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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
October 31, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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October 31, 2018

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NEWS PAGE A4 Wednesday, October 31, 2018 SPIRIT of ,JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE TIM COOK Anne Rule-Thompson stands outside of her gallery and studio in Harpers Ferry. Sculptor FROM PAGE A1 the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, then started a business painting murals. She spent years teaching art in public schools in Loudoun County, Va all the while struggling to find her niche as an artist. Then she took a community ce- ramics workshop and rediscovered her early love for the earthy, tactile experience of creating with clay. "So full circle," she reflected. "It took me a long time to get the self- awareness that this is who I am and this is what I have to do." Now a full-time sculptor, Rule- Thompson will be among the Jef- ferson County talents featured at next weekend's Over the Mountain Studio Tour, the free event that's in its 29th year. Rule-Thompson opened Rivers Studio & Gallery, her light-filled ce- ramic studio and art gallery on Wash- ington Street in Harpers Ferry. "I may not have taken a fast route to where I am now, but I'm happy with the route that I took," she said. "Every part of my career as an artist has contributed." Her art includes evocative figu- rative work and abstract landscapes assembled in wall tiles fused with glass or other textured materials and techniques. "The feel of ce- ramics, having your hands in the earth, there's nothing like that," she said. "That's really satisfying and almost meditative." She said hopes to create objects that make people reflect on their surroundings. In addition to making thought- "As humans we have a reatty hard time being random, We have to stereotype things, We have to put them in categories, We have to orga.nize it, We can't allow things to be random, We can't ailow nature to randomiv select out," I ANNE RULE-THOMPSON I fully portrayed figurative sculp- tures, Rule-Thompson said she finds herself increasingly drawn to abstract to creations that intention- ally provoke the viewer to draw in- ferences and connections. "A lot of my work is personal," said Rule-Thompson, who is mar- ried and has children. "It deals with what I'm doing, or feeling or thinking." She likens her creative process to mental rock polishing, where initial rough-hewed ideas are smoothed over time by steady tin- kering and contemplation. "It fumbles around in there and starts getting polished and it gets polished," she said. "And if I don't get them out once they're shiny, they get filled up in my head." In her "Beneath the Surface" series, she's exploring underwa- ter waves and rocks that meet wa- ter, capturing nature's randomly created textures, both craggy and smooth. The series began as an ex- periment to explore new surfac- es and textures for her figurative work, she said. "I've sort of been obsessing late- ly over rocks and water and where they come together in the ran- domness of the environment," she said. "As humans we have a real- ly hard time being random," she continued. "We have to stereotype things. We have to put them in cat- egories. We have to organize it. We can't allow things to be random. We can't allow nature to randomly select out. "It's the hardest thing to make natural environments, because that's what you have to be--you have to just allow it to be ran- dom." With family members who served as missionary doctors and nurses "saving the world," Rule- Thompson said it took time to give herself permission to accept her- self as a professional artist. "Wasn't such a career too self- indulgent?" she found herself ask- ing. "Would the sacrifices be fu- tile? Would her work matter to anyone else?" Doubt and uncer- tainty chased her for years. "So I struggled for a very long time with who I am and who I should be," she explains. "I think that's why I ended up doing the teaching thing for a while - all the while it was bothering me, bother- ing me, because I'm meant to be an artist." i! ! ?i: 0: :?:?i ? FORTUNE BEST COMPANIES ABOVE AND BELOW:Anne Rule-Thompson's ceramics feature both figurative work and abstract landscapes wall tiles assembled with glass and other textured materials. Her work can be found at her airy, light filled studio on Washington Street in Harpers Ferry. )