About the Sculptor
Mardie Rees is an award-winning figurative sculptor. An artist steeped in tradition, she uses handcrafted wooden tools to shape clay into living beings cast in bronze. Her work calls attention to the human form and core emotions. A mix of classical practice and contemporary craft makes her art come alive. Mardie lives in Gig Harbor, Washington, with her husband and two children.
Mardie grew up in a family of fine craftspeople, builders and artists. When she was a teenager, her family moved to Ecuador for three years. It was a catalyst for her artistic development. While there, she explored her growing relationship with art in a variety of ways. She produced oil and acrylic paintings, experimented with sculpture, and joined a team that painted twenty murals throughout the country.
Returning to the U.S., she honed her skills while attending Laguna College of Art and Design. The depth of expression possible in representative, figurative sculpture, took hold of Mardie. She graduated with honors as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2003.
Since that time, Mardie has created life-size bronze sculptures for grand memorials and public spaces, as well as intimate pieces for private families. She sculpts by hand, crafts from live models, and casts in bronze using the time-honored lost-wax method. She’s won accolades for her commissioned work and for her personal projects, which explore fundamentally human themes such as womanhood, faith, youth, struggle and hope.
In 2013, Mardie received an award for Exceptional Merit from the Portrait Society of America International Competition & Exhibition. From the same organization she received a First Honor award in 2010. She was a finalist in sculpture from the Art Renewal Center’s International Salon Competition in 2014, 2013 and 2010. Mardie was a Gold Medal of Honor winner in 2010 from the Allied Artists of America. A full list of her awards to date can be found here .
Mardie lives and works in Gig Harbor, Washington, with her husband and two children.
Visit Mardie’s Commissions page to learn more about developing new works.
The themes in my sculptures are derived from stories in history and literature, from relationships that are core to the formation of a soul. I shape and cut into clay with handcrafted wooden tools. I feel the raw materials in my hands.
It is essential to me that the work lives and breathes on its own. This is best achieved by being as hands-on as possible. My interactions and relationships with live models, the textures made by my tools, and the nuances achieved by lost-wax casting – a procedure almost as old as sculpture itself – help keep the spark of life in my work.
I rely on live models, often friends and family, to draw out depth of character and natural gesture. I look for signs within parted lips, clenched hands, and wise eyes, the outer signal of emotions that reveal the sacred inner self. I use representatives with which we can identify, figures that can walk with us. I seek those moments we have in common and portray the beauty and honesty of times of struggle, solitude, or contemplation.
EDGE Program, Artist Trust, Seattle, Wa., 2005
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2003
Life size sculpture, St. Anthony North Medical Pavilion, main lobby, Westminster, Co., 2015
WWII U.S. Marine Raider Memorial, U.S. Marine Raider Foundation, Nat’l Museum of Marine Corps., Quantico,Va., 2014
Over life size sculpture, Founder: C.W. Lonsdale, Bronze, Shawnigan Lake School, B.C. Canada, 2013
Portrait bust, Rick & Debbie Oehmcke, Daughters: Candice & Jackie, Bronze, Gig Harbor, Wa., 2009
Life size sculpture, St. Anthony & Child, St. Anthony Hospital main lobby, Franciscan Health, Gig Harbor, Wa., 2009
Don & Sharon Castle, Father & Sons, Bronze, Sun Valley, ID, 2007
