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Joy Anne MacConnell, a second generation silhouette artist, cut her first silhouette at seven years old at Hampton Beach, N.H.. Standing in the booth of her mother, Lillian G. Clarke, she freehand cut the profile of a little girl posing for her mother. Amazingly, Joy Anne was able to capture details like the eyelashes and the braids. Little did she know, as she cut that silhouette, this would evolve into a lifetime career.

With her mother's encouragement, Joy continued to freehand cut clowns, ballet dancers, and relatives faces. By nine years old, she was able to cut a good likeness - though unrefined . That came later- with practice.

Continuing on her artistic path, she attended the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a BFA in Illustration, before taking off for Hawaii. There she worked at various art jobs, and when the opportunity came, rented booths at the Hawaii and Maui State Fairs - cutting silhouettes professionally for the first time. This proved so successful she quit her day job and opened up her own silhouette booth in the International Market Place on Waikiki.

But New England roots run deep. Returning home Joy Anne entered the teaching field as head of the Marlborough High School Art Department. A sabbatical, after four years teaching, became permanent when she decided to further her education. While earning an MFA from Tufts University, she earned her living cutting silhouettes in East Coast art shows from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania. With experience comes confidence. It was then she recognized her niche and chose to become a full time silhouette artist.

With over forty-five years experience accurately capturing precious profiles, families return to have updates of their children's silhouettes to chart their growth and change. It is not unusual for Joy to cut silhouettes of the grandchildren of her mother's customers silhouetted at Hampton Beach, N. H. so long ago.

Joy Anne, upon invitation, demonstrates her talent at school career days, introducing talented young people to the art of silhouette cutting. Perhaps one of these young people will discover their talent early, will be nurtured and encouraged, and join the twenty-five to thirty professional silhouette artists working in the United States today.