Born and raised in coastal Georgia, Pokey Park (Marie Whittle-Webb Park) grew up to love the woods and tidal creeks of her young world. A precocious child, her curious nature prompted her uncle to call her Pokey, a name she still revels in today. Growing up, she rode her horse bareback into those same deep coastal woods and wide tidal marches where she felt protected and at one with the force of nature.
Pokey began to draw and transfer images into wood and clay at the age of ten. Encouraged by her family, especially her Granny Browning, art became her means of expression. Patterns created by the wind, tides and the sight of wild animals had an early and profound influence on her. Those youthful patterns continue today.
Pokey's work reflects the passion she feels for nature and the respect that she has for its power. "There is a serious and fanciful dimension to everything. I look for the joy in nature to add a whimsical attitude in my work. I want people to see in my work this duality in themselves. I hope it makes them smile."
Pokey's work incorporates influences from here world travels, but her paradise is being close to home. " I prefer to work outside. My garden in Tucson is filled with flowers and birds. Predators prowl the desert nearby. My day begins at sunrise. The birds serenade me, my mind floats and suddenly the sun is setting. Building a sculpture is like any journey. It continues to grow as the experience and impressions from the past come into play and are assimilated. Knowledge settles into the final form.
Pokey's sculpture has been exhibited in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, D. C., California, Vermont, Oregon, Florida, Tennessee, and New York. Public installations include Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Pokey has taught art to adults, children in schools, youth clubs and in her studio. She currently winters in Tucson, Arizona and summers in Ridgeway, Colorado where she devotes her time to work and to her family.
The next few years she will be sculpting a commission to create 40 Animal Habitat sculptures for the Expansion to the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA. ?The existing children's hospital has an ocean theme, and it will remain in place, differentiating its floors into sub-zones of Ocean Floor, Ocean, Shoreline, Sky.?The new addition has 6 levels. Its themes are planned to be built around the Geographical eco- regions of California and will differentiate each floor level by the various flora and fauna typical of each geographical ecosystem: Rocky Shore, Redwood Forest, Valley, Desert, Foothills, Mountains. Pokey's animal sculptures will be the iconic themes for the different zones.