Madelynne Engle

contemporary artist · bronze, cement, resin, acrylic, glass, mixed media
(760) 468-7811 · englestudio@gmail.com

Madelynne Engle is a philosopher and storyteller whose chosen medium is visual arts in its many manifestations. With a lifetime of awards and commissions, she is known best for her conceptual sculpture and allegorical life portraits. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections from France to New Zealand, from New York to Italy. Her sculptures and paintings are also found in corporate collections including the Hilton Collection, Bank of America, E.F. Hutton, Monsanto, and the U.S. Embassy in Rome. Engle was recognized in 2008 by NAEA as an artist-in-residence at the Distinguished Fellows Institute in Sandy Point, ME; and was a master teacher in Liquid Metals and Patinas for CAEA in Los Angeles, CA (2009). Engle is also an art educator and served as an art administrator for over 10 years in secondary and post-secondary high schools and colleges in Missouri and California. She is eclectic in her media—using whatever is appropriate to tie message to meaning. She has produced art, large and small, in media ranging from bronze, cement, fiberglass, resin, watercolor, acrylic, oil, sand, salt, paper, canvas, automotive parts, and found objects — always informed and inspired by personal life experience. She has found that the more personal she is in her expression, the more universal is the response.

What am I doing with my Art? Why do I do it?...

"I am a storyteller and explorer of personal truths. My work is a celebration of our individual, everyday resilience which so often goes unnoticed. I sculpt acceptance and empathy. I do my art to explore the duality of our stories which is at once shared and profoundly unique to each of us. Successful creation, for me, is that moment when I see my story overlay your story in a way which exposes a profound Life-truth."

Postal Address - Visit by Appointment
5596 North Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor MI 48105

Conceptual and Allegorical Sculpture

"My attraction to a wide variety of materials is like my appetite: sometimes I am 'hungry' for cement or paint or satin – the same way I get hungry for chocolate or something salty. My satisfaction is in the elevation of a dirty potato to be worthy of being plated alongside the Chateaubriand.

My work is rooted in the bards of my youth – like Chapin, Cohen, or McLean. My subject matter is the celebration of everyday resilience which so often goes unnoticed. It is the part of our stories which are synchronous. Successful creation, for me, is that moment when I see my story reflected in your story. When you are in my life, there is a good chance you will end up in my art."

Madelynne Engle

Satin of Knowingness Series

"A friend who has known me for many years often reflects to me truths that I have known but for which I never found just the right words. It's that ah-ha! moment when you know something is fitting you perfectly; it's yours. For me, this often feels like a piece of satin has just fallen over me. Exploring this metaphor brought me to "The Satin of Knowingness" series, which began as wall constructions and has become an interactive conceptual installation.

If a satin truth were to envelope me and just fit my Particular Being, and then you were to take that same satin and wear it yourself, it could also fit you perfectly, yet totally differently. It has been my observation that truth is indeed like that; a multitude of choices from which to choose, and a totally personal fit. When you're wearing yours there's never a doubt that you're properly dressed."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from three works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"Satin of Knowingness" Interactive Installation
Series: Satin of Knowingness

The "Satin of Knowingness" explores verities from the perspective of each person's uniqueness. Are there veiled truths? Is truth larger than any one life? Are there universal truths, families of truths, layers of truths? Male/female, adult/child truths? Are there temporary truths? (Was the imaginary friend or the Tooth Fairy or the monster under the bed any less a truth for you when you personally believed in them and your older sibling no longer did?) Do truths come in different colors? Does the same truth arrive wrapped in a variety of names? This is not my coming up with the answers, but rather your connecting with the jostling crowd of inner truths that are uniquely yours. It has been said that the world we believe in is a far greater reality than the one that exists. "The Satin of Knowingness" explores the alchemy that makes truth such a personal experience.

