Artist Bio & Statement
Robyn Beth Priestley is a non-profit administrator, graphic artist and communications professional. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and have been featured in several publications. Robyn holds a B.S. from Carroll University, an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has taught and taken courses in textiles, art history, anthropology, and calligraphy and illumination.
At a very young age, her interest in science and nature began to be apparent, and she filled her room with an eclectic mix of creatures of all kinds. This interest continued into adulthood, influencing her work in mixed media and artists books, most of which have themes pertaining to the natural world and the human relationship to it. Her mixed-media techniques include using printmaking, painting, textiles and fibers, polymer and ceramic clay, typography and computer graphics. She also studies and is interested in bookbinding, and creates blank journals using an ancient hand-sewn binding technique that allows the books to lay flat. These journal incorporate covers created from a variety of papers from around the world, and may include stamped, drawn or painted images.
Her current works are block printed on paper, and collaged into pieces that include drawing and painting. By using a variety of media in combination she strives to create a work that becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and that she feels can express something of the complexity of the area and ecology that inspires her.
Many of her works are inspired by Mounds Park on St. Paul’s East Side. The number of forces that affect the park, the history, and the spiritual meaning that Mounds Park still has to many people, make it an interesting area for her to explore creatively. But ultimately, it’s the stories that she is interested in – the land, the animals and plants, and how we as humans interact with them. What draws her to the park as creative inspiration are these stories and the tale of success that they tell. Mounds Park is an urban oasis, a place where people can visit, but one that also provides a rich environment for plants and animals. With this park as an example, we humans can, she believes, create places that will allow humans and wildlife to co-exist.