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Artists-in-residency ends term at Wild Basin, presents visual study of Austin

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Artists-in-residency ends term at Wild Basin, presents visual study of Austin

McCormick has been a professional artist since 2016, working to bring attention to Austin's natural landscapes

McCormick has been a professional artist since 2016, working to bring attention to Austin's natural landscapes

Ana Flores

McCormick has been a professional artist since 2016, working to bring attention to Austin's natural landscapes

Ana Flores

Ana Flores

McCormick has been a professional artist since 2016, working to bring attention to Austin's natural landscapes

Ana Flores, Staff Writer

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Jamie McCormick, a local artist, has worked to capture the beauty that can still be found in the city through her work at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. A reception and gallery walk of McCormick’s work was showcased Feb. 9th in celebration of the completion of her term in the Artist in Residency program at Wild Basin.

McCormick found her love for art at an early age. She decided to become a studio art major when she entered college in Oklahoma but did not stay on that path. She changed her major to political science before graduating.

Determined to prove to herself she could succeed doing something other than art, McCormick continued on this career path to see where it would take her. She worked for a senator for six years, then did some communications and policy work.

In 2016 McCormick went back to her original love – art – and began her professional career as an artist.

“When I told my parents I was going to start doing it, you cannot imagine how supportive they were, which is not something you would imagine your parents doing,” McCormick said. “I really feel like I have the best people around me.”

McCormick began creating art in her at home studio, although the accommodations were not ideal. As a mother of two young children, McCormick said she had to throw out the expectations she had for her work space early on.

She never discouraged their presence in her studio, however.

In order to reduce her stress, McCormick hired a friend of the family to help watch the two children while she worked in her studio.

Jessica Karli has known the McCormicks since she was 11 years old. Now a junior in high school, she enjoyed the part she has played in McCormick’s journey as an artist and seeing the growth in McCormick’s style.

“I’m a photographer, so I look up to her as another artist even though it’s a different kind of art…she is definitely somebody I aspire to be,” Karli said.

Standing in front of a crowded room of supporters, her art pieces decorating the walls of the Wild Basin lobby, McCormick presented what she was able to accomplish during her residency.

Paintings of all sizes depicted the landscapes of the Wild Basin trails in her now-developed “Austin color palette.” Her style focuses on the bigger picture but alludes to fine details.

McCormick said her goal when creating her pieces was to reconnect people with nature.

“One of my hopes is that my work will spark a memory or an interest or a longing to be outside that will kind of push people to go outside and be outside more,” McCormick said.

Charles Strasser, one of the attendees to the event, believes McCormick has done just that through her renderings of Austin’s landscape.

“People take advantage with what they grew up with and it can take that outsider perspective to make them aware of what’s special; she got that opportunity,” Strasser said.

Rosemary Guzman Hook, steward to the Wild Basin Creative Research Fund endowed by her husband Dr. Allan W. Hook who passed away in 2013, was one of the guests that came to celebrate the artist.

“I think she is going to make Wild Basin think more about what more they want to get out of the artists from residency,” Hook said. “Where else can we take it to, how do we raise the benchmark.”

Hook hopes to see more creative minds look to what McCormick did during her residency and take the opportunity to explore everything Wild Basin has to offer.

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Artists-in-residency ends term at Wild Basin, presents visual study of Austin