In The Press!
Here are some articles and mentions I have had over the years in different media!
THE HULL TIMES, Thursday, August 4, 2016
Portrait of the Artist: Teresa McMahon By Theresa Brown
As Magellan, Columbus, and Vasco de Gama once explored the globe, doctors and scientists have been trying to navigate and chart the mysterious terrain of the brain since the late 1960s. Although the science is still emerging, we do know that our brains have two hemispheres that control opposite sides of the body and perform some very specialized functions. We often refer to ourselves as either left-brained (primarily logical and analytical) or right-brained (primarily creative and imaginative). And although we may lean toward one skill set or the other, a balance of both is critical in everyday life. Most of us improve that equilibrium as we age. Hingham native and Hull Artists’ Treasurer Teresa McMahon is ahead of that curve. McMahon has not only led the charge for Hull Artists to gain its nonprofit 501c 3 status – spending many hours buried in tax accounting regulations and filing endless forms for the IRS – but she also creates sophisticated wire wrapped jewelry pieces. Although she wanted to be an artist from the time she knew what the word meant and was always creative, McMahon spent 31 years in corporate life at Verizon until a stress related stroke led her to early retirement. While recuperating, and unable to drive for a year due to vision loss from the stroke, she taught herself to crochet with metal wire. The wire was a new medium, but crocheting was an old skill that she could perform “blindly.” As her vision slowly improved, McMahon began watching CDs to learn a traditional wrapping technique, often referred to as “filigree,” that dates as far back as 2560 BC, during the Ur Dynasty in Mesopotamia. Like the ancient Sumerians, McMahon now manipulates bundles of precious metal wire – in her case, fine silver – to create elegant cradles for unusual pieces of sea glass, ceramic shards, shells, stones, fossils, or even vintage cameos. For this dual minded artist, “the ability to make things happen – invention – comes from a creative mind. She believes her ability to “think outside the box and see something from many different angles” is fundamental to her creativity: classic left-brain thinking. But McMahon, who also teaches wire wrapping in her Rockland studio, insists that “you can teach the mechanics, but not the passion and soul” it takes to craft artistic pieces: classic right-brain thinking. McMahon is a self-confessed DIY junkie who just for fun is a regular karaoke performer, furniture refinisher, auto body air-brush/pin striping paint detailer, and traditional canvas painter. She also crochets and knits hats for premature babies in the South Shore Hospital and blankets for Veterans. Always exploring “a new way to do things” or searching for a new puzzle to solve, McMahon certainly keeps her brain working on all cylinders!
How did you become an artist? I don’t remember ever “becoming” an artist. It was just something I always wanted to be as soon as I knew what the word was. I was always making and creating things. I even got in trouble a few times because I had other ideas besides things I was supposed to be doing.
What do you feel makes your work unique and truly our own? I’m not afraid to try something different or [to] experiment. I’ve never believed that there was only one way to accomplish any project. And I love ‘thinking outside of the box,’ as they say.
What is your first memory of creating art? My first memory was probably when I was in school and I was one of two students to be chosen to have their artwork displayed in a store window in downtown Hingham. I really felt that my work was actually being considered as art.
Do you have a muse or other source of inspiration? I wouldn’t say that I have any one muse. I get inspiration from any place or time. My mind is always working, following shapes and thinking about how to illustrate that moment. Sometimes the objects just tell me how they want to be worked into a piece.
How do you begin a creative day in your studio or on location? Well, if I was that structured, I’d be able to tell you. I’m probably too much of a free thinker. I really have to set priorities in order to get things done.
When and where are you the most creative? I’m probably most creative at home. While I might be trying to focus on my priorities list, I usually come up with ideas and I have to stop and write them down so I don’t forget my idea.
What is the most challenging part about being an artist? I think the biggest challenge is to convince people that this is my job, not a hobby. I love what I do and I love sharing it. But it’s still a job.
Why is art important to you and why should it be important to our community? I see that a lot of time and money goes into sports and social clubs that don’t really prepare anyone for the world today. I think the arts have a lot of skills and lessons that can be taught to our children, like focus, teamwork, giving back to the comm u n i t y , structuring a business, negotiating, self-promotion, education, and r e s e a r c h . My art has helped me learn that rejection is not a value put on self-worth, it’s just someone else’s opinion, and that perseverance is something that no one can take away from you. I could go on and on.
Where can someone purchase your art, and is it difficult to let go of favorite pieces? You can find my art at my Treesa’s Studio 50. That’s the name of my jewelry studio located in the E.T. Wright Building in Rockland. You can also find me during Open Studios with the Hull Artists. Check out my website, www.treesasstudio.com, for a schedule of shows and pieces for sale.
Sometimes it is difficult to let go of a favorite piece. But it’s a real source of satisfaction when someone else loves it, too.
Andy Warhol said everyone has 15 minutes of fame; has yours happened yet? I think my biggest 15 minutes of fame was when I appeared on [the TV show] “Chronicle” during an episode of Local Shopping, when they were filming a local gallery of which I was a member.