Voyage Minnesota: The Change-Makers Stories that Inspire

Daily Inspiration: Meet Mary Catherine Solberg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Catherine Solberg.

Mary Catherine, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin? Read article

The World of Interiors June 2022

International Magazine Feature

For 40 years The World of Interiors has documented the rich diversity in ways in which we live, showcasing the stylish and unexpected, as well as applauding individuality. Mary Catherine Solberg has been featured in the June 2022 issue featuring “The Competition”.

Butterfly effect

Online Exhibition

Mary Catherine’s work consists of broad categories she continually cultivates combining classical methods of portraiture with mixed media techniques. The Animal Portraits are based on the extensive photography left by her late brother, James Solberg, a naturalist, writer and photographer. The Swim Girls use the metaphor of water to explore transformation and change, and the Icons celebrate and elevate everyday people. Her more recent works have been affected deeply by the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd as well as the concurrent isolation brought on by the Pandemic. This newer body of work builds on her experimentation with layers and new media.
Solberg has participated in numerous Juried Art Shows receiving many honors and has done over a dozen Solo Exhibitions.
She is a member of NEMAA (Northeast Minnesota Arts Association) and has a studio in the Casket Arts Building in the NE Arts District of Minneapolis, MN. Follow her on Instagram @driftlessicons.

View the full digital issue

Volume One December 30, 2021

Volume One, On the Cover

“Sarah Icon,” (2021) 60” x 48” Mixed Media Painting (acrylic, oil, plaster, gold leaf)

Solberg’s series of “Everyday Icons” are paintings of people or animals she wishes to venerate on a personal level. No less an Icon for their familiarity, her mixed media works celebrate the sacred in all of us. The painting “Sarah Icon” is a portrait of her friend Sarah B. Kamsin, a published author, (Vita, Babel, Cauliflower: 39 Poems about Metropolis and Earth), a poet, model, and human rights advocate. Beyond her surface beauty is a grace and depth that defies her age. In general, Solberg’s Icon portraits straddle the zone between reality and otherworldly. Focusing on a single character she captures fleeting moments of triumph, transition, struggle, and enlightenment. Her signature technique produces a highly textured masterful portrait with surprising depth and luminescence.

View the full digital issue

This work is based on the portrait photography of Giovanna Aryafara. Giovanna’s stunning photography documents the living Art of the Suri Tribe located in the Omo Valley of Ethiopia. This connection to and joy of nature has long fascinated Mary, so Mary reached out and inquired whether she might use her photography as inspiration to expand upon the art of the Suri Tribe with layers of paint, collage and textural elements. The result is this collaboration between artists christened the “Omo Collection”. The Omo Collection is represented by the Art Girls Minneapolis
Edina Magazine, May 2021

Edina Magazine, Art Girls present Abraham with Hummingbird

The Art Girls Mpls. present an exclusive collaborative collection by renowned artist Mary Catherine Solberg and internationally acclaimed photographer Giovanna Aryafara. 

Art Girls co-founder Kelly Netishen says, “Solberg’s ability to recreate the breathtaking images of the Omo Valley tribes by Giovanna in her artistic version [is] truly a treasure to the art world. The Omo Valley tribes reside in the southwestern corner of Ethiopia. They have long been heralded for their creative and artistic expression using elements of nature.”  View the full digital issue

Lake society magazine Holiday Issue 2020

Lake Society Magazine

Featured in Contemporary Art Curator Magazine
MPR News

Art Hounds recommend portraits that seem to be 'peering into your soul'

Mary Catherine Solberg creates portraits of people and animals in the style of religious icons or Renaissance painters. She uses metal leaf, beeswax, acrylic, plaster, and more unusual materials Read article

On display at MN Plastic Surgery
City Pages

Two exhibits at the CVA take you to very different places

Just keep swimming
Contemporary meets classic in Swim Girls

Read article

Stolen Moment featured in the permanent collection

Minnesota Marine Art Museum

During the extended closure of the MN Museum Art Museum due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I took this opportunity to change out works of art in our atrium with items from the permanent collection. When the Museum reopens, you will see works by 10 regional, national, and international contemporary artists including Nathan Benn, Craig Blacklock, Seth Casteel, Annie Hejny, Stuart Klipper, Leo and Marilyn Smith, Mary Solberg, Maria Svarbova, and Nick Wroblewski. Works by Benn, Blacklock, Castell, Klipper, Svarbova, and Wroblewski are generous donations directly from the artists following recent exhibitions of their work. Mary Solberg’s mixed-media painting Stolen Moment (2018) was commissioned specifically for her exhibition and donated to our collection through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), and made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund. Jon Swanson, Curator

Minneapolis Art

Le Méridien Chambers

Mary Catherine Solberg Exhibition + Q&A

An exhibition of work by Mary Catherine Solberg presented by Le Méridien Chambers and The Art Girls Minneapolis. 

Le Méridien Chambers Unlock Art Series in partnership with The Art Girls Mpls presents a solo exhibition of work by artist Mary Catherine Solberg. Read article

Washington Times

Minnesota woman's art featured at Marine Art Museum