Leading up to the October opening of the Grotto Gallery, we'll be highlighting the artists whose work will be exhibited at the gallery.
Last week in our fifth Artists Chats installment we visited with Marty Orosz and Jules Gissler.
This week we meet wood master Brian Lensink as well as Miriam Carlson-Maier, the brains and brawn behind the AAC.
Miriam Carlson-Maier worked more than twenty-six years in corporate finance in Silicon Valley and the NFL before realizing that her true love —making and creating— was calling her to a completely different lifestyle. So, four years ago she took the plunge and, in a giant leap of faith, quit her corporate job and began to work full-time as an artist.
She had always enjoyed creating beautiful and unique things, whether designing a landscape and growing her garden, cooking and entertaining, or restoring or decorating her homes, including a historic cottage in Prescott. But now, creating was to be her sole work and livelihood.
She had always embraced her familial and ethnic heritage—she lived in Sweden for many years—but was surprised to learn that she comes from a long line of artists in her family, including her own parents and many generations before.
With her business experience and background, she developed a plan to start the Arizona Artisans Collective to meet the needs of new artisans in Arizona as well as experienced artists who were wanting to take their artistic endeavors to the next business level.
Miriam worked hard to convince the City of Tempe to give her new group space in a building near Arizona State University and the vibrant Mill Avenue district. She is grateful for the opportunity to expand her offerings to the local creative community in downtown Tempe.
Artisan, maker, businesswoman, lover of beautiful things and creativity —we are indebted to Miriam for the time and tremendous efforts she has put into fostering and assisting Arizona's artisan community!
Written by: Beth Wineland, Senior Writer & Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org