At an outdoor summer art show this year, a man entered Pat Boyd’s booth, looked around and said to her, “I like the way your mind works.”
Others might wonder where in the world she comes up with her mixed-media assemblages that include “whatchamacallits” – odds and ends found in junk drawers, garages and shops that specialize in fixing obsolete items that have given way to more modern tools.
“About a month ago, I was in a 100-year-old hardware store in Anacortes, and I bought a pile of miscellaneous parts,” she said. “When I checked out, the owner asked ‘What are you going to do with all this stuff?’ I tried to explain, and he gave me a very strange look. I am sure most of his customers are looking for parts to actually repair something.”
Boyd’s piles become unique jewelry, wall hangings or free-standing sculptures; curious whimsical concoctions that serve as catalysts for a viewer’s imagination. Door plates become guardian angels with the addition of faces made of polymer clay, cheese graters become the body of a tin man, and parts of clocks and watches, bullet casings and beads become one-of-a-kind necklaces. “I go by an item’s shape,” Boyd explained, “This one has an old toy in it that I found in a field when I was hiking.”
Boyd, who lives on the North Side, was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and moved to Chicago where she had an easel in her room. She dabbled in painting and took every art class available in high school where she designed posters, dance decorations and was the art editor of the school yearbooks.
She graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising design and went on to work in the field of graphic design in Chicago, San Francisco and Spokane. “My mother always wanted to go to art school but it was during the Depression. My father always thought that it was a waste of time for a woman to go to college, but I begged him and finally he agreed on the condition that I chose a form of art that would lead to a job.”
In Spokane, Boyd took art classes at Eastern Washington University and Spokane Falls Community College. Boyd has shown her work at Artisan’s Wares, Good Works Gallery, The Entree Gallery at Priest Lake, Raw Space, and Pottery Place Plus. She regularly has work at the Tinman Artworks and Tinman Too. In November, she will display her jewelry at Inland Crafts and her mixed-media pieces in December at the Yuletide show at the Museum of Arts and Culture.
When asked what art means to her, she replied, “Art is an escape. When I create, I don’t dwell. I’m in my own little world.”