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Meet Tracy Lambros

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Lambros.

Hi Tracy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
I have loved art from a young age. My parents both received their undergraduate degrees from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, so I grew up surrounded by original art, creativity and with artists and designers as family and friends. I earned my BFA from MICA with a major in photography. Shortly after college, I moved to Manhattan, lived on the Upper Westside, including time residing on a houseboat (that sank in the Hudson River!) at the 79th Street Marina, and worked for ten years primarily in commercial photography/ advertising while creating my own fine art in my studio/apartment. It was an exciting time, and there was a wonderful spirit of cooperation and camaraderie amongst the artists that I knew. My first exhibition was by invitation from the late artist/gallerist Robert Ellis Patterson to show at The Angel Orensanz Center for the Arts on the Lower East Side. I was focused on graphite abstract drawings at that time and was invited to show my work at other venues in New York and asked to exhibit at The World Conference on Women Beijing, China. The focus of my art shifted to paintings that evoke land/sea/sky after living briefly in California – the visits to Big Sur and La Jolla were inspirational, as well as trips to the coasts of Maine, Virginia, and Maryland. I moved back to Maryland and earned my MFA at MICA and was fortunate to be in the last class of the Mount Royal School of Art directed by the late New York artist Babe Shapiro. Shortly after graduate school, I met my husband Will and we lived in Baltimore for 21 years prior to recently moving to Columbia, Maryland. Currently, I have studios on Hoopers Island (a small waterman’s community in the Chesapeake Bay) and in Columbia, Maryland, and exhibit throughout the U.S. but frequently in Baltimore, Annapolis, and the mid-Atlantic region. I have had two recent solo show at Gallery Blue Door in Baltimore and am currently exhibiting my new oil paintings through January 5, 2023, at the gallery/ office space at Monument Sotheby’s International Realty in Ruxton, Maryland.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, I would not call it a smooth road. Struggles included having several home robberies while living in New York City and Baltimore. I definitely learned the hard way why renter’s insurance is important! Also, I lived on a houseboat at the 79th Street Marina on the Hudson River of the Upper Westside neighborhood of Manhattan. The houseboat sank- along with my artwork portfolio, camera equipment, and all of my belongings. That was rough period! Don’t get me wrong- I love Baltimore and NYC as places to live and recommend both cities for creative professionals, but city life does come with challenges – at least, it did for me.

Additionally, as a woman, sexism is still very much alive and present in the art world. Museum solo exhibitions are still predominately dedicated to male artists with very little attention and funds given to solo exhibitions and collection of art by female artists. The culture is slowly changing, but gender inequity still very much negatively impacts the careers of female artists because of this under-representation.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
As a visual artist, I work in a variety of media (oil paint, photography, graphite and pastel drawing, collage), but my concentration is painting. I am known for my oil paintings that evoke sky, land, and sea. Much of my current work is inspired by the region around my studio on Hoopers Island and the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, however, my paintings are non-representational in that they allow the viewer to interpret the work in their own way. Often works resonate personally because they have a sense of place, and the viewer sees somewhere that is meaningful or significant to them in the imagery.

What are you most proud of ?
That I am still an artist. I absolutely love it – but it never gets easy.
What sets your work apart?
Possibly my skies and the rich, luminous, sensual palettes that I choose (palettes sometimes influences by my reactions to current events). I often get messages from friends and collectors saying I saw a “Lambros Sky” just now- and many times I will get a picture of that sky via text or email! These remarks always make me smile. Also, many artists, even abstract artists, use references. I work from my imagination and don’t sketch or use photographs as references. I prefer an improvisational and intuitive process that does not have a pre-determined outcome. This allows for more creative freedom and for a more open interpretation of the artwork in the end.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Yes, as far as mentoring, my advice for young creatives/artists just starting out is to find the person who is doing what they want to do and ask them if they will meet or spend a little bit of time answering questions regarding their journey.

Also, put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure happens occasionally, and it just means you are trying.

Networking (in any career) is easier for those who are extroverts, but for others who are not (like me), it is still necessary. Do your best to share your passion about what you do and follow up with those who are interested  and share your excitement.

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Image Credits
Tracy Lambros

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