Love has inspired poets, musicians, and artists throughout history. It’s the emotion that connects us with the sublime. Polly Cook is also inspired by the theme of love, and it is at the heart of all her artwork, along with the accompanying emotions of longing, regret, desire, passion, joy and hope. Her work is not to be taken as literal stories, but rather, they are emotional narratives, visual poetry. They are meant to be experienced as well as seen.
Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, Polly had her first pottery class at the art center in Centennial Park when she was 10 and fell in love with clay. Her love of the Romantic poets, such as Byron, Shelley, and Keats and the Pre-Raphaelite artists took her to England when she was 16. There she was also introduced to German Expressionism and the German Realists of the 20’s, and these different art movements influenced her. She has studied art there in England, California, Maine, The Art Student League in NYC, and received a BFA in ceramics and sculpture at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.She has made a living from her work since graduating, selling one-of-a-kind ceramics and paintings on canvas all over the country, selling at arts festivals in in galleries. She has won Best of Show at the Columbus Arts Festival and the Tennessee Crafts Fair. Her work has been featured in the American Craft Museum, on CNN, and she has done large murals for Vanderbilt University and prominent homes in California, Nashville, and Chicago. Recently her work has been the menu cover for J. Alexander’s in over 30 restaurants, as well as been purchased for the collections of The Tennessee State Museum, and Hotel La Cour des Augustins in Geneva, Switzerland.Polly’s work has been in many national group shows, as well as one person exhibitions in Nashville, Atlanta, Portland, Maine, Washington, DC, Santa Monica, Winston-Salem, and New York City. Currently she lives in Texas, where she is concentrating on ceramic tile paintings and large paintings on canvas.