05-19 Artist Joyce Baker

Joyce Baker – ARTIST

[May 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage | By Carol McDermott, Arts Editor]

The daughter of missionaries, Joyce Baker was born in Nigeria, leaving at the age of 18. Later, she spent another 11 years in Africa, including the countries of Niger, Zambia, and Sierra Leone.

“Africa has really been important to me as an artist,” she said. “I remember going to the market, becoming aware of all the colors and light quality in the market, where goods are spread across the ground, not on tables or racks.”

African images interest her. “I’ve always been creative. It is an integral part of me. Niger really impacted me.” During two years of drought in Niger, Joyce volunteered with food relief.

‘Jocko, the Mischief-maker’. ©Joyce Baker

Joyce left Nigeria at age 18 to go to Calvin College. She also attended San Francisco State University. Joyce received her MA in Art Education from Denver University. She received her Teacher Certificate in 1996 and taught in the Denver Public School system at Lincoln High School.

She still teaches. “I now teach English to Chinese children, ages 4-13, online, one on one. Classes start at 5 a.m. and last 25 minutes.

Joyce’s favorite medium is mixed media. “I love to do print-making. I like the process. I don’t always know how it’s going to turn out.” Her favorite color is indigo blue.

After taking a class at the University of Northern Colorado, Joyce did a series called “Touch points of my life.” A major piece in the series depicts Jacko, her pet monkey, building sand castles. “It symbolizes my youth.”

‘Unbalanced’ ©Joyce Baker

Joyce has lived in Montrose for 2½ years. “My husband and I love the San Juans and the open space. The mountains are a wonderful thing. And Montrose is the county seat in the middle of so many outdoor opportunities.”

Joyce serves as the secretary for the Montrose Center for the Arts (MCA). “It is very important for the MCA to be present here. We have a need to foster appreciation in the arts, all the arts. It is intergenerational. Local artists can showcase their art.”

“The MCA is important to the economic revival of downtown. Montrose has a vibrant community of artists. Through the MCA, we will see more collaboration among the diverse arts practiced.”
MCA participates in Art Partners with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), art experiences at Haven House, and the heART Boxes, which are shoe boxes decorated by residents at The Homestead Assisted Living facility.
“I really hope the MCA truly becomes intergenerational. There’s lots of new thinking, such as in agricultural styles, organic farming, more younger entrepreneurs,” she added.

MCA participates in Art Partners with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), art experiences at Haven House, and the heART Boxes, which are shoe boxes decorated by residents at The Homestead Assisted Living facility.

“I really hope the MCA truly becomes intergenerational. There’s lots of new thinking, such as in agricultural styles, organic farming, more younger entrepreneurs,” she added.

Photo Credits.
Top left: Joyce in her studio. Above: ‘Twentieth Century Objects of Lusaka.’
Middle right: ‘Jocko, the Mischief-maker.’ (Kathryn R. Burke)
Bottom right: ‘Unbalanced.’ (Kathryn R. Burke)