When Nora Schreiber isn’t slicing brisket or putting water bottles in coolers on hot days, she’s in her studio making art.

Schreiber, 33, is a graduate student in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Tyler.

She recently finished her Master of Arts degree in studio art. Her thesis was “Work and Objects.” She is currently working on her Master in Fine Arts in art and will finish in the spring.

Her art has been exhibited in Louisiana, New Mexico and Tyler, and she has painted murals around Tyler. Her installations have appeared at Rose Rudman Park and the Tyler Public Library.

A native of New Mexico, Schreiber came to Tyler when she was young. She is the manager at Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q on Beckham Avenue, and has been dubbed the bourbon slinger because of her knowledge of the drink and its history.

Schreiber also started a nonprofit organization called the Worthy Ones, which is best known for its work in the summer months putting coolers at Tyler bus stops and recruiting volunteers to fill them with water bottles.

Why did you become an artist?

I think a big influence came because of my dad. He did art throughout his life, and then he quit to do psychology, but he carried it on through and encouraged me when I was younger. And it’s just so great. It’s the way my mind works.

Who is your favorite artist, living or dead, and why?

Oh goodness, that’s so tough to ask. That’s a tough question. I love Martin Puryear because of his craftsmanship and he just seems so nice, too. And then Richard Deacon, his craftsmanship, too. They both can make wood bend in ways that it’s not supposed to which is amazing. And then conceptually there are just a lot of people I can’t think of.

How does your bus stop water project relate to your art?

The nonprofit community stuff, getting out there and talking to people, was directly tied to the art. The art became a response to what I was seeing in the world, and a direct (response) like trying to solve problems, having art be a solution and not a statement. And then now I’ve separated them because I can do more when my brain is split between them. I can actually go and help people and not just throw art up and then art can be a statement that’s more holistic instead of specified.

What is your proudest accomplishment as an artist?

My proudest moment is having people go in I guess for the MA thesis show. And you know my work’s not always a pretty picture, or a really cool-looking object, and so it was really nice to have people come and how they responded and then they had these new conversations because of the work that I’d done.

I did an installation down there and it had video in it. The room, the space itself, kind of enclosed on you, and then I had some objects and some imagery. And then I had this manifesto put up, and it hung, and it’s that big piece of paper like 9 feet long. Like the words itself became the work.

What is Tyler’s biggest unmet need, and how would you address it?

The separatism. There’s a lot of separatism in the city, because there’s a lot of really big heart, and there’s a lot of money, and then there’s a lot of need that’s happening, and they don’t seem to kind of coalesce together and have a real thing that happens.

TWITTER and INSTAGRAM: @_erinmansfield

Government Reporter

Erin came to Tyler from Vermont, where she worked for VTDigger.org and previously the Rutland Herald. She received her B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she also attended journalism school.

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