About Riverlark Studio
Riverlark Studio is the name for my book arts studio work, including classes, tutorials and sales. In real life my name is Mary Lee. I’m a book artist, arts manager and former public radio producer living in Minneapolis with my old dog Fran. You can find information on my work in arts management at LinkedIn.com
In 1994, artist Nora McGillivray showed me a unique book that she had made and I knew immediately that I wanted to begin to understand that art form more deeply. I have always loved the more intimate forms of art: radio, chamber music, and now book arts. Fortunately, Minnesota Center for Book Arts was just a few miles from home and I began to take classes there regularly. As my own confidence grew, I traveled to New York, Penland and Haystack to study with teachers whose work I was drawn to. I’ve been fortunate to work with Hedi Kyle, Barbara Mauriello, Julie Chen and Jody Williams, just to name a few. They inspired me as they taught me and I still revisit lessons from them when I work on my own.
I believe that books and boxes, whether they are unique, useful or simply decorative, should be strong enough to invite handling and play. Everyone is curious about what is in a book or a box and I want people to feel comfortable picking up them up. I’m particularly interested in the way that artist books combine structure, visual art and text to make something entirely original.
As much as I enjoy working on my own, I’m always eager to share what I know and to see what each artist or student does with that new knowledge. Of course, I love it when my work resonates with others, but I also want to encourage others to experience their own creativity. And if you’ve come to this site just to take a look, you’re welcome as well.
The name Riverlark
I chose the name Riverlark as my screen name many years ago when I was setting up my first email. It was a safe guess that “Mary Lee” was taken and I wanted a name that was both easy to remember and easy to type. I’ve always lived close to the Mississippi River and it is an important focal point in my life (hence “river”). I have a close connection with bird life as well and love Vaughan Williams’ “Lark Ascending” so I made up a new bird, River Lark.