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Tracy Frank, Published January 28 2014

Her Voice: Artist’s work chosen for national award

Her Voice is a weekly article about women in or from our area and how they make an impact on the world around them. If you know someone SheSays should feature in HerVoice, email Tracy Frank at tfrank@forumcomm.com.

PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. – Ever since she was a child, Marcella Rose has been an artist.

But growing up on a farm near Ortonville, Minn., she says she didn’t know she could make a living at it until an art teacher in seventh grade told her it was possible.

Now, the 58-year-old Pelican Rapids artist’s work is being used as a national award. Rose’s bronze bison sculpture, “Champion,” was recently presented as the Producer of the Year award at the National Bison Association’s annual winter conference.

The conference, held last week, is the country’s premiere bison auction, a news release stated. The owner of the top-rated bison received the award Friday.

Rose says she created the 15-by-18 inch sculpture to portray the power, energy and abundance of bison.

“It’s a huge honor for me to be basically endorsed by the National Bison Association,” Rose said. “It tells me I am doing something right.”

She has always loved animals and being outdoors and says she draws a lot of her inspiration from nature. In addition to sculpting, Rose also designs jewelry and paints. Many of the paintings currently on her website depict horses and water fowl.

“I’m an outdoor girl,” she said. “I love animals. I love the purity of it all. That’s what talks to me.”

About a year ago, she contacted the National Bison Association to see if she could sell her bison artwork through their website.

“They loved my work and added me to store,” she said.

When she showed her bronze bison sculpture to Jim Matheson, NBA assistant director, Rose says he responded immediately, and said the association was looking for something for its Producer of the Year award.

“We were extremely impressed by Marcella’s work,” Matheson said in a news release. “She really captured the essence of what we wanted for this award.”

Rose says “Champion” is the first of six limited edition sculptures she plans to make.

After going to Minnesota State Community and Technical College (then Moorhead Tech) for a commercial art degree, Rose started working in advertising at The Forum. Her professional career took her to Arizona, Missouri, Washington and New Mexico before she moved back to Minnesota.

She’s worked as an art director, she did freelance work for Hallmark cards, and she developed dinnerware and home décor products. But 20 years ago Rose decided to follow her passion and focus on fine arts.

“It was a no-brainer,” she said. “It wasn’t a big decision. It was just what I was supposed to be doing. It was a natural transition from more of the commercial art.”

Rose says she believes she’s a channel from a much higher source and creating works of art gives her joy and peace.

“I’ll never retire,” she said. “It’s a blessing.”

Rose’s work is available at galleries throughout the area. For a list of galleries and to view her portfolios, visit marcellarose.com. In Fargo, her work is available at Boerth’s Gallery and Underbrush Gallery.

Her work is also on exhibit at the Red Door Art Gallery in Wahpeton, N.D., through March 1. An artist’s reception will be held there from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526