Where are they now? Updates from Marianne Lettieri, Mining the Collection: Evidence of Life (2014)

“Where are they now?” is a new series, following the recent work of artists who have been displayed in the Doug Adams Gallery over the years. This is the first in the series – stay tuned for more!

The “Mining the Collection” series was an joint initiative between CARe’s Doug Adams Gallery and the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology that ran from 2010 to 2016. Artists would explore the museum’s Tell en-Nasbeh collection for inspiration, producing artworks in response for display in the gallery. Marianne Lettieri’s mixed-media exhibition, Evidence of Life, presented a continuity between past and present, reflected in her choice of commonplace, discarded materials. By connecting objects of domesticity and manual labor with their spiritual and visual identities, she reinforced the notion of shared humanity over space and time.

In speaking with Marianne recently, she shared that she views the Mining the Collection residency as both a, “wonderful experience and a strategically professional opportunity,” adding that, “there’s not been a moment of rest since then!” 

This certainly seems to be the case! Marianne has staged three solo art exhibitions at Bay Area arts institutions since her work was displayed in the Doug Adams Gallery. Marianne Lettieri: Reflections was held at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, and celebrated the past lives of used objects by presenting vintage and Victorian tools of domestic labor in new configurations. 

Reflections, exhibited at the Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco

The theme of past persisting in the present was also explored in Strings Attached, held at Monterey Peninsula College, displaying string-based artworks to represent modern and historical interconnectedness. 


Finally, House|Work at Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame included an installation of 200 river rocks covered with crocheted doilies. The majority of these doilies were found at local estate sales, allowing comparisons to be made between traditional roles of women in the home and what constitutes “meaningful” labor today. Marianne has also taken part in two-person shows at Telegraph Hill Gallery in San Francisco and the Mohr Gallery at the Finn Center in Mountain View, both of which displayed work created with found objects. This distinctive medium, seen throughout all of her recent exhibitions, allows her art to, “embody, preserve and challenge social systems and individual identity.” 

Cradle with Bedrock, from House|Work at Peninsula Museum of Art, Burlingame

It hasn’t all been exhibitions though – Marianne has also been busy writing and editing arts-related materials. In 2015, she co-wrote with Sandra Bowden Seeing the Unseen: Launching and Managing a Church Gallery. The book was partially underwritten by CARe and published by Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA). A copy of this book, which deals with incorporating art into the lives of a faith community, is available on our Doug Adams gallery bookshelf for visitors to read.

As if this wasn’t enough, Marianne has also been teaching mixed media classes at the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, where she “strive[s] to make [her] classes rigorous, fun, and rewarding for everyone.” She has also taken up various lecturing opportunities at symposiums around the country, as well as serving on the boards of CIVA, Council for the Arts in Palo Alto, and Pacific Rim Sculptors. In both 2014 and 2016 she served on the leadership team for Doing Good Well, a national initiative to equip young women artists to flourish as cultural leaders.

For her exceptional achievement in the arts and contribution to the cultural life of Silicon Valley, Marianne won the 2017 SVLaureates Award from SVCreates in the Off the Wall category for sculpture.  

At the end of the month, Marianne will be leaving the Bay Area and relocating to Texas. She says, “I’m ready for another big adventure!”

Thank you, Marianne for keeping us updated with your recent work!

by Lydia Webster