Mixed media artist Mary Engel creates animal sculptures that are more than meets the eye. The colorful, large-scale forms are embellished with bits and pieces and small figurines.

The use of ritualized animal images has had enduring religious, mythic and aesthetic significance for over 35,000 years. Animals, especially dogs, are central to my work and philosophy. My dogs, Mingo and Bonnie, come to my studio every day to ‘pose’. My sculptural goal is to capture an animal’s gesture or movement. African grave markers and old Southern “memory jars” have inspired the exterior embellishments. Through my work, I aspire to create whimsical animated creatures that reveal a spiritual presence I feel animals possess.

Engel received her BS degree from Illinois State University and her MFA degree from the University of Georgia. Her work has been exhibited at the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences (GA), Georgia Museum of Art, Huntsville Museum of Art (AL), Asheville Museum of Art (NC), Walter Anderson Museum of Art (MS), Museum of the Dog (MO), Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (AL), South Carolina State Museum and the Fine Arts Museum of the South (AL). Engel’s ceramics are in numerous private collections throughout the United States.

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