Bas sculpture relief, City of Gig Harbor, Skansie Brothers Park Medallion, WA, 2006
Solo Unveilings & Exhibitions
Sculpture Entrustment Ceremony, WWII U.S. Marine Raider Mem, Nat’l Museum of Marine Corps, Quantico, Va., 2014
Public Unveiling & Exhibition, WWII U.S. Marine Raider Memorial, San Diego Air & Space Museum, Ca., 2014
Private Unveiling, WWII U.S. Marine Raider Memorial, Raider Reunion, San Diego, Ca., 2014
Public Unveiling & Exhibition, WWII U.S. Marine Raider Memorial, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Wa., 2014
Founder’s Day Sculpture Unveiling, Shawnigan Lake School, C.W. Lonsdale, Shawnigan Lake, B.C., Canada, 2013
Sculpture Unveiling Party, Solo Show & Unveiling of C.W. Lonsdale, Real Carriage Door Co., Gig Harbor, Wa., 2013
St. Anthony Hospital Grand Opening Celebration, Gig Harbor, Wa., 2009
Skansie Brother’s Park Medallion Dedication, Gig Harbor, Wa., 2006
Person, Place or Thing, collection of paintings, Solo Studio Show, Gig Harbor, Wa., 2002
Selected Group Exhibitions
The National Sculpture Society's 81st Annual Awards Exhibition, Brookgreen Gardens, Pawleys Island, Sc., 2014
Essence Portrait Exhibit, Juried PSOA Exhibition, Fountainhead Galley, Seattle, Wa., 2014
The National Sculpture Society's 80th Annual Awards Exhibition, Brookgreen Gardens, Pawleys Island, Sc., 2013
California Art Club, 102nd Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition, USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, Ca., 2013
The National Sculpture Society's 80th Annual Awards Exhibition, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Fl., 2013
Portrait Society of America International Competition & Exhibition, Atlanta, Ga., 2013
Classically L.A., California Art Club, Sculpture Only Juried Show, Los Angeles, Ca., 2013
Allied Artists of America, Inc. - 99th Annual Exhibition, The National Arts Club, New York, Ny., 2012
The American Artists Professional League – 83rd National Exhibition, Salmagundi Club, New York, Ny., 2011
LCAD 50th Anniversary Juried Alumni Show, Seven-Degrees, Laguna Beach, CA, 2011
Language of Sculpture, Juried Show, PNW Sculptors, Lake Oswego, Or., 2011
Allied Artists of America, Inc. - 97th Annual Exhibition, The National Arts Club, New York, Ny.,2010
12th Annual Portrait Society of America International Exhibition, Washington D.C. , 2010
RISE: Fine Art Exhibit, Seattle Design Center, EDGE Graduates Group Show, Seattle, Wa. 2010
CVG Show, Collective Visions Gallery, Washington State Juried Art Competition, Bremerton, Wa., 2009, 2010
Portland International Airport, PNW Sculptors, Juried Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland, Or., 2009
Sotto Voce, Fairhaven Mausoleum Art Exhibit, Juried LCAD Alumni, Santa Ana, Ca., 2008
Gig Harbor Open Studio Tour, Gig Harbor, Wa., 2008, 2007
Dawn to Dawn, Traveling Exhibit “Jacob’s Struggle” Orange, Riverside, Capo Beach, Irvine, Ca., 2006-07
After the Edge, EDGE Group Show, Works Gallery, Bellingham, Wa., 2006
Best of Northwest, Magnuson Park, Seattle, Wa., 2005
Puyallup Art & Wine Walk, Puyallup, Wa., 2005
Richard MacDonald Gallery, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2003
Eckstrom Senior Show, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2003
Laguna College of Art & Design Gallery, Juried Show, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
Art Affair at Gallery 1951, Resident Artist, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2002, 2003
Sculpture selected for NASAD Portfolio Day, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2000
Awards & Honors
“2nd Place” Sculpture, Portrait Society of America's Members Only Competition, Soul of the Forward & Faithful, 2014
“Beverly Hoyt Robertson Memorial Award,” National Sculpture Society’s 81st Annual Awards, La Petite Fleur, 2014
“Honorable Mention, Sculpture” Art Renewal Center Int’ l Salon Competition, Soul of the Forward & Faithful, 2014
