen or shared or exhibitions it’s part of…I am always brainstorming and wear many hats as an artist. If you go into this career believing you have one job…well good luck with that! You really have to have goals and passion to do this as well a realistic outlook about some things and the ability to adapt and evolve as you go. Maybe unrealistic at times too. A “why not me” attitude and putting yourself out there not really knowing if you can accomplish something can feel crazy in the moment but it’s really necessary to challenge yourself to grow. You really need to feel uncertain at times and just jump in and try. Just try. What’s the worst that could happen really? Yes you could fail…but what if you don’t fail? So I encourage artists to stretch and try new things and experiment every opportunity they get. Accept there will be mundane times of just work and of famine and uncertainty…but also feast moments and moments where you feel pride in what you were able to produce and express. It’s just life to struggle sometimes and if you just stay the course…you can get through to the other side of anything. Just stay true to who you are..ignore the noise and keep moving forward with what you want to say.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Favorite spots in Huntington Beach to take friends who visit always begin on Main Street. A walk out on the pier out to Ruby’s Diner and all the many shops on main st and restaurants..too many to chose just one…are a must. Then more shopping over at Pacific City and again so many great spots to eat or have a drink. I also love taking friends to local breweries like “Riip Beer Company” or “Four Sons Brewing”. And of course you can’t not stop at my favorite distillery “Surf City Still Works” for a great bottle of your drink of choice with local artists work on the labels. The beaches are seriously the best too wether you are a surfer or beach comber and the Bolsa Chica Wetlands are great for photo sessions of the local wildlife.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I don’t really know where to start with all the many, many people I feel deserve a shout out for helping me on my journey. “It takes a village” is a real thing with my story. From my first art teachers in school to my family and dear friends and to people on social media whom I’ve never met supporting me over the years..the list is so long. I’ve had so many people give me opportunities to show what I can do and at times patently wait for me to know I can do it myself. I’m just grateful for each and every one who has supported and encouraged me to keep going. And very grateful for my teachers. The seeds they planted in me. The advice they gave that I sometimes listened to and most times learned the hard way they were right about. Grateful for artists who came before me who reached back to help me figure it out. I’ve just been very blessed with support and encouragement to keep at it.
Anne Marie Price Surf City Still Works