Anna J. Weaver is an Amish artist living in New York state. If “artist” doesn’t strike you as a typical Amish occupation, that’s because it’s not–at least not in the classic sense of someone who creates painting, sculpture and the like.
By the sound of things, however, Anna has made a pretty decent go of it as a painter. From a recent profile in the Erie Times-News:
The simple daily chores and pleasures of Amish life are what Weaver knows best and what she uses as the subjects for her acrylic paintings. Just as engaging as her art is her story, from wife and mother of six to an exhibiting artist in the Holstein Gallery at the Erie Art Museum.
Weaver is originally from Spartansburg in Crawford County and now lives in nearby Sherman, N.Y. She’s had no formal art training — in fact, she has only the eighth-grade education typical within the Amish community. Encouraged by her mother, she’s a self-taught artist who began by painting on roof slates and smooth stones gathered from the fields.
Weaver’s later paintings were on exhibit in a Sherman used book store when she was commissioned to paint a large-scale mural on a local restaurant wall. That effort brought her to the attention of the Something Unique Gallery in Sherman, where her works — now painted on canvas, canvas board and even circular saw blades — have been exhibited and sold since 2009.
One Amish knock against art as an occupation is that it often spotlights the individual–potentially unhealthy in a culture built around community.
Of course, you could argue there are many more Amish artists out there than we might think…what about all the creative quilters, craftspeople, and–this may be stretching things–cooks?