Engle Studio
"The Mirror of Fragmented Preconceptions"
Series: Satin of Knowingness

The Cloakroom and the Mirror of Fractured Preconceptions in this installation are participatory. Feel free to try on any ideas hanging on these hooks. Layer the satins if you feel like it- life is like that. Look into the mirror and fracture your preconceptions. What does "Power" look like on you? Or "Beauty", or "Optimism"? I expect that, over the years, The Satin of Knowingness will take on a patina from the many hands that touch it, as the truth does.


Spending Time Series

"Spend time, spend youth, spend money – time is one of the great currencies of life. How can we spend something we don't own? What if time is more a vessel to be filled rather than a commodity that gets spent? It's probably the one thing that, even when you have everything, you want more. Is time simply an idea we have tried to agree on, a bookmark so that all things don't happen at once? What's in your vessel and who put it there? Isn't time really about choices?" And at the end of our time, are we simply a bundle of those choices?"

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from over fifty works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"Wired"
Series: Spending Time

"Wired" is created from three leather handbags, filled with the detritus of daily life - clocks and watches, tickets, address books, memo pads, pens, lipsticks and compacts, thermometers, CDs, phone wires and keys...and a spoon with which to stir it all. It is preserved in liquid bronzecoat with a verdigris patina.

Engle Studio
"Keep Your Fork #1"
Series: Spending Time

Here is an optimistic collection of a day's comings and goings. The trail includes keys and calendars, receipts and rope, cards and crayons, a butterfly wing and a watch. There is a fork, symbolic in my family. Do you remember when Grandma would turn around at the kitchen sink while everyone was clearing the table, and say 'Keep your fork!' You absolutely knew something good was yet to come.


Nature Abhors A Vacuum Series

"I am a user-up of discarded things. I do a lot of mental tilling in this world of throw-aways, and find the vacuum a fitting metaphor for some deep-cleaning of the mind...what's in the belly-of-the-beast, what are we trying to clean up with this carcass of electricity, why hire a maid, can someone else really clean up my mess? How many Attachments do I need? So bring me your tired, your poor, your broken vacuums yearning to be free..."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the twenty-one works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"Pregnant Thought"
Series: Nature Abhors A Vacuum

Ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust. We leave our traces even in the corners of life and between its cushions. How wonderfully futile it is to think life itself can be contained and pristine.

Engle Studio
"Priorities"
Series: Nature Abhors A Vacuum

If I took as good care of myself as I do my house, I'd be able to do a one-arm push-up.

Engle Studio
"Domestic Goddess"
Series: Nature Abhors A Vacuum

They'll be here in an hour. Is this what Eve had in mind when she took a bite of that apple? Choose me.


The Ought Series

"This allegorical installation examines the oppressive agenda of the "You-ought-tos", the shoulds and shouldn'ts that are handed down from generation to generation and become The Rules to Live By, and are then worshipped at the Altar of the Oughts. It is here that we play Competitive Oughts: 'My Oughts are worth more than your Oughts.'"

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the twenty-two works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"Ought Cathedral"
Series: The Oughts

It is in this cathedral that we realize we have sanctified oughts and fought wars over them. Here is a prayer site with a vessel, paper and pen with which to identify your own Oughts, burning them and leaving them behind, releasing the ashes to the wind... A place to perform your own "oughtopsy" and reconnect with a life freely expressed.

Engle Studio
"Ought Madonnas"
Series: The Oughts

The Ought Madonnas are dedicated to examining our biases and silent assumptions. From left to right: The Madonna of Denial, The Madonna of Secrets, The Madonna of Materialism.

Engle Studio
"Origin of Ought"
Series: The Oughts

The Oughts are a series of biomorphic, abstract forms on which are written a collection of Oughts which impact our lives in various ways. Each ought form contains sculpted human hands, indicating that Oughts are human made, not natural occurrences. Nature has only what works and what doesn't work, not Oughts. The white tulip does not tell the red tulip, "You ought to dress in white, like I do." There is no group pressure that judges the wind better than the rain, and no fighting among snowflakes over their different shapes. These sculptures are meant to question the role that Oughts play in our lives... Have we have become more comfortable with role-playing than with self-expression?


"Conceptual and Allegorical Sculpture" Additional Work...

