Where most people saw trash, Beatrice Mady ’76 saw a blank canvas waiting for color.
Mady was a contributing artist for Landfillart, a project that repurposes old metal hubcaps into paintings, sculptures and more. Mady’s work, a black-and-white painted disk filled with curving shapes called swans, represents her family and was inspired by a trip to Japan.
“I’ve been very involved with recycling and reusing … so it was a great idea to take something that was going to be thrown away and make it into beautiful art,” she said.
When she’s not creating with found pieces, Mady draws from her travels — to places including Croatia, Egypt, the American Southwest and Germany — to craft photographs, oil paintings and digital work.
“The subject matter is abstract, not literal; I try to capture the flavor of the country I visited,” she said.
At any given time, she might have five paintings and a handful of digital pieces in progress. But when you’re passionate about something, Mady says, it doesn’t feel like work: “I don’t think there’s a separation between work and creating art. I make art for me, out of my need for creating something.”
An associate professor of graphic arts at St. Peter’s University in New Jersey, Mady shares her passion with students in much the same way her professors at UD once did as she majored in painting.
“I love teaching because it keeps me fresh in the field. It’s nice to share my love of the arts with others who are burgeoning artists,” she said.
And for those burgeoning artists, Mady had a few words of advice: “Practice your craft and then develop your work. Once it’s like breathing, you can create a work of art and then develop your own style. Your work is good, even if people are saying no. Eventually, someone will say yes.”