“4th Place” Commissioned Portrait in Sculpture, Portrait Society of America's Members Only Competition, 2013
“Finalist in Sculpture” Art Renewal Center International Salon Competition, La Petite Fleur, 2013
“Exceptional Merit” Portrait Society of America International Competition & Exhibition, La Petite Fleur, Atlanta, Ga., 2013
“1st Honorable Mention” Portrait Society of America, Member’s Only Competition, Commissioned Portrait, 2012
“President’s Award” The American Artists Professional League – 83rd Grand National Exhibition, New York, Ny., 2011
“Honorable Mention” Portrait Society of America, Member’s Only Competition, 2011
“Gold Medal of Honor” Allied Artists of America, Inc. - 97th Annual Exhibition, New York, Ny., 2010
“Finalist in Sculpture” Art Renewal Center International Salon Competition, Truth Beloved, 2010
“First Honor” Portrait Society of America International Competition & Exhibition, Truth Beloved, Washington D.C., 2010
“Sculpture Only Industry Award” Sculptural Pursuit Magazine, Truth Beloved, 2009
“Margaret K. Williams Award” Excellence in the Arts, Juried by Pierce County Arts Commission, Tacoma, Wa., 2008
“Best of Sculpture” Laguna College of Art & Design Gallery, Juried Show, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2002
Portfolio Scholarship, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2000-03
President of Student Body, Laguna College of Art & Design, Laguna Beach, Ca., 2002
“Certificate of Merit”, Art I, II, III, IV, Academia Alianza, Quito, Ecuador, 1998
Peninsula Gateway, “Sculpture by Gig Harbor Artist installed in Museum,” Dec 10, 2014
Fredricksburg, “Marine Raiders’ legacy captured in bronze,” front page, Nov 12, 2014
Peninsula Gateway, “Artist’s sculpture honors Marines in Pacific Theater,” front page, July 16, 2014
Tacoma News Tribune, “Gig Harbor sculptor unveils new work at Tacoma Art Museum’s Northwest Festival,” July 9, 2014
Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, Founder’s Statue unveiled at Shawnigan,” Nov. 2013
Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, “Making a living making monuments,” Feb., 2013
Peninsula Gateway, “Sculptor unveils monumental work,” front page, Jan. 23, 2013
International Artist, “Portrait Society of America’s - 12th Annual Award Winners Showcase,” First Honor, Aug/Sept 2010.
Peninsula Gateway, “Sculptor makes an impression back east”, June 2, 2010.
Gig Harbor Life, “Local sculptor wins prestigious portrait award”, May 28, 2010.
Westsound Home & Garden, “Struggling toward the light: Gig Harbor sculptress Mardie Rees,” Summer 2009.
Peninsula Gateway, “St. Anthony statue comes together,” Nov. 26, 2008.
C-RCC Pierce County News Channel 22, “Sculptor Mardie Rees with her sculpture St. Anthony & Child,” November 2008
C-RCC Pierce County News 22, “Margaret K. Williams Award Ceremony,” November 2008
Peninsula Gateway, “Sculptor Rees wins art award,” October 29, 2008.
Peninsula Gateway, “Mardie has created life size statue of St. Anthony,” October 15, 2008.
Mission Viejo Weekly, “Laguna College alumna Mardie Rees commissioned for prestigious hospital sculpture” Aug. 2008.
Seattle Magazine, Artist Profiles, October 2005.
Portrait Society of America, Tallahassee, Fl.
National Sculpture Society, New York, Ny.
Gig Harbor Rotary Club Member, Gig Harbor, Wa.
California Arts Club, Pasadena, Ca.
St. Anthony North Medical Pavilion, Centura Health, Westminster, Co.
National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Va.
Shawnigan Lake School, Shawnigan Lake, B.C. Canada
Franciscan Health Systems, St. Anthony Hospital, Main Lobby, Gig Harbor, Wa.
City of Gig Harbor, Skansie Brothers Park, Gig Harbor, Wa.
Rick & Debbie Oehmcke, Gig Harbor, Wa.
Don & Sharon Castle, Sun Valley, Id.
Peter & Janet Stanley, Tacoma, Wa.
Floyd & Sandra Olsen, Gig Harbor, Wa.