Passing down knowledge of the arts and creativity seems like the ultimate gift. As mothers, sisters, and friends we can help multiply ingenuity and imagination. Just ask Victoria. She molded her first lump of clay at the age of six. Her mom was an artist who wanted to share the passion she had for her favorite medium. Alongside her mother, Victoria saw several women who broke down barriers and set prime examples for the female art force, such as Mary Chase Perry Stratton, Maija Grotell, and Beatrice Wood.
Mary Chase Perry Stratton founded Pewabic Pottery in 1903, deviating so far from the path that patriarchal society laid before her. Instead of solely tending to matters of home and family, she broadened her mind with art and business. To Mary, pottery was more than a hobby. It was her life, her bread and butter, her ambition and aspiration. She left behind a legacy of distinct work and work ethics. If we all could be so lucky and determined to leave behind some goodness for those who follow in our footsteps, the world would be much better for it.
To Victoria, Mary Stratton “is watching over all the female artists in Detroit. If you’re walking down Woodward, feeling down on your luck, or tired form working twice as hard for half the pay merely because of your gender, look up! Chances are you will see a Pewabic facade or design somewhere on one of those buildings. Maybe she didn’t literally pave the road but she literally finished the buildings!”
Victoria aims to one day run a studio of her own with friends, hopefully traveling and doing workshops along the way. Her advice to aspiring artists is simple. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Art can still be fun to make, analyze, and critique. While Victoria sees Mary Stratton as the ceramics Rosie the Riveter of the Midwest, she hopes to be more like Shirley Temple. By integrating a bit of her background in New Jersey, she hopes to make viewers feel that playfulness of a child at the beach.
That being said let each day take you a step closer to fulfilling your dreams. Find your voice and don’t be afraid to make it heard. That’s the way to leave behind a legacy of triumph and create an appetite for achievement in generations to come.
See more of Victoria Shaheen’s work here.
Also take a look at her work wear: Sandstone Sherpa Lined Vest, Clarksburg Sweatshirt, Jasper Jeans, Soft Hands Glove, & Carbondale Safety Glasses.