An Artist's Rebirth

Tazia LeMay Rediscovers Her Roots
By Jenie Gao

Tazia LeMay learned early on that creativity isn’t easy, but it can play a  powerful role in life.

She grew up learning watercolor painting from her grandmother and sculpting clay from her grandfather. But LeMay admits the drive to forge ahead as an artist wasn’t easy to sustain. “I went through a hard time and didn’t make art or participate in shows for a few years.”

Still, her desire to create was alive, and things began to change when she joined the From Here to Her Collective, a group of Wisconsin women artists who partner with and dedicate artwork to women-led nonprofits. The collective helped LeMay redirect her professional goals toward artistic pursuits.

LeMay currently runs Gallery Marzen on Atwood Avenue with her aunt, Margaret LeMay. “I love installing exhibitions and making sure there’s a flow to the space. People shouldn’t worry about how the work is hung. All they should see is the art in a wellcurated show,” she says.

She also channels the idea of fluid connections into her two-dimensional work and flow arts practice, which she performs with Hula hoops and doing fire dances. “When you’re working on a painting you eventually get into a ‘flow state,’ but that’s hard to reach. I feel that way every time I pick up a Hula hoop or a fire prop.”

And her newfound failsafe to keeping her creative mojo is simple. “You gotta learn how to let things go,” she says. “You need to know and accept the part of a painting you love might not be so prominent as you add to the piece. That’s a great metaphor for life.”

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