Wendy Ellertson was born in San Francisco, CA and grew up in the Bay Area, Chicago, and Cleveland. She holds degrees from Stanford University, Boston College, and studied at the Cleveland Art Institute. She has been an active member of the fine craft community for over forty-five years, dancing around and through many media categories always accompanied by her figures which incorporate leather, clay, wood and a deliciously eclectic array of contemporary and ancient materials, techniques and dreams. She exhibits her work across the U.S. via major craft shows, galleries, and museum shows. As a member of the Interstitial Arts Foundation, she enthusiastically supports border crossing work and storytelling in all its varied forms.
Her studio and home are in Roxbury, MA – where in 1967 she and her husband, Jon, both Westerners at heart, bought two c.1840 houses needing major work (sort of a 1 cent sale in the Boston neighborhood where houses were being abandoned) intending to stay just a few years. They raised four children and occasionally some chickens and rabbits. To their surprise, they now find themselves community elders with history, memory, stories, and spring tomato plants to share. (They are still re-habing their houses in their “spare” time.) Wendy is a strong supporter of the local ArtRox community and leads workshops for adults and children in the community.
The Winter '07-'08 issue of Art Doll Quarterly contains an 8 page "doll artist profile" on Wendy, her work, techniques and philosophy. (See pdf of article attached here.)
Each of us sees life through our own web of experience, passions and inclinations. As artists we aim to make sense of the world through story, practice, and our hands. The following experiences have contributed to the evolution of my work and to my deep connection to myth, storytelling, and flight.
So there you have it: Mexican serapes; Picasso, Michelangelo; David Smith; African masks; Bosch; Dr. Seuss; Robert J. Lee; the Alhambra; gargoyles; Portobello Street; dolls by Barbara Newman; the Names Quilt Project; Dorothy Liebes; New Orleans Jazz; Carl Sandburg; e.e.cummings, peace demonstrations, bus rides, and snorkeling in Ecuador; rafting in the Bald Eagle preserve in Alaska with my mother and aunt in their 80's, a lot of flying in my dreams. And finally, a strong belief that as artists we have an obligation to tap into the swirling creative energy of the world, to share it, and to encourage the creativity of others for the perspective and understanding it can bring to life.
See Wendy's Blog:
Credits: Photography by: Jerry Anthony, Bob Barrett, David Eagan, Paul Jeremias, Ben Mitchell, John Polak, George Post, and Wendy Ellertson
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