Pelican artist Marcella Rose profiled in national art magazine

Pelican’s Minnesota Woman the inspiration for ‘Spirit Rising’ bronze statue

Marcella Rose, pictured here at as one of the exhibitors at a prestigious show last summer

Marcella Rose, pictured here at as one of the exhibitors at a prestigious show last summer

Artists inhale inspiration from a myriad of sources; the world is their template. For Marcella Rose, the initial inspiration behind creation of her four-foot bronze sculpture “Spirit Rising” came from a totally unexpected source: a young woman who died an estimated 20,000 years ago in what is now western Minnesota.

That young woman’s remains, located several feet below the soil surface, were inadvertently uncovered in June of 1931 just north of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, during excavation for what is now U.S. Highway 59.

“Spirit presents itself in many ways,” Rose affirms. “I am a visionary, receiving images in my mind’s eye.” Her vision of what that ancient young woman may have looked like, adorned with the various artifacts with which she was found, culminated in “Spirit Rising.” The bronze sculpture’s first edition was unveiled in June of 2016 — 85 years after the fossilized skeleton’s Depression Era discovery.

Local artist Marcella Rose, greeting visitors at the internationally acclaimed Santa Fe art show last summer.

Local artist Marcella Rose, greeting visitors at the internationally acclaimed Santa Fe art show last summer.

Rose’s powerful, detailed sculpture depicts a young Paleo woman making music by blowing on the whelk shell, like the one found with the remains, in complete harmony with a pelican by her side. “She is confident, strong, at peace — stepping forward into the unknown with complete faith and unabashed reverence for the world and life as she experienced it,” Rose observes. “She carries with her the elements of nature’s tools and medicines within her turtle pouch — all of which accompanied this young woman when she apparently drowned in what was Glacial Lake Pelican.”

From 1931 through 1968, the Glacial Age skeleton was actually referred to as “Minnesota Man.” Several years later, it was correctly renamed “Minnesota Woman.” While there remains some uncertainty and controversy as to the skeleton’s actual age, it’s apparent she is among the oldest, if not the oldest, human remains found to date in North America. The Glacial Minnesota Woman Organization, dedicated to increasing knowledge and expanding awareness of Minnesota Woman, bestowed upon her the name “Nimuué,” or “Lady of the Lake.” 

For full article, go to: Pelican Rapids Press

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