Michal Ann Carley

Juniper Art Gallery is pleased to add the exquisite artwork of Bloomington artist, Michal Ann Carley to our line-up of artistic offerings (with the Regional Artists' 2023 Fall Exhibit).

After earning her MA and MFA degrees at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Michal Ann Carley was Curator of Art at the UWM Art Museum and Director of the NML Galleries and Professor of Art and Art History at Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin. While a painter for decades, she shifted to kilnformed and torchworked artglass in 2001 and began blacksmithing and sculpting in iron in 2009.

Concomitantly, in 2023 she has again immersed herself in painting figuratively and from the landscape. She is deeply immersed in the arts community and actively serves on nonprofit boards including as the President of the Indiana Limestone Symposium, the Bloomington Open Studio Tour, grant reviewer for the Indiana Arts Commission and is Art Contributor for the Ryder magazine. Both her artwork and her writing on the arts have been exhibited and published nationally. 

As an educator in Bloomington, Carley taught Nonprofit Arts Management for 5 years in the O’Neill School at IU, torchworking, painting, and blacksmith in her own studios, and artglass at the Bloomington Creative Glass Center. She is also a certified Lifelong Arts educator and teaches Creative Aging classes under the auspices of the Indiana Arts Commission.

Artist's Statement:
"What is local and immediate is what draws me in. The flora and the fauna, the birds and the insects— particularly, the ways the florae germinate, grow, and decline and the creatures’ behavior as they court, mate, and migrate. I study and draw movements or passages and respond particularly to how their physical forms metaphorically project growth, transition, and adaptation—all which archetypally represent our human condition. 

For sculpture, these concepts must be translated into steel and glass, which by necessity require simplification and abstraction. My processes involve heating raw, industrial steel to over 2000 degrees. I then use whatever strength I can muster to hammer, twist, and bend it into new forms. Each heat allows for up to 90 seconds of hammering over anvils or stakes or into hollows in tree stumps before it must be put back into the fire. The material is muscular and recalcitrant; its natural molecular structure resists movement.  The irony of an old gal set in her ways, pounding and pleading the iron to shift into a softer, organic form is not lost on me. Our psychological constructs — those both in the light and in the shadow, seem calcified in our bones and shift or change only with tremendous effort. That is both my subject and my process and I hope that the viewer will take the journey with me."

watch a video of Michal Ann Carley at work

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