These awards are given every other year to outstanding artists doing extraordinary work in the five traditional craft media: clay, fiber, glass, metal and wood. The awardees are then invited to come to Washington for JRA’s spring celebration of craft, receive their award, and give a presentation describing their work.
Marilyn’s work is special not only because it interestingly tells stories using realistic, natural and beautifully crafted elements such as birds and flowering branches, but because of the unique technique she developed for adding color to the metal objects. Her love of drawing led her to embellish the surfaces of her metal sculptures with gesso and color pencils rather than using chemical patinas. The result of this is beautiful, realistically nuanced coloration for her nature—based sculpture.
She has led workshops around the country teaching this technique, as well as having held two college teaching posts: from 1978 to l987 she taught at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and since 1987 has been a Professor and Program Chair of the Jewelry/Metal Arts Dept. at the California College of the Arts in Oakland.
This recognition by the JRA, an independent organization created to recognize the achievements of America’s craft artists, follows two others. In 1999 she was named a Master Metalsmith by the Metals Museum in Memphis, TN, and in 2007 was made a Fellow of the American Craft Council. This last is especially noteworthy since such selections are made by other craft artists.
Original source: JRA Press Release