Pat Gilmartin



In Pat’s early years and through her teens she grew up in Atlanta, GA, and West Palm Beach, FL. Next it was off to college for several years at Georgia State University and the University of Kansas, where she eventually earned a Ph.D. in geography and cartography. She then moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where she accepted her first teaching position in cartography at the University of Victoria, B.C. After teaching there for four years, she joined the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina where she continued to teach cartography. Finally she retired and turned her full attention to art, a lifelong interest of hers. She continues to find great satisfaction in her work in ceramic sculpture and, occasionally, other media.


My sculpture is primarily figurative, extending to both the human and animal worlds. In all my subjects I seek to capture the character and personality of the individual and to communicate my understanding of it to the viewer. The viewer, in turn, may or may not see the same meaning in the sculpture as I did, but that is to be expected because the viewer’s understanding grows out of her/his own personal experiences. Many times people see things in my artwork that I didn’t even know were there, and when that happens, I’m thrilled to find those new meanings through the interpretations of other people.
In fact, this is one of the most beautiful and valuable aspects of art: the meaning of it is transactional. It has certain objective elements, of course - yes, that is a person looking out of a window into a garden - but the subjective view of it can be so much more. Each person who sees that piece of art will have a different interpretation of it, and each person’s interpretation is as valid as anyone else’s. We all have different backgrounds, beliefs, and life experiences which color our perception of things around us. How wonderful it is that an artist can present us with a representation of someone or something, and we can understand it in our own terms, taking what the artist gives us and infusing it with our own personal meanings.