Mary Wipf works in a studio built in an old barn near the tiny mountain town of Nemo. Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Mary took her formal training in drawing, printmaking and art history at Minnesota State University Moorhead and Cornell University, New York.
Her artworks reflect an intense interest in botany and the intimate relationship she has with the natural surroundings of her Black Hills home. Rich with biomorphic forms and patterns, her prints and drawings reveal a passion for things overlooked and/or fragile yet essential. Powerful, yet sensitive marks make these pieces expressive beyond their diminutive subjects. Natural and invented patterns echo the quiet pulse of small living things.
Independent research coupled with extensive experience has made her an expert in the ancient art practices of Japanese Suminagashi and traditional Turkish marbling. These both involve magical techniques of floating color on top of other liquids. The color is manipulated with various instruments or air to create colorful and elegant patterns that are transferred to paper.
Mary creates linoleum block prints portraying the flora of the Black Hills. These prints challenge her to simplify complex biomorphic forms and focus on the interplay of shape and negative shape. Her drawing build deep pools of pattern with drawing materials applied over her marbled papers. As a well-respected amateur naturalist and botanist, she has engaged in many projects to further knowledge of Black Hills lichen and bryophyte flora. For her, this activity is inextricably linked to her life and her art.