Betty Morris Parker Fueled by the Creative Urge

May 29, 2017

Betty Morris Parker, a mainstay at The Hub since 2012, will be sharing wall space in The Mackay Gallery with Nancy Charles. Their “Works on Paper” will be on exhibit June 3-26.

 The Creative Urge

Originally from Virginia, Parker’s creative urge took her to the Washington D.C. School of Art, where she studied commercial art. She moved to Daytona Beach, where she has resided ever since, and ultimately finished her degree at the University of Central Florida.

Her talents came in handy when working for the American Lung Association (ALA). “If I needed posters, brochures or flyers, or if the company needed any kind of place cards, I’d create them,” said Parker.

Local Opportunities

Parker’s art career took offer after she retired from ALA. Gifted with a certificate to the Art League of Daytona Beach, she began taking lessons which melded well with her marketing and advertising background.

Fortunate to take a workshop locally at Atlantic Center for the Arts with “one of the top artists living today” Wolf Kahn, Parker recalls first seeing his work in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico.

The Hub and Santa Fe

“I enjoy being at The Hub,” said Parker. “”It reminds me so much when I was in the galleries in Santa Fe and Taos, especially Santa Fe where a lot of the galleries are in houses that have different rooms.”

A Word or Two on Technique

Parker creates her abstract collages, typically sized 24 x 28, by priming the surface with acrylic paint, putting down a layer of collage and paste, gluing down shapes from self-painted paper, then covering the whole piece with special paper. She also uses the glue for drawing and making shapes. She finishes by sanding the paper to reveal portions of the collage.

The Power of Encouragement

Parker leaned on another renowned artist, Steve Aimone, for advice when her creative urge pushed her toward exhibiting art outdoors. Aimone suggested she have at least 15 pieces ready to go and Parker popped onto the festival scene, earning many accolades.

The encouragement that started it all was from a 7th grade school teacher in Virginia who recognized Parker liked to draw. That year Parker won “Best of Show” for her drawing of horses.

In addition to the June 3-26 “Works on Paper” exhibit at The Hub with Nancy Charles, Parker is anticipating exhibits in St. Augustine, Daytona Beach and Orlando in 2018.

Like the teacher who reached out to Parker, The Hub recognizes the importance of connecting with students and the underserved. To learn more about its mission, visit Outreach at The Hub on Canal.

Written by Tonya West, Hub volunteer