By: Celia Catlett
Ann Burroughs radiates energy. Just moved in and only two days after knee surgery, she sat there cheerfully, answering my questions and filling me in on her very active life.
Ann has been an artist all her life — an oil painter, a printmaker, and, for forty some years, a metal smith working with gold, silver, brass, and copper. Her work with metal has ranged from heavy casting to jewelry. Her apartment is a treasure trove of her own and other artists’ work. In the entry hall are two of her mono prints, which, as she explained, require both etched plates and painting. Throughout the living room are examples of her cast metals: her children’s heads, a chalice, a planter, and others.
Born in Flint, Michigan, Ann attended Mount Vernon Seminary as a boarding student in Washington, D.C. She received a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from both the University of Colorado and the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, and is a member of Delta Phi Delta, an art honor society.
Grand Rapids, Michigan, was her base location, but she has traveled worldwide (with Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar among her favorite spots) and has lived in San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado, and wintered in Longboat Key for the last 20 years. She still maintains her summer home in Whitehall, Michigan, where she enjoys sailing and kayaking.
Ann raised three children, a son who lives down the road in Venice, and two daughters — one now living in Kansas City, and one a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. She also has a granddaughter at the University of Tampa, one grandson in high school in Naples, and another who is a graduate student at the San Francisco Arts Academy. Her talents and intelligence seem to have descended unto the third generation.
Ann’s energy has not, however, been confined to artwork and family. In Grand Rapids, she was steadily involved in her community. She was on the founding boards of three important organizations: Home for Runaways, Educational TV (now PBS), and Project Rehab.
Her ongoing interests include water sports and fitness activities. She plans to take full advantage of our Wellness Center. Knee surgery is obviously not going to slow this lady down. “I am not retired,” she corrected me at one point in our interview. She intends to continue with her jewelry making in a space that has been set up for her in the wood shop. What I saw of her jewelry work was striking, from delicate large-ringed gold chains to bold metal cuffs.
Ann chose Plymouth Harbor partly because she already had friends among us. With her talent, liveliness, and evident good nature, she will soon have many more.