I consider that I am called, as an artist, to bear witness to the world that I see around me and also to the ways that I understand that world. This yields not only images of beauty but also images of pain. I hope that my work invites viewers to see the world through my eyes, mind, heart, and hands.
I place myself firmly in that long tradition of printmaking which values drawing and careful craftsmanship as a means of working, and narrative and protest as a significant subject matter. While I admire the work of many contemporary artists, my most significant mentors have been Rembrandt and Käthe Kollwitz, whose magnificent gifts of hand and eye served always to convey their passionate concern for humanity.
Like them I am particularly interested in the way that the gesture of the body communicates a person’s life experience. This does not mean that I disregard my graduate school training, which stressed – almost exclusively – formal qualities such as composition, color, and line. But in my work I hold these formal qualities in tension with the idea, striving always to use them as a mean of expressing content. I would agree with Ben Shahn that form and content are inseparable.
Margaret Adams Parker works as both printmaker and sculptor. The 15 woodcuts which comprised her 2003 exhibition, WOMEN, were purchased by the Library of Congress. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees published Parker’s 2-color woodcut, African Exodus, as the frontispiece to Refugee Children, Volume 23 of Refugee Survey Quarterly, Oxford University Press. Twenty of her woodcuts accompany a new translation of the Book of Ruth: Who Are You, My Daughter? Reading Ruth through Image and Text (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2003.) Her woodcuts depicting the people and city of Jerusalem have been exhibited in numerous venues. Parker’s sculpture Reconciliation was commissioned by Duke Divinity School and dedicated in 2005. Her sculpture of MARY is installed at the College of Preachers on the grounds of Washington’s National Cathedral and was used on the bulletin for the 2005 Day of Reflection on Ending Global Poverty.
Parker is a graduate, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, of Wellesley College. She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from American University, where she was awarded the Wolpoff Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Drawing and Works on Paper and The Glassman Award as Outstanding Woman Artist. She has been awarded a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship in Painting and has been a Coolidge Fellow at the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life. Parker taught for 17 years at the Art League School at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. She has served on the adjunct faculty at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, since 1992.