|Marie Salter’s “Georgia Girl” creation will be one of the dresses on display at “Marie Salter’s Second Act” beginning January 21 at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture.
|TIFTON, Georgia – A random search on the internet surprisingly provided inspiration for a retired South Georgia educator to revisit her passion for art.
Marie Salter spent 25 years as a teacher and media specialist in the Dougherty County School System. While looking online for art to decorate her granddaughter’s room, she came across some unusual dresses made from maps of London and San Francisco. This piqued the interest of the former fine arts student from the University of Georgia and Salter soon began exploring the idea and experimenting.
The unique result will soon be on display at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture. “Marie Salter’s Second Act” opens on Saturday, Jan. 21 with gallery tours, an informal talk led by the artist, and a tea and scones drop-in reception between 1-3 p.m.
Salter’s rare pieces showcase vintage and contemporary maps intricately folded into 3-D clothing, which are also thematically tied to the map’s content and age. After initially being intrigued by what she found online, she began experimenting with Christmas paper before she started collecting maps. Each piece takes Salter approximately eight hours of detailed work. Then, Salter designs unique frames for each piece that not only showcase the intricacy of the works, but also protect them.
“Each one of Marie’s pieces also carries a ‘pun very much intended’ name, which is tied to the content of the map, and the piece of clothing folded out of it,” said Polly Huff. The GMA Curator met Salter early last year, and was immediately impressed by her work and vision.
Salter’s work has become popular in the region. She won a Best of Show Award at the 2021 Southwest Georgia Regional Art Exhibit & Sale, and many of her pieces reside in the homes of private collectors. The unique work provides a constant challenge for Salter, as each creative process provides her with a different inspiration. She recently obtained an 1873 map of Georgia and a vintage produce map of the state. Both have been folded into dresses, named “Georgia Girl” and “Pretty as a Peach”, and will be a special feature of her exhibition at the GMA gallery.
“We thought the 1873 map would be a perfect centerpiece for the exhibit because our historic village portrays life in wiregrass Georgia during that time, between 1870 and 1910,” Huff said.
While Salter’s pieces require pain-staking work, the sentimental value they can provide someone is not lost on the artist. She recalls a conversation with a woman who purchased one of Salter’s works, created from a map of the British Isles. The buyer said she had planned a visit to that area with her husband, but he succumbed to cancer before they could take the trip.
Each of the artist’s unique pieces on display at the GMA Gallery exhibit will be available for sale. After the initial opening on January 21, the exhibit will remain on display through Saturday, April 1 at the annual Folklife Festival. In January, exhibiting hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The museum will return to normal operating hours in February, opening an hour earlier each day. Admission to this special exhibition is included in the daily admission to the museum, which can be purchased at the Country store. Admission is also free with a GMA Season Pass.
For more information on the exhibit and future exhibits, contact Polly Huff at email@example.com.