Even as a small child, Traci Wright Martin, loved drawing and coloring.
Born in Dundee, Oregon, Traci and her family moved to Ardmore in the mid-90’s while she was still a teenager. After going back to Oregon for a few years during a brief break from college, she returned to Southern Oklahoma and graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2005 with a bachelor of arts in studio art and a minor in psychology with an emphasis in art therapy. She has utilized this unique combination of skills to provide art instruction to underserved populations in the community. To date she has worked with The Naomi House, the Family Shelter, Christ Community Church, Ardmore Village, and Take Two Academy in this capacity.
In addition to her work in art therapy, Martin also works as a private tutor for anyone interested in developing their artistic skills. “There is a special place in my heart for sharing a love of drawing with others,” she says. “To help individual students find a way to express themselves and fall in love with art is so exciting. I always say to every student I ever teach, that my goal is to help you surprise yourself. To do something you never knew you were capable of doing. It’s a beautiful process to be a part of!”
While she has worked in many mediums, her specialty is in charcoal design. “I adore the medium of charcoal.” Martin maintains. “There is something so special about it. The simplicity of a piece of basic black chalk and a piece of paper turning into a beautiful image... I’ve always been fascinated by it.” She particularly enjoys doing charcoal portraits and loves doing individual people (and even animals) as a subject. “There is nothing more challenging and rewarding than capturing a likeness and really exploring someone’s personality within the framework of a portrait,” She says. “I’ve been blessed to produce many commissioned portraits for a lot of wonderful people, especially in our community. It is an honor to know that I am creating something special for that family,” She continues. “To know that a portrait of a loved one could be a treasured heirloom generations from now. That is a huge part of why I love what I do.”
Traci’s work has been featured in numerous publications such as Oklahoma Today Magazine, Art Focus Magazine, the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce tourism guide, and numerous other catalogues for prestigious art collections. In July of 2017 her latest collection of work, “In My Room,” opened at the Goddard Center. She received Create Ardmore’s first ever grant for this body of work. “I’m so grateful for that grant opportunity,” Martin says. “I’m thankful for the work Create Ardmore is doing to promote the arts and to further grown the arts programming in our community.”
To see more of Traci’s work you can check out her website, www.tracimartinstudios.com or look at her Facebook page, Traci Martin Studios.