Artist Focus Mary Engel: June 2017

Artist Focus

Mary Engel

Hibernating Bear by Mary Engel is her latest incredible sculpture made with thousands of bullets.

It was included in the critically acclaimed exhibition Unloaded presented by Dashboard U.S. through May 20.

Mary Engel has exhibited her found object assemblage sculpture of animal figures at Marcia Wood Gallery for over twenty years. Mary is passionate about animals and has created many beautiful works to honor them. Her main subject was primarily dogs, with a few cats, horses, rabbits and elephants in the mix. In the last few years her menagerie has expanded to include polar bears, bison, a tiger, and even an alligator.  

From the beginning of her practice, Engel's foundation of inquiry has been an exploration of the development of culture through myth and fable, and as with so much of the lore she studies, she has designated the archetypical animal form as representatives of humanity.

Speaking about her current work with bullets -

My lifelong love for animals and the connection I feel with them inspires me to sculpt. The depth of love given to and received from dogs since I was a little girl is immeasurable.  My current pack, Gabrielle and Tinkerbelle makes me walk, play and laugh every day.
I build using wire mesh and hydrocal then cover with epoxy and ammo. Each piece is built from the paws or hooves up, is hollow and unique.
Through my work, I aspire to create whimsical animated creatures using gesture and ‘movement’ to capture a presence I feel animals possess. The bullet sculptures are an attempt to reveal the animal’s beauty and grace as well as the atrocities perpetrated against them.
Paradoxically, the surface created with thousands of bullets on each figure cloaks the animal in a golden glowing skin that brings to mind mythological beings or armored warriors.

Also guarding the gallery grounds are Leo .....

...And Leitha

Mary's work also greets visitors at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport International Terminal E.

Originally from Chicago Engel moved to Athens, GA in 1993. Her work has shown and been reviewed nationally since 1986 in galleries, art fairs and museums. Engel's work is held in private collections as well as institutions including Children’s Healthcare of Scottish Rite in Atlanta, The Arthur Blank Family Foundation, the Detroit Zoo, the Disney Corporation the President’s Collection of the University of Georgia and the United States Embassy, Rome, Italy.  Museum exhibitions include Macon Museum of Arts & Sciences, Macon, GA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, GA, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL, Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC, and Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL.

Mary Engel Studio with Tinkerbell and Gabrielle, Athens, GA 2017

Mary Engel Studio with Tinkerbell and Gabrielle, Athens, GA 2017

Coming soon, a gorgeous publication of decades of work residing in collectors' homes - to be launched in

conjunction with her solo show at the gallery in the coming 2018 season.