Biography

text 1

It was when Mary Giles was preparing to teach weaving to a high school class in the late 1970s that she discovered basketry forms and proceeded to develop techniques through workshops with fiber artists. Inspired by indigenous art, Giles also sought out and learned from Native American basket makers.

In Giles’ work, one will find the traditional basketry technique of coiling alongside contemporary materials of waxed linen, copper, and iron. She has always been influenced, not only by the character of the materials she uses, but also by place. Her earliest works reflect the underwater world she experienced while scuba diving. Later, she spent many summers in New Mexico and her work reflected the landscape forms of the Southwest. Since retiring, she has been inspired by the woods and the river where she now lives. “I am inspired by the light on the river, shadows in the woods, and the textures and colors of the water, rocks and trees.”

A native Minnesotan, Mary Giles was born in 1944 in St. Paul and resided on the St. Croix River, north of Stillwater until her passing in 2018. She received a BS in Art Education from Mankato State University in Minnesota and went on to teach art in the Twin Cities and St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been displayed in numerous galleries and museums in the United States, at the Barbican Centre in London; she represented the U.S. at the International Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland. In 2013 she was named The Master of Fiber Arts by the Renwick Alliance of the Smithsonian Museum. Her work is included in the collections of over a dozen museums, including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts where Giles’ Dark Kiva (1994) is currently on display.


Museum Collections
Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, HI
Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, CA
Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY
St. Louis Art Museum, MO

Video

CV

MARY GILES (American, 1944 - 2018)

EDUCATION
BS, Mankato State University, Minnesota, MN

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
2018    Designing Women 2, Egg Collective, New York, NY
2017    Still Crazy After All These Years… 30 Years in Art, browngrotta arts,
​                 Wilton, CT
            Art Aspen, Duane Reed Gallery, Aspen, CO
2016    SOFA Chicago, Duane Reed Gallery
2015    SOFA Chicago, Duane Reed Gallery
2014    SOFA Chicago, Duane Reed Gallery
2013    International Triennial of Tapestry, Central Museum of Textiles,
​                 Lodz, Poland
​            SOFA Chicago, Duane Reed Gallery
2012    SOFA Chicago, Duane Reed Gallery
2010    Duane Reed Gallery, St Louis, MO
2009    Masters of Contemporary Basketry, Fountainhead Gallery, Seattle, WA
            SOFA Santa Fe, Duane Reed Gallery
            SOFA Chicago, Duane Reed Gallery
2008    SOFA Chicago, Duane Reed Gallery
2007    SOFA Chicago, Duane Reed Gallery
            Duane Reed Gallery, St. Louis, MO
2006    Fuller Art Museum, Brockton, MA
2005    Arizona University Museum, Tempe, AZ
            Long Beach Museum of Art, CA
2004    Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA

2003    Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
2002    Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MA
2001    10th International Triennial of Tapestry, Lodz, Poland
​            Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
            Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
2001    Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, MD
2000    Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
1999    Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA
            Craft Council, London, England
1998    Barbican Center, London, England
1995    St. Louis Art Museum, MO
            Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
1994    Dennos Museum Center, Travers City, MI
1993    Waterloo Museum of Art, IA
            Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL
1989    American Craft Museum, NY
1987    Erie Art Museum, PA
1985    Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN

AWARDS AND HONORS
2013    US Representative at the International Triennial of Tapestry, Lodz, Poland
​            Master of Fiber Arts, Renwick Alliance of the Smithsonian Museum,
​                 Washington, DC

COLLECTIONS
Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, HI
Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, CA
Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY
St. Louis Art Museum, MO
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Back To Top