Name: Elizabeth “Bebe” Wolfe
Job: Owner of The Wolfe Studio, an art gallery and ceramic shop first opened by her parents, Karl and Mildred Wolfe, in 1946.
What was it like to grow up around an art studio?
Of course, it was quite wonderful, actually. One thing that was really nice for me was that my parents were both around all the time. They had the studio right next to the house. They were busy, they had work to do, but they were always right there and I could see what they were up to. That was always really fun, and there was always something interesting going on, so I just absorbed everything in a really natural kind of way.
What did it instill in you?
It instilled a huge appreciation for visual art in all its forms. My mother taught art history at Millsaps at a time when I was in middle school. I would come home and sit down with her and she would be getting her slides in order. I would get interested in the pictures and slides and she would more or less give me the whole lesson. So it was an absolutely painless, osmosis kind way of learning about everything. Art was never separate from anything for me
What is your favorite art to make?
I guess I know more about painting than other forms, just from my own knowledge and skill and all that. I have a great love for sculpture and a feeling for it and like to do it. … But I think the root of all of it for me is drawing. I have a great love for drawing and really spent a lot of time developing that while I was in art school. Drawing for me has so much to do with movement and sort of the kinetic connection to things. It’s kind of at the heart of everything for me.
How does the memory of your parents live on in the studio?
Well the forms that they did long ago, we’re still making their forms. … Still, all of the ceramics we make, which is what the studio is about now as far as business, all are things that they started. … The nativity scenes that we make are, for me, very much linked to my father. He really loved Christmas, and he loved medieval art. He had been to Europe and seen all the cathedrals there. And this was kind of his expression of that.
What’s next for The Wolfe Studio?
That’s always a big question mark that I don’t quite know the answer until it happens. We’re having a kind of group show in October of people who work at the studio, including me. The theme is birds, but not it’s necessarily about Wolfe Birds (the ceramics sold at the studio), just birds of any kind. So that’s been an exciting thing.
...Who knows, maybe it will even inspire me to be painting again and I’ll have a show of my own work later on.
The Wolfe Studio (4308 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1844) art exhibition opening reception is Thursday, Oct. 11, from 5:30-8 p.m. The show hangs through Nov. 11.