Nearly all archival materials were destroyed in a Southern California wildfire. As we work to reconstruct the lost archives, we will bring additional works online. Not yet included:

  • Awareness: You Don't Know What You Don't Know
  • New Buddha (interactive)
  • Of What Use is a Sundial in the Shade?
  • Desert Pod Series, four works
  • Beachfront After the Big One, site specific

Figurative Sculpture

My figuarative work has evolved from a classical training in portraiture and figure drawing, through mono prints using the body as landscape. More recently, I have created figurative works in bronze, cement, fiberglass, and resin.

Madelynne Engle

The Gathering Series

"It is my experience that when certain people bring their energies together, they renew the world with grace and kindness. These occasions are sometimes the guests that make a party memorable, two friends over a cup of coffee, fundraisers discussing resources, or or the man in the mirror. 'The Gathering' is an abstraction of three of these energies coming together: 'Wisdom, Allegiance, and Harmony.' When these three come together, we get to transcend ourselves. Knowledge becomes insight, and often we emerge slightly altered."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the three works comprising the limited edition series (fifteen total castings)...

Engle Studio
"Wisdom, Harmony, Allegiance"
Series: The Gathering

"Wisdom"
Wisdom looks to the future, to all of our unlimited possibilities. Sometimes she is an extension of what has gone before, but just as often, she takes us on a departure from the familiar path. She brings awareness of the void into which we create.

"Harmony"
Harmony looks to include others and brings balance out of chaos. Harmony knows that tolerance will have its limits, but acceptance is inexhaustible. It finds a place of true compassion not based on the attitude of the other.

"Allegiance"
Allegiance has an internal compass and brings the quiet dignity of self-reliance. Without Allegiance in the mix, there is no personal rudder. When in the presence of this energy, you get the feeling that the person could be dropped down in the middle of anything and still know the direction of her own true North. Allegiance makes a person more interesting and forthright, because she comes unemcumbered by other people's agendas. She allows a person to ignore life's urgent trivialities. Allegiance has the strength to bring to the table a willingness to go places within the self without worrying how others will perceive that place. Without finding this path within self, there is nothing really to pledge to another – we are simply tying a ruffle on a bowl of jello. With Allegiance at the tiller, we lead a more examined life.


"Figurative Sculpture" Additional Work...

Nearly all archival materials were destroyed in a Southern California wildfire. As we work to reconstruct the lost archives, we will bring additional works online. Not yet included:

  • The Madonnas Series, five works
  • Torso Series, three works
  • Unearthed (maquettes), three works

Wing Sculpture

"I often revisit the wing in its many variations. It conjures a wave or a hillside when turned on its side. It carries the sense of flight as well as the power of Pegasus, who could strike a hoof and soar. When placed in a clearing, it tells the story in abstract form of the Unicorn. When suspended horizontally, the wing form is like watching a piece of time fly. The wing tells the story of both the continuity and the diversity of Nature."

Madelynne Engle
Engle Studio
"Pegasus Wings"

The Pegasus Wings are created in canvas over steamed-wood armatures. They are meant to capture both the power and the lightness in the myth of Pegasus."


"Wing Sculpture" Additional Work...

Nearly all archival materials were destroyed in a Southern California wildfire. As we work to reconstruct the lost archives, we will bring additional works online. Not yet included:

  • The Unicorn
  • Sonata in Bronze, four works
  • Wall Sculptures, twenty-eight works

Obelisk

"The obelisk form is my canvas for dimensional stories, drawing on a classical sculptural form reinterpreted in a completely modern way. The words included are like personal notes I have written to myself. The cement and mortar holding the words and detritus become urban stone and graffiti for life's messy journey."

Madelynne Engle

The Relationship Series

"This series explores the connection, or lack of connection, of individuals to each other or to society."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the six works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"Relationship #1"
Series: The Relationship

This expresses our capacity to connect without dependency, to lean toward each other but not on each other, to be bonded but not fused. It's the Kahlil Gibran poetry of letting the winds of love flow between us, and the willow not growing in the shade of the oak. It's about two soloists learning to sing a duet. It's about existing in a state of harmony and self-sufficiency. It's about believing that sometimes this happens.


