Monica Tucker-Harley is a visual artist who followed her passion for culture and history to pursue a BA in Anthropology and MA in Museum Studies at San Francisco State University. Before settling in NoVA she spent her career primarily as a Museum Collections Manager, but also working in the field as Curator, Historic Interpreter, Development Manager and Grant Writer. She served the San Jose art community on the board of Works/SAN JOSE and honed her own art skills in and out of the galleries. Within the DMV she has served on the board of the Art Connection in the Capital Region and consulted with the Lucy Burns historic group at the Workhouse Arts Center. Community, history, and nature all continue to shape Monica’s art in acrylics, oil pastels, mixed media, and larger scale mural work. She currently serves on the art committee of the Persimmon Project, painting and consulting on murals that feature the native flora and fauna of NoVA.
Monica's current work is characterized by abstract figures that imitate nature with a feeling of constant motion. Using a limited palette of bright colors and smooth brushstrokes, the pieces offer high contrast that draw the eye. Twisting and folding figures capture interest and invite the viewer to roam through the work, exploring the nuances of color and shape.
"Painting just feels good. Being a busy mother, it is a release to get lost in the flow of moving the paint around. Often I have no specific image in mind when I begin, letting the colors I've chosen and the music and mood shape the work. I was a dancer for many years and painting this way feels like an improvisational dance. My pent up energy, my emotions, my hopes and anxieties get swept up in the paint and transformed into something that can be beautiful."
The Tucker-Harley children are also engaged in creative pursuits with their mother, making custom cakes through "Harley Cakes at Giggly Girl Bakery."