Today, Mary Giles will receive the 2013 Master of the Medium award for fiber from the James Renwick Alliance and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. The Masters of the Medium award recognizes artists of consummate craftsmanship who have contributed to and influenced their chosen fields. The Masters of the Medium awards were initiated in 1997 on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the James Renwick Alliance and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Renwick Gallery. The Masters of the Medium Awards are given biennially in odd numbered years.
Mary Giles resides in St. Croix, Minnesota. She creates mixed-media coiled baskets that are sculptural in nature, totems and three-dimensional wall works. Giles’ recently created a 53-inch “boulder,” The Long Divide, of hammered waxed linen, torched tin-coated copper and brass.
Her 2012 work,Twist, has been added to the American Decorative Arts collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
The sculptural piece was made of waxed linen, iron twists, hammered tin and coated copper wire. Giles’ work is in several other museum collections, including that of the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Minnesota, Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin, Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York. She has said of her work, “Today, I am very concerned about the environment and try to capture the forms, textures and light found in nature” and that she is influenced by the views out of her studio windows, “the light on the river, shadows in the woods, and the textures of the water, rocks and trees.”