Prayer with Fish

Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

The Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project records and preserves the voices of women visual artists in Iowa reflecting on their lives and their artwork. In 1998, creator and director Jane Robinette began interviewing Iowa women artists about their experiences and art practices. The interviews cover family and personal history, education, development as an artist, artwork, creative process, influences, and more. The Daily Palette is pleased to present excerpts of the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's 2008 updates that Robinette collected from the Project artists who were interviewed nine or ten years ago. Visit the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's website.

Prayer with Fish, oil on curved panel, 25" x 20", 2007

Wendy Suzanne Rolfe was born in 1958 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a "beautiful little fishing village and seaport." She grew up there with two sisters, a brother, and a half-sister. Her journalist father watched the children at night when Wendy was growing up, while her mother worked as a nurse on the night shift. Wendy attended the University of Tampa and the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, and received her B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design (New York) in 1983. She met her husband, an Iowa native, in New York. They married and moved here in 1990. They have two daughters, a casket-making company, and have started a retreat center, Mineral Crossing, with hermitages on their land. She works primarily in oil on wood panel.

What kind of artwork are you doing now?
Somewhat similar to what I have always done, except I am emphasizing my craftsmanship in painting and not so much the metalwork at this time. I feel it is crucial for me to focus on the idea of thought without too many distracting details. Therefore, I am trying to concentrate on simplicity of painting and its philosophy.

What motivates you to continue making Art?
It is what connects me to my inner spirit as well as the desire for sanity in a world where most people feel disconnected, invisible and at times desperate. It allows for inner and universal language to have its voice. The arts to me are what heals and unites all that we do not easily understand and makes us live too long in fear and limitation.

Continue excerpt at the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

This page was first displayed
on June 16, 2008

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