Phyllis Thelen
(415) 454-1073
www.thelenart.com

 Artist's Statement:

I am an experimental artist creating sculptural forms out of organic materials, including barks, pods, plant stalks, banana leaves, bamboo shields and shells.  The materials themselves suggest an idea, they tell me their stories, and I capture them in the form that the materials suggest.

My sculptures seem to take three basic forms:  vessels, creatures, and sanctuaries.  The vessel,  a symbol of passage and transformation, suggests  imaginary journeys of the spirit.  The creatures  appear as unusual beings encountered along the way.   The sanctuaries are places of refuge for the soul in search of serenity in a turbulent world.  

 I live in the process, and take my own journey as I create.  It is my hope that there are others who dream as I do.  Through my art they may escape to serene places of the planet and the mind, and take peace and pleasure from time spent there.

Education/professional experience:

B.F.A. in Art, Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri
B.A. in Art, Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut
Ph.D. in Humane Letters (Honorary), Dominican University, San Rafael, CA

Selected Exhibitions

2015
"Sustainable" Solo Exhibition, Union Bank, San Francisco, CA
"Mediums" Best in Show: Sculpture, MSA, Ross, CA
"Metamorphosis" Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA
2014
“Journeys of the Imagination,” Solo Exhibition, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, CA
“Re/Vision,” Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA
2013
“Spirit Vessels,” Solo Exhibition, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, CA
“Vessels,” (juried by Lawrence Rinder of the Berkeley Art Museum) Arts Benecia, Benecia, CA
Bi-Annual Juried Exhibition, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
" Intersections 6: fiber/DIMENSIONS and Beyond,” The Presidio, San Francisco, CA
2012
“Take a Chance on Miniatures” Napa Valley Museum, Yountville, CA
“Fiber Art,” National Juried Exhibition, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA
Bi-annual Juried Exhibition, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
“Realm of Dreams: The Art of Barbara Andino-Stevenson & Phyllis Thelen” Dominican, San Rafael, CA
“The Elements,” juried group exhibition, Art Works Downtown, San Rafael, CA
2011
“Artfully Reclaimed V,” Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA
“Fiber Vessels,” Alta Bates Summit Community Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA 
Annual  Juried Exhibition,  Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
2-person invitational (with Wendy Lilienthal), Atrium Art Gallery, Marin General, Greenbrae, CA
2010
“Realm of Dreams,” (collaborative exhibition with Barbara Andino-Stevenson), 
 Art Works Downtown, San Rafael, CA
“Intersections  5,” group exhibition at the Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco,  CA
“Innovations in Fiber Art” (National Juried Exhibition), Sebastopol Art Center, Sebastopol, CA
“Paths in Studio Craft,” Baulines Craft Guild, Marin Community Foundation, Novato, CA
“Unveiling:  12 Artists to Watch in 2011,” Marin Arts, San Rafael, CA
2009
“Realm of Dreams,” (collaborative exhibition with Barbara Andino-Stevenson),
  Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
“Wabi Sabi”  Group Exhibition, O’Hanlon Center  for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA
Solo Exhibition, Science & Arts Building, Dominican University, San Rafael, CA
2008
Baulines Craft Guild Masters Show, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
Group Exhibition, Artisan’s Art Gallery, San Rafael, CA
Solo Exhibition, Science & Arts Building, Dominican University, San Rafael, CA  
2007
Solo Exhibition, Science & Arts Building, Dominican University, San Rafael, CA
2006
Solo Exhibition, Science & Arts Building, Dominican University, San Rafael, CA
2005
Group Exhibition, Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, San Anselmo, CA
Solo Exhibition, the Gallery at Smith Ranch, San Rafael, CA
2004
Special Interests Group Exhibition, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles,  San Jose, CA
Juried National Exhibition, Artisans,  Mill Valley, CA
“Day of the Dead” Invitational, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
Bay Area Fine Craft (Group Exhibition), Art Works Downtown, San Rafael, CA
2003
“Sanctuaries,”  Group Exhibition, Art Works Downtown,  San Rafael, CA
2002
Group Exhibition, O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA
1998
Fibermania Group Exhibition, Marin Center, San Rafael, CA
1996
Fibermania Group Exhibition, Gallery Strasse, Kurakuen, Japan   
1995
“Dual Visions,” 3-person exhibition at Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA

Awards and Honors:

2010
Selected as “2010 Marin Master ” for the Marin Art Festival, San Rafael, CA
Juror for the Wabi Sabi Exhibition at O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA
Cultural Treasure Award, Marin Cultural Services Commission, San Rafael, CA
Merit Award and Honorable Mention, Fine Arts Division, Marin County Fair
2009
Citizen of the Year Award, San Rafael, CA
Who’s Who of American Women
First Prize, Wabi Sabi Exhibition at O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA
Honorable Mention, Marin County Fair Fine Arts Division
2008
First Prize,  Juried Exhibition, Artisans Art Gallery, San Rafael, CA
Who’s Who of American Women
2007
Best in Show (3D), Marin County Fair Fine Arts Division
Living Treasure Award, Artisan’s, Mill Valley, CA  
2007
Inducted into Marin Women’s Hall of Fame
2006
Selected for Renee and Victoria di Rosa Collection, Sonoma, CA

Community Service:

Founder (and Past President) of Art Works Downtown, Marin Ballet Association, and Masque Unit of Junior Theater;  founder of Marin Council and Youth in Arts
Director of Public Art Installations for Art Works Downtown and the City of San Rafael
Chair, San Rafael Cultural Affairs Commission & Member, Steering Committee for the General Plan

Affiliations:

Art Works Downtown
Baulines Craft Guild
Fiber Dimensions
Friends of Fiber Art
Marin Arts