She grew up around art — her mother was an artist. In fact, every summer her mother cleared out the garage and gave art lessons to all the children in their neighborhood.
But Margo Lessard Morphis didn’t seriously pursue art until five years ago. Now, she is in her first gallery show. Morphis will be the featured artist at Down the Street Art Gallery’s First Friday celebration from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1.
“This is the first time I’ve put anything out there. It’s pushing my boundaries,” she said.
She is excited about her new affiliation with Down the Street Art Gallery and its members and how encouraging they all are. She wants to explore new media and subject matter.
“All these artists learn from each other and I want to take advantage of that since I’ve been alone (in my work) for awhile,” she said.
Morphis has been in the Rim Country since 2005 and works in dentistry and has a background in radiation physics.
While she grew up in a world filled with art, Morphis has no formal training, though she would like to take some classes — and teach as well.
“My mother believes very strongly in exposing kids to art,” Morphis said, explaining the summer garage art classes.
Currently Morphis works primarily with oils and will have four or five pieces at the gallery. She is looking into getting some prints made this week, so may eventually have some of those also available at the gallery.
Her work is mostly devoted to horses.
“I’ve been obsessed with horses as long as I can remember. They are just so joyful with no self-consciousness,” she said.
Morphis has done a few commissions and also designed sets and costumes for Shakespeare’s plays when she was in college in northern California.
Art is becoming a family tradition for Morphis — her son, 7, is her painting partner — they share a studio, she said. He likes to use acrylics and wants to have a gallery when he grows up.
When she’s not working in her studio with her son or on the job, Morphis said she enjoys hiking and photography.
“I love to go Jeeping and ride horses whenever I can,” she said.
Right now she is really looking forward to meeting everyone who comes to the First Friday event at Down the Street Art Gallery, 703 W. Main St. The event is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1.
The gallery’s regular hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
For more information, call (928) 468-6129.