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Nordeng meets and greets patrons at CCAC

  • Artist Mary Nordeng meets and greets people at a reception at the CCAC on Friday. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Artist Mary Nordeng meets and greets people at a reception at the CCAC on Friday. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • This quilt by Mary Nordeng, entitled “Psychedelic Steinway,” is among the many works on display at the CCAC this month. (Press photo by James Grob.)

  • The artwork of Mary Nordeng will be on display at the CCAC through the end of May. (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob,

Several patrons of the Charles City Arts Center asked a lot of questions regarding Mary Nordeng’s creative process at her reception on Friday. Nordeng happily shared everything she knows with them.

Well, almost everything.

“I teach classes, and I share a lot of the pouring recipes that I have used, but not my most current, successful pouring medium,” she said. “I like to keep some secrets to myself, but otherwise I’m pretty open to sharing just about everything else. After all, that’s how I learned.”

Nordeng, from Rose Creek, Minnesota, is the featured artist for the month of May at the CCAC. She works with quilts and fiber art and also paint pouring. A wide variety of disciplines that she has mastered are on display.

Friday’s reception at the CCAC marked the start of Nordeng’s first solo showing, although she did participate in the Austin Artworks Festival last year, where she received an award of excellence.

“I am having a blast. I’m having so much fun,” she said. “This has been a great first gallery experience.”

Her quilts have won several awards, and her work has been featured on the covers of magazines in Great Britain, Australia and the United States. Nordeng has taught at numerous machine quilting shows around the United States, and she has published four books.

“I got into quilting when my children were very young, and became addicted to quilting,” she said. “I started long-arm quilting in 1999 and there’s been no turning back since then.”

Eventually Nordeng learned to dye cotton fabric, and now also dyes silk and wool. Playing with dyes and fabric paints was so rewarding for her that acrylic painting seemed like the logical next step in her progression as an artist.

Nordeng has been pouring for about two years now, “perfecting her techniques” and is teaching the discipline.

Her art will be on display at the center throughout the month.