I love to paint.
I love to hear stories.
I love to see people smile.
I love to create paintings for people that tell a meaningful story.
This is what I aim to accomplish each time I pick up a paintbrush.
Some of the stories are my own, the daily discoveries that I share with my friends and family.
Some are the stories of others, conversations that provide such wonderful imagery that I want to jump in and play around for a while.
I am inspired by both the minuscule and the magnificent in life.
I paint to celebrate them all.
And, fingers crossed, to make someone somewhere smile.
I began painting when I was in high school and sold my first piece while in college at the University of Oklahoma. It was there that I received my B.A. in Psychology. I then worked toward a minor in Fine Art and found a deep interest in the therapeutic qualities of art across populations. I began a masters program in Expressive Therapies at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, but family circumstances brought me back to Tulsa early and I sought to find professional purpose applicable to my studies closer to home. It was then that I approached the Alzheimer’s Association of Oklahoma and Arkansas to discuss starting an art program with clients. The program Drawing on Memories found funding and began in 2007 and I went to work meeting weekly with Alzheimer’s patients at three major care facilities across Tulsa, an opportunity that provided a rich education both professionally and personally. My three years in this position proudly wrapped up with the Memory Lane art exhibition at the Performing Arts Center of Tulsa in 2010, which showcased the value in using creative avenues to connect with misplaced memories resulting from this disease.
At this time, I met my friend Matt Moffett and learned of the Tulsa Girls Art School (T.G.A.S.), a program he was just getting off the ground. I was immediately smitten and joined him as his Art Assistant, working there for the first year of programming and happily seeped in his unmatched creative genius – an opportunity for which I will forever be grateful. During this time, Matt suggested I begin work toward my first solo art show, and supported me through my inevitable anxiety as I did so. The opportunity led me to create a body of work inspired entirely on a little children’s garden I had come to love at Eugene Field Elementary School. As I worked on the series, I came to learn that the garden was the actualized dream of the wonderful Heather Oakley, and had a name, Global Gardens. I contacted Heather for the first time right before the show opening and invited her to attend at The Palace Cafe. That evening was my own little dream come true and I left that night with the high of a successful show as well as a job offer from Heather to join her at Global Gardens.
Soon after, I began working for local non-profit organization, Global Gardens, as an after-school educator and Creative Director and happily worked for this wonderful organization for almost a decade, stepping down in the summer of 2016 to more directly pursue the expectations of running my own business, MAKE LLC, which I developed In 2014.
It was right before this time that I had decided to offer a week-long art class over Spring Break which would bring in a little extra income to take our family on a trip of our own over the summer. The class was highly successful and quickly led to requests for more (and a lack of time for the family trips)! With the development of additional classes, I moved to a new studio space in January of 2015 in the Carriage House of the Tulsa Garden Center and created MAKE LLC (Modern Art for Kiddos Everywhere). Currently, I can be found using the studio for on-site classes as well as a space to create my own work and commissioned pieces, or teaching traveling MAKE classes on-site at schools and businesses within the community.
Fortunately, I find tremendous joy professionally, but the greatest happiness I have comes from the time I spend with my family and friends, both two-legged and four, especially with my brilliant husband, Scott Ferris, and my sweet little girl, Bea. That is my true inspiration.
Please contact me here with any questions about, or interest in, my work or classes. If you are interested in commissioning artwork for your family with The StoryMAKEr Project, sign up here and put ‘StoryMAKEr‘ in the subject line. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Press and Media:
Local Artist Drives Kids Around Tulsa Wearing David Bowie-Inspired Costumes in Double Decker Bus, KJRH, July 2016. http://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/local-artist-to-drive-kids-around-tulsa-wearing-david-bowie-inspired-costumes-in-double-decker-bus
Unexpected Avenue, Tulsa People Article, November 2015. http://www.tulsapeople.com/Tulsa-People/November-2015/Unexpected-avenue
Painting a Legacy Downtown, Tulsa World Article, June 2014. http://www.tulsaworld.com/painting-a-legacy-downtown/article_c8777a28-3cc1-5712-b280-dc54ffc28b34.html
10 Camps in 11 Weeks Keeps One Tulsa Kid Busy This Summer, Tulsa World Article, July 2014. http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/camps-in-weeks-keeps-one-tulsa-kid-busy-this-summer/article_c3061dc1-d1cb-5960-b99b-aa0ebcb4dd4e.html
a bit of artsy buzz… a few independent testimonials sent to me that I posted on the blog, 2014. http://www.annieferris.com/a-bit-of-artsy-buzz/
Community Classes and Workshops Hosted:
2006 * On-Site Mural Development and Facilitation for children’s group at Tristesse Grief Center
2007 * Weekly Beginning Knitting Workshop at Cancer Treatment Center (Tulsa)
2007 – 2010 * Drawing on Memories Community Art Programming for Alzheimers Association
MAKE Classes and Workshops:
‘Around the World in Five Days: a Global Art Adventure’, (4 –10 years, Parent and Me Toddler Class), 2 sessions
‘My Mother is a Masterpiece: A Mother’s Day Piece Inspired by Mary Cassatt’, (4 – 10 years), 2 sessions
‘Dream a Little Dream: Making Our Dreams Come True with Chagall and Hundertwasser’ (4 – 12 years), 2 sessions
‘The Art of Words; Celebrating the Relationship Between Art and Language’ (4 -12 years), 2 sessions
‘The Basquiat Experience’ (4 – 12 years) – studio (2 sessions), Undercroft Montessori School (2 sessions), Lee Elementary School (3 group session)
‘A Dreamy Week with Hundertwasser’ (4 -12 years), 2 sessions
‘Around the Block with Romare Bearden’ (4 – 12 years), 2 sessions
‘I’ve Just Seen a Face: A Week of Family Portraiture with Arcimboldo, Calder and others’ (4 – 12 years), 2 sessions
‘Matisse and Me: The Cut-Out Sessions’ (4 – 12 years), 2 sessions
‘Play with Your Art’ (4 – 10 years)
‘A Global Art Adventure’ (4 – 12 years), 2 sessions
‘The Outsiders (and a Stick of Gum): A Week of Judith Scott and Nick Cave’ (4- 12 years), 2 sessions
The Art of Music: Woody Guthrie ‘This Land is Your Land’ (4 – 12 years) – studio (2 sessions), Undercroft Montessori School (1 session), Eisenhower Elementary School (1 session),
‘My Mother is a Masterpiece’: A Mother’s Day Class (7 sessions)
‘My Father is a Masterpiece’: A Father’s Day Class (2 sessions)
‘Launch of ‘MAKE:art in the community’, art retreats for groups and organizations.
Launch of ‘MAKE:an art party’, custom private birthday parties.
‘My Mother is a Masterpiece’: A Mother’s Day Class (8 sessions)
‘My Father is a Masterpiece’: A Father’s Day Class (4 sessions)
‘My Grandparents are Masterpieces’ (2 sessions)
‘Coppelia’ Art Camp: a collaboration with Jasinski Dance Academy
‘Firebird’ Art Camp: a collaboration with Jasinski Dance Academy
‘The Sweet Life of Andy Warhol and Wayne Thiebaud’ (4 – 12 years) (3 sessions)
‘The Amazing Spiderwoman: The Art of Louise Bourgeois’ (4 12 years) (2 sessions)
‘The Art of Music: David Bowie, Side A: Space Oddity’ (4 – 12 years) (2 sessions)
‘The Art of Music: David Bowie, Side B: Ziggy Stardust’ (4 – 12 years) (2 sessions)
Launch of ‘The StoryMAKEr Project : A Side-by-Side Commissioned Art Experience’.