By Natalie Taylor
Glen Rogers was born in Louisville, Mississippi and began painting as a child, in elementary school. She credits this to a wonderful teacher who encouraged her, and provided the tools so that at the age of six, she was painting landscapes in oils. In high school, she had more teachers who continued to foster her artistic gifts and gave her more opportunities to paint.
Glen began her formal studies in art at the University of Mississippi, then the University of Florida. She developed a great interest in printmaking, and eventually got her master’s degree in Printmaking from San Francisco State University. Later, she got an MFA at San Jose State. All through this, Glen was hoping to go into academics, aiming for a professorship, teaching art at university. But she soon realized that she preferred being a full time artist. This eventually led to a meeting with an architect who wanted public art in a building he was designing. This initial project led to other public artworks and Glen became the lead artist in a series of collaborative works of art in the Bay area. She did this for ten years, leaving behind many works she supervised: sculptures, installations, and mosaic applications on walls, bridges, schools, and other public areas. These were all collective efforts with young artists, contributing to a sense of community and great pride for emerging artists.
She was married for twenty years, but in 1999 left the marriage, and took a trip to Mazatlan. Four days later, on a lark, Glen bought a house there and began going back and forth between Mexico and the Bay area. After two years, she decided to make Mazatlan her home, and moved there permanently. During the seventeen years she lived in Mazatlan, she did a lot of traveling all over the world and these trips became fountains of inspiration for her art. This harked back to her youth when she had begun reading books like The Chalice and When God was a Woman, which made her aware of the power of matriarchal cultures in ancient societies; a time when woman was respected and venerated. Whether investigating symbolism in pre-Hispanic Latin American cultures, or finding the ancient Goddess in France, Spain, and other European sites, she grew more and more cognizant of the power women had held in the distant past. A woman was honored for her roles at each stage in life, from maidenhood to old age, and considered creators, healers and wise rulers. Glen found the presence this goddess energy within, and wanted to honor it through her art. Her life path became a track following the footsteps of these primordial grandmothers, leading toward the creation of artworks that revere the power of women, in oils, charcoal, or monotype print. Some of these works she calls symbolic abstractions.
Her study of female symbolism and the sacred feminine led to her writing two books on the subject. Her art, she says, is not done with the primary motive of selling. She does it because it moves her, and because her art is her vehicle for passing on the message of ancient women’s power which can be recaptured once again with the right motivation for current generations. She said to me that “the act of creating is one of the most beautiful things in my life,” and that she is continually grateful for that gift. She is always conscious of the goddess energy which she feels helps in her creative process.
While living in Mazatlan, Glen had visited San Miguel several times. Then in 2016, she decided to move here, “the heat and humidity got to me,” she said. Glen’s work has been recognized internationally with artist residencies in Morocco, Italy, Spain, and several cities in the US. Her works are included in permanent collections at the San Jose, Triton, and de Saisset museums of art. Throne for a Goddess, is her public sculpture installed in Raab, Austria. Several other public sculptures can be found in the Bay area.
Glen’s latest project is once again a collaborative work, but it involves gathering women for a three day event to bring awareness of the power of woman. Calling the Circle: A Sacred Feminine Women’s Gathering, November 7-9, will have speakers, panel discussions, creative sessions, and ceremonies. San Miguel de Allende is the perfect venue, she says, because it is a beautiful place and it has “a definite spiritual and feminine energy.” You can contact Glen at: www.glenrogersart.com
Natalie Taylor: BA in English Lit and Journalism, Loyola University, Chicago, 1995. MFA in Creative Writing, Vermont College, Montpelier, VT, 1999. Published writer, editor, journalist. Spanish teacher in the US, English teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Translator. www.natalietaylor.org Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org