As a self-taught artist, she spent many years apprenticed to her tools and began working with glass when it was considered craft. The door of fine art was opened with her first solo exhibition in 1977 at The Emma Willard School, Troy, NY. "Emma" is the first women's higher education institution in the United States.
Tara resides and works from her studio in the Historic town of Washington, New Hampshire and welcomes visitors by appointment and during her annual Open Studio Tour in the fall.
T a r a V a n M e t e r
A b o u t
T h e L i t t l e G i r l
E t c h e d and C a r v e d G l a s s
Photograph by Holt Webb
S h i m a s a n i' C h e i i
"Creative energy is a strong, yet fragile force in an artist's life. My Muse is a Task Master and has taught me that one cannot separate or sacrifice the quality of workmanship for design, as part of the art lies within the crafting process itself. When creating a piece my goal is to strike the balance between art and workmanship. It's then the work will tell it's story well."
Tara is a noted, well respected artist whose career has spanned stained glass, mosaics, church repair and teaching. She is known as both a fine artist and technician.
"I was raised in the Southwest and spent many years in the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. My grandparents worked with the Navajo and were a strong influence for me becoming an artist. This is reflected in my designs, which often symbolize the powerful world of nature and Native America. I have fond memories of swimming in the red waters of the Rio Grande River as a child. I remember Indian Market and the families coming in on their horses and buckboards. It was dusty and dry. The wagons and horses would kick up dust, sage brush would tumble across the road, and skinny dogs would slink alongside. The squaws were laden with silver and turquoise jewelry and the braves stared stoically ahead on horseback. They were coming into white man's town.
These were strong images for a little girl, which led to my signature work, "Shima Sani Cheii", meaning my grandmother and my grandfather in Navajo. This work was done to honor the memory of my grandparents. Plains Indian symbols, animal tracks, and Native American designs are placed around the circumference of the large vessel."
Among Tara's awards and recognitions is "International Women's Year Award" presented for her work at the first fine art show to be held at West Point, the United States Military Academy. The slides of the award winning piece are in the Woman's Inter-art Center NY, NY.
Two noted commissions are for the World Championship Gas Balloon Race's first and second place trophy. The designs are in the permanent archives of the Gas Balloon Federation, Paris, France. Also to her credit are six stained glass windows at West Point.
V a n M e t e r S t u d i o