Seduction and Scortch Marks Series

"Life is filled with the kiss and the kick, the bennies and the burdens, the seduction and scorch marks of the activities of daily living."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the nine works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"The Anvil Fears No Blow"
Series: Seduction and Scortch Marks

James Joyce wrote: 'Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.' Oh, to be able to go comfortably to that place and feel the assuredness of the anvil fearing no blow.


Rain Forest

"(Statement coming soon.)"

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the seven works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"Love Story"
Series: Rain Forest

(Statement coming soon.)

Totemic

My Totmic Sculpture is of three types - Symbolic, Water, and Sonic (Sound). I have lived for years with over twenty totems on my land and have felt their presence as sentinels, connecting land and thought.

Madelynne Engle

Symbolic Totems Series

"Growing up in Iowa next to Lake Okoboji and the Little Sioux River, my childhood was infused with Indian lore. Among the most powerful were the symbolic use of totems to represent ideas, emotions, attitudes, and ancestors. The totems have become increasingly more conceptual, and often are an abstraction of an experience, or of a relationship I have known."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the seven works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"River of Abundance"
Series: Symbolic Totems

After four years of drought in California, I created the "River of Abundance" totems on our hillside, using water imagery and blue glass. The next season, we received the blessings of an El Niño, which saved the avocado and citrus orchards.


Sonic Totems Series

"At the edge of sound and form, I love exploring art as a verb. Here I use sound as a natural, found object - the virtual heartbeat of the sculpture. It is the viewer's interaction which will create the motion and deep vibrations. These are 'combine-sculptures that address you not through the intellect, but through the act of experience and participation. One totem may call up the vitality of the ocean, another the pageantry of a parade or a carousel, and yet another acts as a beacon or a lighthouse. These are both primal and theatrical at the same time, and make an easy transition from physical to spiritual. Braille is often integrated into the texture, along with portals and handles at every height. They have no rules - so strum, pluck, shake, stroke, drum, magnetize, vibrate, listen - and explore. This is art as a verb."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the thirty-three works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"Tide Trees"
Series: Sonic Totems

To revisit the magic of listening to a seashell, to feel the texture of barnacles and coral...these are my trips to the beach and feet in the sand once more.

Engle Studio
"Stonehenge Totems"
Series: Sonic Totems

"...A moment at sunset when 'breath becomes air.'"


Water Totems Series

"Some of the water totems are a visual essay or portrait about the people in my life. The water element comes from my observation that the only way out is through."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the sixteen works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"The Bankers and the Bohemian" (detail, one of four totems in the grouping)
Series: Water Totems

This one is a reminder to me of the Chinese proverb: when you drink the water, remember the spring.

Tablet Sculpture

"The tablets are all explorations of weeping patinas and cement as a means of capturing textures and ideas."

Madelynne Engle

Library Series

"As you stand before the Library books as both viewer and author, you have complete freedom to create your own stories. The sculptures are an invitation for viewer involvement as part of the sculpture, a place of communion between art and self. These days, we send e-mail or a text instead of writing something more durable. So I have turned to the physicality and the rawness of cement, and to the relative permanence of resin, wood, fiberglass and silica. Many of my books are incised, like rocks with their petroglyphs carved long ago. Yet, as in life, there is no turning to the last page to see how things turn out, or even what happens next. The books have sometimes served as road signs on my personal journey, or stand like peaceful sentinels on the land."

Madelynne Engle

Selected pieces from the twenty-eight works comprising the series...

Engle Studio
"Thieves of Time"
Series: Library

The last leaves fall with the eager insistence of summer for its own completion...

Engle Studio
"Phone Tag"
Series: Library

They invited us, so we invited them, so they invited us...


"Tablet" Additional Work...

