This book introduces the reader to 32 self-taught artists in the Southeastern United States. Some have already come to the attention of collectors and scholars. Many others have been unrecognized outside of their immediate neighborhoods. What they all have in common is an unquenchable desire to make art. Often defying the expectations of family and friends, they have pursued this inspiration. In many cases, these artists began to create in response to a personal crisis. Others harbored an interest in art for many years but only had the time to create following retirement. Most were initially unaware of the academic art world, either because they were unable to afford an art education or because their families considered such an aspiration impractical. These stories of perseverance, struggle and triumph illustrate the strength of the creative impulse, which is a part of us all.
Margaret Day Allen is a communications professional living in North Carolina. She holds a B.A. in English from Mississippi State University and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Mississippi. She and her husband, Robert, have two children, Frances and Chris.