This blog highlights the talents of this years symposium presenters. For more information about attending this years symposium, please see

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Yuma 2020 Presenter - Marie Bergstedt

There are so many things we can try to make better. Thanks to Yuma Art Symposium for giving me an opportunity to think about it with you.  I will focus on the theme of Amendments in a presentation, a brief demonstration and with a few artworks in the West Gallery of the Yuma Art Center January through February 2020.

It could be said that all of my artwork is just a set of self-portraits.  I say that because they are all about people and conditions I have seen. Those observations affect me in my own particular way and I sift through them to a portrait and story of someone who has experienced what I noticed. But, I know my interpretation cannot be taken as the “truth."  It is just the way I work it through, with a hope for something that can apply to the experience of many others and may be just a bit better or have a touch of humor in what usually begins as a negative concern.

"Triker" 2009
Hand crochet and wire sculpting with gut, button work, 
recycled parts of metal tricycle, and reconstructed antique doilies

Most of my adult life was invested as a development director in not-for-profit institutions. I needed a dependable income to insure that I would be able to support myself and save enough to convert to a full-time art career. Fortunately I found jobs where I was in close contact with many creative people who kept my brain busy thinking even when I had little time to set my hands in motion.

Once those hands got to moving, I found that what I really wanted was to skip the formal art techniques I had studied over the years and find a way to use the more personal methods I learned as a child…sewing, knitting, and crochet.  I was thinking about stories from my childhood and issues that seemed very personal, but also universal.  To me these hand techniques seemed the best way for me to tell those stories.  So, I began.

"Countdown" 2008
Hand crochet over wire sculpting

My first fiber artwork fingered through painful childhood memories and were actually often self-portraits.  I moved through health issues of friends and family, my homeless brother, my foster mother’s aging and death, and untold tales of mysterious relatives.  In every case, telling the story was a growth experience for me, both in resolving an issue and expanding my artistic approach. Each personally known story also had a more universal application that I hoped could reach others with hope and sometimes laughter.

"Mikey of Mallory" 2012 
Hand crochet, stitching and button work

In recent years, my thoughts are more focused on obvious current questions: border issues, the role of women, and gun violence, along with continuing health and aging. Always there is a relative or friend whose experience fits the issue.  

I hope you will join me in unbuttoning stories and brokering amendments for a positive journey forward.

Marie Bergstedt working on "Fit" 2018
 Hand knitting, crochet, and stitching

For more information about Marie Bergstedt and her work  PRESS HERE

Marie will present her work at the 2020 Yuma Art Symposium

Hope to see you there!