Nearly all archival materials were destroyed in a Southern California wildfire. As we work to reconstruct the lost archives, we will bring additional works online. Not yet included:

  • Nature Runes Series, twenty works
  • Window Series, five works

Vessels

"The vessel form continues to be one that I explore. Sometimes it serves as a container, more often it is the void into which I create. For me, the vessel represents the choices we make in life, and how we hold their dualities and consequences."

Madelynne Engle

"Vessels" Additional Work...

Nearly all archival materials were destroyed in a Southern California wildfire. As we work to reconstruct the lost archives, we will bring additional works online. Not yet included:

  • Perceived Scarcity
  • Early Memories
  • Emotional Overdraft Protection
  • Solvent is Sexy
  • Abundance

Wall Sculpture

All of the wall sculptures are explorations of bas relief possibilities using only pigment, liquid metals and patinas, or objects involving the alphabet. Most are on a base of stretched canvas over steamed-wood armatures. They can be quite light weight for their size, and have the added benefit of acting as sound-baffles in large spaces and being able to be infuse with leds. Several have been created to endure outside. The wall sculptures include the Architectural Series, the Atlantaseuvius Series, Botanical Myth, Bronze Coat, Cosmic Puzzle, Folded Space, Gemstones, Origami, and the Scrabble Series.

Madelynne Engle

"Wall Sculpture" Additional Work...

Nearly all archival materials were destroyed in a Southern California wildfire. As we work to reconstruct the lost archives, we will bring additional works online. Not yet included:

  • Architectural Series, six works
  • Atlantaseuvius Series, five works
  • Bookmark Series, twenty-seven works
  • Botanical Myth Series, four works
  • Bronze Coat Series, six works
  • Cosmic Puzzle
  • Folded Space Series, fourteen works
  • Gemstone Series, eight works
  • Scrabble Series, twelve works

Folding Sculpture

The process of origami seems peaceful to me, and the eyes and hands that create the work must see something that does not already exist. It is that phenomenon that I work with when I hinge the canvas Folding Sculptures together. Many of the Folding sculptures can be positioned in varying configurations as the viewer desires.

Madelynne Engle

"Folding Sculpture" Additional Work...

Nearly all archival materials were destroyed in a Southern California wildfire. As we work to reconstruct the lost archives, we will bring additional works online. Not yet included:

  • Origami Series, six works

Monoprints & Painting

I have intertwined the processes of the monoprint and painting in many of the flat works I have created since moving to California in 1979. I use canvas, rope, sheet plastic, newsprint, and mixed media to create a plate from which to pull the print. I am the printing press, often on my hands and knees on top of the working plate. I add the drawing and painting to the dry print later. These monoprint/paintings can be on canvas, paper or fabric. They can be as large as 8'x12' when on canvas.

Madelynne Engle

"Monoprints & Painting" Additional Work...

Nearly all archival materials were destroyed in a Southern California wildfire. As we work to reconstruct the lost archives, we will bring additional works online. Not yet included:

  • Allegorical Life Portraits.
  • Pentimento Series
  • Proto da Vinci Series
  • Botanical Myth Series
  • It's How You Play the Game Series
  • Manuscript Pages Series
  • Side Seam Series
  • Whiteout Series
  • Windows Series

