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July 20, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

Self-taught Sculptor Using Clay, Found Objects Coming to Monthaven

Works by folk artist Hattie Marshall-Duncan will be available at MACC from Feb. 20 - March 21.

After the success of the Peter Max: A Cosmic Christmas exhibition at Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center, the nonprofit is proud to welcome its next free installation, A Journey of Inspiration by self-taught sculptor Hattie Marshall-Duncan.

Interpreting the Familiar: The Art of Hattie Marshall Duncan – Customs House Museum & Cultural CenterThe recipient of the 2019 Tennessee Governor’s Folklife Heritage Award, Marshall-Duncan creates expressive sculpture that offers a loving, humorous portrayal of her hometown community in Jackson, Tennessee. The folk artist uses common household items such as wire hangers, plastic bottles and old stockings to build the frames. After molding the figures, she adds texture and detail by applying coffee grounds for hair, pine cones for hats, and broken eggshells for clothing.

“You would never see my characters on the runway, heart is where the beauty is,” Marshall-Duncan says.

Marshall-Duncan created art from a young age, but it was not until the late 1990s that she moved into sculpture, for which she is now best known. Hattie began to experiment with making her own “paper clay” in a blender, based on a recipe she saw in a magazine. Using scrap wire, milk jugs, and plastic bottles as the base, she molded the paper clay to create distinctive, whimsical figures. Once shaped and dried, she completed them with paint and found objects, usually common kitchen items such as eggshells, coffee grounds (for hair), and plastic nets. Thus her unique style of sculpture was born.

Join MACC for this inspirational showcase to view more than 30 of her wildly imaginative sculptures. See how her art is a loving tribute to the culture that formed her, the family who raised her and the men and women in her church.

A Journey of Inspiration is free and open to the public from Feb. 20 through March 21. All ages are welcome.

Special Event

Join Hattie for a discussion and demonstration of her artistic process and hear her inspirational story.
Sunday, February 21 | 1 to 3 p.m.
Please RSVP by calling 615-822-0789



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.