Margret-Ann was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, where she still resides. She is a needle felt artist. She uses animal fibers, and a needle with notches slit into it to felt (mesh, interlock) the fibers into sculptures. She also uses an ancient technique called wet felting. She lays out fiber and uses soap and water to felt the fibers together creating fabric for pictures, clothes, and other aspects of her work. Her first art show was Artomatic 419 in Toledo in 2013. Felting was more of a hobby at that time, but there was so much interest in what she was doing, Margret-Ann started teaching for non-profit organizations and founded a felting guild, Fiber of Our Being, in September of 2014. In January 2015, after seeing several specialists for debilitating back and foot pain, she was told they saw shadows on her spine during a CT scan. They had to do more testing, but the doctor told her there was the possibility she had cancer on her spine. Margret-Ann gave serious thought to what she wanted to do if she only had a period left to her life. Smaug, from the Hobbit series, had been in her mind’s eye since she completed Balin the Dwarf King the year before. Smaug was the art piece she wanted to leave behind. She began that night. It took her over 2,000 hours to create Smaug. He made his debut at Art-O-Matic 419 in Toledo in April 2015. Stories about him appeared on the local news channel and newspaper. From there they went to ArtPrize7 in Grand Rapids, Mi. He received another round of media coverage in Toledo and Grand Rapids. Representatives from Ripley’s Believe It or Not even paid them a visit! Thankfully, the diagnosis was not cancer, but, unfortunately, there has been no concrete diagnosis despite a myriad of specialists working together. The only thing doctors can agree on is her health continues to decline, and she spends each day in serious pain. While Margret-Ann has had to close her real estate investment company and can no longer teach, she has not been idle. Felting is her passion and her focus. Her children’s book, Artie the Needle Felting Dragon, was brought to life for ArtPrize 8. Artie & the gang, Smaug, & Balin were then invited to spend most of November and December 2016, at the Lea Gallery in Findlay, Oh, and the gallery enjoyed one of their most well-attended exhibits and, again, plenty of media coverage. The galleries neighbor, the Mazza Museum, then asked her to be their presenter in December 2016. The Mazza Museum holds the world’s largest collection of children’s book illustrations. Mazza carries her children’s book in their gift shop. Margret-Ann is a published artist with a feature article, entitled, From Sheep to Dragons, in the international magazine, Art Doll Quarterly. In their spring issue, 2017. She also had her Janis Joplin doll in Art Doll’s spring issue 2018 for their psychedelic 70’s challenge. She is a member of the Professional Doll Maker’s Guild and will have the mermaid piece that is in the ArtPrize 10 collection featured in the guild’s fourth issue to be released by the end of 2018. Her Count VaLaddin shown in the gallery below is up for a feature article in Art Doll that would be on stands during ArtPrize 10. Margret-Ann feels the body of work that makes up I’m Fine. How are You? is a calling. After many hours of enjoying art displayed at the University of Michigan Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic, she realized that the art calmed her and distracted her during the long waiting periods. She feels it is her vocation to express, visually, what IDCs (invisible disease carriers) feel so that doctors’ and loved ones can better understand what they cannot see. She will continue to add to this series and hopes to show her work at these hospitals and hospitals that have these necessary art programs.
Margret-Ann's ArtPrize Entries
These are Margret-Ann's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.
Margret-Ann's Past Work
These are images of past work that Margret-Ann has done.