Cynthia Markert

Photography by Kellie Ward

For Cynthia Markert, art speaks to her as much as she speaks through art. Using mixed media on plywood, she creates intricate, flapper-style women who “draw out the creative impulses inside a human being as they are looking at the art.”

Cynthia explains that it is not the point for the women she depicts to be beautiful, but rather that they be challenging and engaging. Women from the 1890s to the 1930s are her inspiration; they challenged society’s notions and advanced the rights of women. She feels a “tenderness and female solidarity with them.”

Her discovery of plywood as a medium happened by chance when using a piece as a work surface. As she was working, “the drawings, the pastels and pencils would go off the paper and onto the wood.” She transitioned to working directly on plywood and has used it ever since. For her, the wood helps creates the women she depicts; she draws them out of the wood.

The work featured here was created during the Market Square renovation in 2003 when she was invited to do street art on a plywood construction tunnel. Now, some of those pieces are hanging and have come full circle to appear in one of the square’s renovated buildings: UnCorked.

Cynthia Markert’s work is featured around the US in cities such as San Francisco, Asheville, Charleston, New Orleans, and the D.C. area. Locally, you can see her work in Liz Beth & Co, Rala, UnCorked, or at

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