Local/Focus Presents Visual Artist Elizabeth Taylor's "South End Observations," Portraits of People and Nature in an Urban Setting

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Elizabeth Taylor is a visual artist who has been living and working in the South End for the past 20 years. She received a BFA from Mass College of Art and Design and later studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) where she focused on painting and photography. She has exhibited at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), SMFA and SOWA’s Open Studios, among other locations, and worked as a visual arts educator at MFA, ICA, the Blackstone School, and at the Brookline and Susan Bailis Senior Centers.

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Taylor’s work in photography and these gouache paintings (opaque watercolor) touch on themes of natural preservation in the urban landscape and beyond. The Fens, Back Bay and South End are her favorite places to draw, inspired by the diversity of its people and the beauty of its environment. She often participated as an artist-at-work during the South End Garden Tours, after which the art work was auctioned off to benefit the organization.

The spark that ignited Taylor’s passion for portraiture and art began when she was a teenager and discovered Vogue Magazine, which had big glossy photographs by artists like Irving Penn and others. They would shape her interest in portraiture, photography and still life for years to come. The photographs were taken at the 2010 Gay Pride Parade in Boston.

The sketches of flowers in the current Local/Focus exhibit date from last summer when Taylor would seek out a shady spot to paint and sketch, often on a scorching hot day with the sun beating down on the concrete of Tremont Street, and find a beautiful flower in its natural setting. “I found it intriguing to study how the flower sits on the stem, or how the stems angle to create amazing compositions,” she says.