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Marlene Schumann


by Norah

Marlene Schumann was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on February 8, 1970. She grew up in a farming family in Iowa. As a child she played in the hay loft with her multiple cats and puppies. She also rode her pony through the cornfield all day. Marlene said that these memories contributed to her art form. Now she lives in Bozeman with her daughter, Sada, and her cat, Kitty. She studied for college at a liberal arts school in Iowa. There, her favorite art professors where Mac and Dennis. She then attended three years of grad school at MSU. She worked with Debby Butterfield, a professional artist. Marlene considers herself an Installation Artist. That means she does ”5 sense art” – sculpture, 3D art. She says that for as long as she can remember her family has been creative. But the two professors and Debby Butterfield really contributed to her art.

Marlene was trained to do this art in college, grad school and working for other artists. She does most of her works in her living room or in her friend’s chicken house in Bridger Canyon. Debby Butterfield, Eva Hesse and Andy Goldsworthy inspired her. She does not show art much now, but she previously displayed it in the Tacoma Art Museum and other places in Iowa and Montana. Marlene uses mostly natural materials. Some are: hand made paper, twine, horsehair, mud, sisal and rusted metal.

Marlene recommended a project for me. We discussed her art form and mine. We came up with making a small book with canvases as covers and hand made paper for pages. I would paint, color and I could draw whatever I want on it. I would need two small canvases, ten pages of paper cut to the appropriate size, and some oil paints, pastels and other drawing utensils. First I would collect the materials, then assemble the book and color it in. The book might have an accordion spine or a clasp. Marlene said, ”This book will have a whole lot of you and a little bit of me.”

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