Greensboro artist inspires her students to make art
By: Terry Rader
On May 4, 80 high school art students from Greensboro’s Cornerstone Charter Academy will converge upon The Village at North Elm to show off their latest works. Everyone is invited to come experience 180 pieces of art in this one-time exhibit from 5-8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public with light refreshments minus alcohol.
Tracey J. Marshall is excited about the art program she designed and still teaches full-time at Cornerstone. She said that all of the students are required to attend the show to receive credit for it. Each student will get to show two pieces of art with the advanced students showing a couple of extra pieces. She said that some of these students have been with her for four years now, but she has been teaching art for over 17 years. She wanted her daughter to go to Cornerstone, so in the middle of the school year, she got to teach an Art I class there, and that led to her present full-time teaching position. Marshall said it was quite a learning curve to go from teaching artists who had signed up for her classes to teaching students that may or may not want to be in an art class. She said that her peers at Cornerstone helped her to get up-to-date on school protocols, and from there she created the Cornerstone Art Exhibit.
Marshall didn’t start out thinking about art as a major although she has been painting since she was in high school. But after one art class, she knew that art what was she was born to do. Marshall attended several colleges through a consortium program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she received her BFA degree after attending Savannah College of Art and Design. She said there were two things that she had always loved: art and playing ball. Marshall said that art finally won when her knee gave out.
“For me, it was always either art or sports,” she said. “It’s what kept me in school. After Savannah, I dabbled in psychology and business classes, but I kept getting drawn back to art. Years later, I was looking for a place for a gallery, and after investigating ways to start a business for one and a half years, I met with a BB&T banker named Ann who listened to my story and gave me a business loan. My father told me that I ended up getting my MBA in experience.”
Marshall said through serving on the board at the former Adult Enrichment Center; she met a lot of people in the community that were very supportive. Her awards include being named 100 Creative in the Nation, 40 Leaders Under 40 and the latest title NC Ultimate Painting Champion 2015. She also has contributed and organized fundraisers including co-chairing Friends of Gateway Holiday Charity Event for 10 years with Lisa and Keith Bunch, the Greensboro Day School Art Exposed Fundraiser, Adult Center for Enrichment fundraisers plus several donations for numerous charities. She served as chair for the Cornerstone playground fundraiser committee and now serves on the Cornerstone fundraising PTO committee.
Many people in the Triad remember Marshall for The Marshall Gallery she owned, taught and held art shows at in Greensboro for 11 years and for the 1,000 square-foot studio at The Creative Center she used to own, then co-owned with others as a co-op and taught at for a couple of years.
Today, aside from teaching art full-time and raising a family, Marshall books groups for both kids and adult art classes, kids art camps, parent & child art classes, private birthday parties, ladies nights out canvas painting and wine-glass painting with special Art by TJM punch-card savings options. She has an ongoing adult art class from 7-9 p.m. every first and third Wednesday (which costs $20).
“If you enjoy art, it’s really worth it to see what these young folks are doing,” Marshall said in regards to the Cornerstone Art Exhibit. “I would love to see what they accomplish in 20 years if they stick with it.”
TERRY RADER is a freelance writer, storyteller, poet, wellness herbalist, flower essences practitioner, and owner of Paws n’ Peace o’ Mind cat/dog/house sitting.
May 4 from 5-8 p.m. art reception for one evening only at The Village at North Elm, 301 Pisgah Church Rd., Greensboro, take classes at Art by TJM, 4815 Fox Chase Rd., Greensboro, 336.209.5539, www.artbytjm.com/, www.facebook.com/ARTbyTJM, art classes/camps: www.artbytjm.com/classes-camps, group art parties: www.artbytjm.com/group-art-parties