Once in a while we take the time off to highlight persons who can be an inspiration for others. One such person is an artist by the name of Tammy Walker.
Tammy Lavern Walker, popularly known as Lovie to her family, was born November 23, 1994. She grew up in Georgetown and lived on the East Coast of Demerara. Because her parents are originally from the North West district, Tammy recalls that she still has her grandmother there and so she has been going back there for vacation for as long as she can remember. Tammy was a student at Grahams Hall Primary School, then Tutorial High School, where she completed her secondary education. She later went on to attend The Burrowes School of Arts. As good as an artist that she is on the canvas, Tammy is still contemplating whether she wants to further her studies in the visual arts or culinary arts. She states that her mom is a caterer so she would usually bake and decorate cakes. From this Walker said that she has found ways to transfer her art work onto her mother’s creations. Decorating cakes and baking, she related, is one of her passions now.
What inspired her to take up the mantle of an artist? For her, she adds, she was inspired to start painting seriously because of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. After having seen the painting she fell in love with it. With a smile on her face, as if reminiscing of some proud moment, she related that everyone told her that it was too difficult to paint but as soon as she finished high school and she had the time she sat down and painted the Mona Lisa.
For her, art is beautiful and the colors, the textures and styles just have a way of brightening up a room.
She remembers taking part in Carifesta when she was around the age of 13, participating in painting of the mural on the sea wall. She remembers painting the Red House, St. George’s Cathedral, Parliament Building, and a very large village scene. At that point, Tammy was allowed the chance to meet some renowned artists like George Simon and Michael khan from whom she learned to blend and properly shade colors. Growing up she has always been sketching and drawing, up to a point where sometimes after finishing an exam early and there was space on her paper she would draw a box and do little pictures inside. She stopped because it got her into trouble once.
Her knowledge of painting was there even before she started attending The Burrowes School of Arts because during her CSEC examination period she was given the chance to interview artists at the University of Guyana. Her keen interest in art allowed her to pay attention, watching each brush stroke and listening to every little advice they had to give her. The thought of going to an art school excited her and she relates that it was a really great experience. This was complemented by the fact that she learned a lot more than she already knew; she had amazing teachers and experienced other areas of art she never really knew about. At The School of Art she learned ceramics, sculpture, leather craft, graphics, textile designs along with painting and sketching. She even worked on floats and mash costumes while there. Because of her gender and her introverted personality, many persons thought that she would drop out after the first year. Other students did drop out but her passion for art was and still is great. She turned out to be the best graduating student of Burrowes in 2014.
In a few years she is hoping to have an art gallery of her own, something modern she describes, that can and will attract people, so she can help other artist have their work seen. She believes that Guyana has so much talent but art is undervalued and that people need to realize that our art helps to build our history. Adding to her own art gallery she would like to have her own little bakery on the side.
“Gotta keep dreaming big”
(In the pictures: Tammy at an Expo displaying some of her works)