School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

Wellington B. Gray Gallery

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Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge

Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery


Mary Lou Cramer
Graduated 1976

I graduated with a BFA in painting and a minor in drawing in the bicentennial year of 1976. I had the great fortune of studying under Ed Reep and Paul Hartley, both of whom I idolized. (“Admired” just doesn’t cover it.) I was excited about my future as a visual artist.

Today I’m a retired public school art teacher and community college adjunct. Cliche as it sounds, my students inspire and amaze me, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to teach… a career I never envisioned for myself back in 1976.

The subject of my painting displayed here is a former student. Autumn has had more than her share of tough times in her 18 years so far, yet she is always positive, kind, and generous. She is a talented artist, too, and I am so proud of all that she has accomplished. To me, Autumn exemplifies the spirit and focus of her generation on equality and justice for all and the best of our future.

Drawing has always been my favorite medium of expression, and I’ve continued to draw over the years. Now semi-retired, I’m eager to return to oil painting. Autumn in Spring is my second painting since school ended for me in March of 2020.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this Alumni Exhibit. I am both humbled and proud to be part of the tradition of the East Carolina University School of Art.

– Mary Lou Cramer, July 2021

Autumn in Spring, oil on canvas, 24″ x 24″ x 1.5″, 2021