Growing up as a young artist in Arkansas, just across the bridge from Memphis, the Brooks Museum has always been sacred to me. It was the first and only place for me to see the works of my artistic heroes in person. To have one of my paintings hanging in the Brooks has been a long-time goal of mine, and this year it finally happened.
The Brooks called for artists to create work inspired by the Elvis song, If I Can Dream. Growing up so close to Memphis, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the life, career and even dreams of Elvis. The lyrics say: “…while I can think, while I can talk, while I can stand, while I can walk, while I can dream, please let my dream come true…” and were written in a time of tragedy.
My painting, Great Heights, plays on the dreaming aspect of the phrase, “If I Can Dream.” The imagery of my painting depicts a floating chair with a lush evergreen wildly growing out of the seat. This represents how no matter where we are, our dreams can take us anywhere we want to be, as long as we can dream.
Dreams keep us motivated and are sometimes a needed escape from our reality. If I can dream, I can persevere.
Mandy Maxwell is a 25 year old visual artist currently located in Paragould, AR. You can find more of her work at www.mandyatlarge.com.