by Christy Rodriguez de Conte
Painter, collage artist, and art educator Carrie Ann Baade slips into the sublime scenes of her imagination in her latest solo exhibition, “The Surreal Imagining,” running through Dec. 7 at TCC Fine Art Gallery.
The artist, eyes closed, takes a moment to breathe. They inhale, exhale, and find stillness. Suddenly a garden grows in their mind, filled with luscious leaves entangled amongst thick vines that bloom seductive scents within its flowers. A tiny seed of possibility appears in their hand. The seed is planted, and what they envision will grow there.
No image will be the same, and all images will bring creative fertility. That is the power of imagination and what fuels artist and educator Carrie Ann Baade. “I start in the world of my mind,” says Baade. “[The imagination] is a fertile and chaotic space with limitless potential.”
It is this almost spiritual connection to the imagination and its creations that led Baade into the arts. Like many children, she had a revolving gallery of artwork on the fridge curated by overly supportive parents.
Unlike some, Baade declared herself an artist at the age of 2 and, by 6, was grappling with existential questions about how to sustain herself as an artist. Growing up in Louisiana, Baade saw herself reflected in the French Quarter artists she visited with family and knew she, too, was meant for this life with all of its challenges.
Baade supported her vision of a future filled with art by dedicating herself to its practice and the pursuit of knowledge. She went on to study art academically at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Delaware, receiving a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Fine Arts, respectively. She also studied realism at an atelier in Italy.
Tallahassee became home in 2007 when Florida State University welcomed her as a professor in the Department of Art. Since then, Baade has not only made an impact on her students, but she has also helped shape the arts community in Tallahassee. Baade took over the 621 Gallery during the recession when it was on the brink of closure and revived it to serve artists and art connoisseurs alike.
Read the rest of the article on the Tallahassee Democrat.