Student celebrates art, life
Employees, friends laud Mure’s talent
Diverse talents — Art student Eddie Mure returned to CCC in her retirement to pursue her artwork through sculpture, pottery and painting. Sam Attal / The Advocate
In honor of her 75th birthday, Contra Costa College art student Eddie Mure celebrated the occasion in style, like few others.
More than 100 people including friends, family members, colleagues and teachers spent the afternoon of Sept. 19 at her birthday celebration and Art Exhibit Reception at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, where an array of artwork Mure has produced over the last decade was displayed.
The formal dinner reception included a speaker who is the pastor of her church, Dr. Kevin B. Hall, presentations from her family, proclamations and acknowledgements, including one from CCC President McKinley Williams, and remarks made by friends.
It was a grand reception for a special woman who Academic Senate President Richard Akers considers as "a grand lady of art."
"Eddie has been an inspiration to the young and the old. She is not afraid to do the work. When she first came to my class, she came in with a work ethic where she took her assignment on like it was an 8 to 5 job. It really showed," Dr. Akers said.
Akers said Mure is the kind of student you only get once in a lifetime.
At a young age, Mure did not have the opportunity to complete her education, yet when the opportunity arose at an older age, she decided to pick up where she left off.
"With a desire to return to school, I was tested and placed in the 11th grade at Harry Ells High school. After graduation, I wanted to continue my education and therefore enrolled at CCC," Mure said.
Mure has gone through CCC twice. She first began at the college in the late 1970s, majoring in culinary arts and business management. At the same time, she worked full time in the culinary department of Herrick Hospital in Oakland.
She completed the culinary arts program in the early 1980s.
When Mure retired, she said that she wanted to return to her "alma mater" and did so, this time majoring in a different form of art.
"I had always been interested in arts, but could not make a living in it as I had to take care of my children and prepare to send them to college," Mure said.
Akers said her background was mainly in culinary arts; however, (culinary arts and art) are related skill sets.
Mure said she learned presentation using different colors, which all melted into her artwork.
"In her work, she makes a cultural connection from her past – she draws on that. Her work speaks of the history of her heart and soul," Akers said.
This was displayed in one of her pieces at the celebration titled "Winged Victory," which is a historical triumphant piece.
Not only does Akers admire Mure, but she also thinks well of him.
"He is a wonderful teacher, and he has allowed me to grow," Mure said.
She has grown in the world of art, where she produces five mediums: stone, bronze, clay, acrylic and oil. She favors working with clay and bronze.
On display at the reception were canvas art, abstract oil on canvas, clay hand sculptures, marble, stains and welding – to name a few.
To build her knowledge in ceramics, she attended Merritt College, under the tutelage of Susannah Israel from 2003 to 2007.
"I think all of Eddie's work is interesting – she has been organized from the start," Israel said.
"Age does not matter, also. There are a lot of people Eddie's age (creating art). She has the wisdom that goes with someone who is 75 years of age. She had it when she was 65 years old," she said.
Mure's work is known to carry "feeling," as one former co-worker, Gary Watt, said.
"Many of the black sculptures remind me of the South – repression and so on. There is a lot of feeling in her sculptures, paintings and other pieces," Watt said.
Although Mure does not sell her work, there is one print on canvas that was donated to the Masonic Lodge Scholarship Fund that received, much to her surprise, $750.
For the future, Mure says she will continue to pursue her work in art at CCC.
Most recently, she was invited to be the featured artist for the entire month of February at the Three Seasons Restaurant, in honor of Black History Month.
Mure said she found her niche in art and encourages anyone at any age to find their dream and follow it.
"I had to first make a life for my children, and then come back to my dream. It will not come easy, but you have to work at it," she said.
Contact Cassandra Juniel at email@example.com.
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