One of the incredible stories that came out of the Michiana Annual Art Competition (MAAC) this year is from artist, Molly Range. Molly entered two fiber art pieces “Jellyfish” and “Koi Pond”, and to her delight they both made the show. But this wasn’t the first time Molly’s art has been on display at the Box Factory for the Arts. Oh no, her gallery exhibits go way back.
Molly Range is from Stevensville, Michigan. When she attended elementary school at Roosevelt (Lakeshore), she had not one but two different times her artwork was proudly displayed on the walls of the Box Factory during the Community Art Exhibition for the local schools. For Molly, art was something she liked as a child from coloring, experimenting with different colors; she even started crocheting in elementary school. She found she liked the process of making something. Art was a necessity to relax and to allow her mind and hands to do something other than school work. Even now as an adult, with a very technical job at Whirlpool, she loves having a creative outlet in her life.
Her current medium may have started from her early interest in crocheting and then knitting as an older teen. When she realized she could ‘draw’ with fiber, she was intrigued. She looked up online tutorials and tried it- wet felting, needle felting; it’s all still new to her but she’s excited to keep exploring.
“Putting artwork into a show can be intimidating”, says Molly. “I’ve been coming to the Box Factory my whole life, seeing amazing art, and hearing stories from the artists. As I was setting goals for my next few years, I realized that I needed to keep allowing myself opportunities to grow in my art, as I do in my career. Wet felting and needle felting were a fun challenge, and this past year, I created Koi Pond and Jellyfish, among others. I started with roving (fiber material) and realized that the vibrant colors made me think of Koi in water. That’s how Koi Pond came to be. For Jellyfish, I wanted to test my needle felting ability. I love blues and purples in art, and wanted to try to create movement in the piece.”
So, what’s next for Molly Range, the artist? She’s interested in adding beading into the fiber pieces as well as aging with different textures. We’re excited to see what she comes up with next and hopefully she will enter next year’s MAAC.
All along, Molly credits her journey with the support from friends at the Box Factory and her knitting group, for encouraging her to keep making art!