Priscilla Phifer proves that an art career is attainable at any age

Priscilla Phifer proves that an art career is attainable at any age
Photo courtesy of Priscilla Phifer

Priscilla Phifer is an abstract expressionist artist, with some instruction taken from several classes at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center and The Community House, both in Birmingham, Michigan. Her work can be found in such places as the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit, the Franklin Grill Restaurant (Franklin), and many private collections on either the west or east coasts.

She joined us to discuss her art journey and familial inspirations.

When did you become interested in art?
I have been interested in various art forms since childhood. My mother was creative and taught her four daughters how to knit, sew, and crochet at an early age. One of my first projects was a terry cloth yellow rabbit that I stuffed after drawing and cutting out the pattern. A fifth-grade project was a barn scene collage using twigs, construction paper, sand, and paint. And I used to promote art and artists in the ’80s when I had a leather and luggage business, providing space for them to exhibit and sell their art. My husband and I are also longtime collectors.

Who inspired you to pursue visual arts?
My family [inspired me]. My husband Randolph, son Drake and his late wife, Monique, inspired me to pursue visual arts — at age 69, to explore painting, wondering if my decoupage skills were transferable to the canvas. They were transferable, and I became a professional artist following my first solo show in 2015 at age 70.

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