Chris O’Dell Ferguson and her two daughters, Kelly and Cailyn, who are both students at Cape Cod Community College, are holding their second exhibition together at the Woodruff’s Art Center gallery in Mashpee Commons. The show is on view now and runs through March 2.
While some families experience a falling-out during the teen years, maybe it could be said that the family that creates together, stays together. When I asked about those rebellious years and their potential fallout, Ms. Ferguson said, “We don’t really have that, we’re together all the time.”
The family draws inspirations from many of the same influences and practice similar techniques, but then the three of them take things in their own individual directions.
“Being a family I think you can’t help but pull your inspiration from the same place,” said Ms. Ferguson. “We can all do illustration and we can all do abstract,” she continued. “We tend to feed off each other a little bit.”
“We’re all very organic, we’re very nature-oriented,” said Ms. Ferguson, who cited summer vacations at her parents’ farm in Virginia and the rest of the year at her Marstons Mills home as “the best of both worlds.”
Growing up with an artist mother, “We always felt like art was a part of our life,” said Kelly. “We learned her techniques and then we kind of put our own spin on it.”
They’ve grown in their individual styles, said Ms. Ferguson, in regard to her daughters’ art. Kelly tends to plan more and be more meticulous, said Ms. Ferguson, while Cailyn had this to say about her own work, “I just go for it, whatever happens, happens.” “It’s personality,” said Ms. Ferguson.
Both Kelly and Cailyn were recipients of the Karol B. Wyckoff Scholarship while students at Barnstable High School. Both girls also won Scholastic Gold Key Scholarships while they were students at BHS.
Kelly and Cailyn are currently both students in the visual arts program at CCCC. Kelly is in her first year at CCCC, while Cailyn will graduate this year and is looking into schools where she could continue her studies.
In addition to drawing influence from nature and one another, the girls cited a range of contemporary artists and old masters, among them Georgia O’Keeffe, Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt and Marco Mazzoni, while Alexander Calder and Jackson Pollack were among Ms. Ferguson’s favorites.
Along with practicing their art together, the Fergusons feel strongly about giving back to the community.
They’ve donated art for sale to benefit ovarian cancer research, pet owners in need of financial assistance, and to a rescue zoo in the Virginia town where they lived before moving to the Cape.
For their show at Woodruff’s Art Center, several pieces have been chosen to be raffled off to benefit the Housing Assistance Corporation.
“We think it’s important to give back,” said Ms. Ferguson. If someone comes in and they’re looking for donations, we always try to donate. “We’ve been given this creativity in our life and it’s part of us—that we should give back to help people we certainly do and we like to.”
In addition to showing her work at Woodruff, Ms. Ferguson leads a variety of workshops at the studio in different mediums on a regular basis.
To those who think they might be interested in dabbling in art or taking a workshop but are reluctant to try she advised, “Nobody should be intimidated by art; if you want to do it, do it. You don’t have to be educated in art, just get your hands on it.”