Selected Exhibitions

  • Art to Change the World 2018, Twenty Artist Invitational, Minneapolis MN
  • The Art and Cultural Center, Fallbrook,CA. (6th Annual Sculpture Exhibition) 2002
  • Michael Johnson Fine Art, Fallbrook, CA. (Group Exhibition), 1999-2007
  • The Art and Cultural Center, Fallbrook,CA. (5th Annual Sculpture Exhibition) 2000
  • University of California, Irvine, CA. ( Solo Exhibition, Women’s Center), 1999
  • The Art and Cultural Center, Fallbrook, CA. (4th Annual Sculpture Invitational), 1999
  • Artworks of Fallbrook, Fallbrook, CA. (Group Exhibitions), 1998-2001
  • Gallery Blu, Palm Desert and Palm Springs, CA. (Group Exhibitions), 1996-99
  • Trios Gallery, Solana Beach, CA (Group exhibitions), 1996-99
  • La Quinta Sculpture Park, La Quinta, CA. (Solo and Group Exhibitions), 1993-97
  • New England Fine Art Institute, Woburn, MA. (Group Exhibition), 1993
  • Palm Desert Theater, Palm Desert, CA. (Set Design for Equus, sculpture from the Pegasus Series), 1993
  • Gouthier Fine Art, Palm Springs, CA. (Solo and Group Exhibitions, Sculpture and Painting), 1993-94
  • Sho-en Outdoor Sculpture Center, Ramona, CA., 1992-93
  • International Conference on Contemporary Art, Cozumel, Mexico (Group Exhibition, Sculpture and Painting), 1990
  • SDMA Artists Guild, East County Performing Arts Center, El Cajon, CA., 1990
  • Artist Space at South Fair, Del Mar, CA., 1989
  • San Diego Museum of Art, Annual Juried Exhibition, San Diego, CA., 1988-89
  • International Art Competition, Award of Merit, Pfeifer and Ingbar Galleries,New York, New York, 1988
  • Corporate Exhibition Program, Mesa College, San Diego, CA. (Science Applications), 1988-89
  • Ilan-Lael Foundation and Circle Gallery Invitational, San Diego, CA., 1988
  • Olympic Arts Festival, Riggs Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.( Solo Exhibition), 1984
  • The Quincy Art Center, Quincy, IL. (Solo Exhibition and Lectures), 1976-77
  • Lindenwood College, St. Charles, MO, (Solo Exhibition), 1976
  • USA Bicentennial Traveling Exhibition (Solo Exhibition), 1976
  • Women in the Arts, National Traveling Exhibition, 1975

Selected Awards & Recognition

  • Art to Change the World 2018, Twenty Artist Invitational, Minniapolis MN
  • Artist in Residence, Distinguished Fellows Leadership Institute; Sandy Point, Maine; Summer 2008
  • Selection for The California Art Review, 1989
  • Selection for Who’s Who in America, 1988
  • Selection for Encyclopedia of Living Artists in America, 1988
  • Selection for the California Arts Directory 1988
  • Television Specials (three), The Artist, solo interviews, 1985
  • U.S. Bicentennial Artist, State of Missouri, 1976
  • Outstanding Young American Artist (one of five), La Review Moderne des Art et de la Vie, Paris, France, 1968

Selected Collections

  • Hilton Corporation
  • Bank of America
  • Michael Johnson Fine Art
  • E.F. Hutton
  • Hotel Del Coronado
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Monsanto Corporation
  • United States Embassy (Rome, Italy)
  • The Johnston Group (Los Angeles)

Education

  • B.A. in Studio Arts, University of Missouri
    Honors in Studio Art, English Literature, and Humanities
    Lifetime Teaching Certification
    Mortar Board
    University Student Union, First Vice-president
    Reader for the Blind
  • Graduate Studies in Studio Art, Lindenwood College
    St. Charles, Missouri
  • Graduate Studies in Humanities, Northeast Missouri State College
    Kirksville, Missouri

Professional

  • California Art Educators Association
    Master Teacher (liquid metals & patina) 2009
  • Charter 100 Professional Women
    1979-2017, Board Member 1981-1991
  • Combined Organization for the Visual Arts (COVA)
    1997-1999
  • San Diego Museum of Art
    Guild Member 1988-1992
  • Golden State Sculptors' Association
    1990-1992
  • California Arts Council
    State-Local Partnership Steering Committee 1981-1985
  • Art Students League
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Instructor 1984-1985
  • Penasquitos Sun
    San Diego, CA
    Columnist and Art Editor, 1980
  • Lindenwood College
    St. Charles, MO
    Instructor in Studio Art 1976-1977
  • Missouri State Arts Council
    Grant Review Panelist 1974-1978
  • St. Charles Senior High
    St. Charles, MO
    Department Chair, Art Instructor 1967-1969
  • Berkley Senior High
    St. Louis, MO
    Art Instructor 1965-1967