Biography of an Artist

I am a poet and multi-media artist residing in a river town along western Wisconsin. My poetic writings and artistic touches reflect my diverse upbringing and Ojibwe roots plus the ponderings I have being a forty something American mother living with the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. Often, I integrate poetry and art into one artistic piece.

Literature was the first artistic form that woke my inner need to create. When I was a girl, my imagination would play rewriting the ends of stories and creating new worlds. As a teenager, I feed my creative need through the lens of an old 35. Photography and beading were my main means of expression while, I dabbled in drawing and poetry.  Then in college, I dove deeper into photography and gained more skill with beads. I took classes in dance and oil painting, learning new techniques in both. After school, I continued  creatively expressing myself primarily through photography and bead work.

In my early thirties, I returned to the power of words with poetry. I continued creating as pictures formed though lens and brush; eventually, combining them with poetry into one piece. Today,  I take my photos with a digital 35 continuing my passion for photography and adding another layer with digital art. I paint, bead, weave dreamcatchers, sew creations, and do crafts of all sorts with many materials. I enjoy blending 2 or more forms together into a sculpture or a wall hanging. I usually have at least two projects underway besides my daily need to write poetry. I am a poet and artist expressing my thoughts and perceptions as they grow from ideas into poems and visual creations.

I share my voice with you.

official poet and artist bio-

River Maria Urke has the heart of a poet and the eyes of an artist. She is a teacher, speaker, alchemist, and life time learner currently residing in River Falls, Wisconsin. River’s poetic writings and artistic touches reflect her diverse upbringing along with her Ojibwe roots and the ponderings she has being a forty something American mother living with the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. Often, she integrates her poetry and art into one artistic piece. Artistically, River has shown her works in many group art shows over the years at Artreach St. Croix in Stillwater, MN and Hammond Arts Alliance in Hammond, WI. In addition, she has contributed to group shows at Phipps Gallery in Hudson, WI and The Institute of Art in Minneapolis, MN. In 2014, River had her first solo art show, Roots of  Expression, at Beaners Café in Duluth, MN. In 2016, her painting Where I Belong became the cover art for a poetry Anthology. Literary, River is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Stumbled & Standing and When Spirits Touch, and a non-fiction, Women’s Obsession with Shoes. She is a contributor in five anthologies including the 2014 St Paul Almanac and the 2017 Yellow Medicine Review. River won the 2013 Made Here poetry contest in Minneapolis and her words took stage in 2014 in The Blacker the Berry theatre performance.  River is a member of the League of MN Poets.

©Copyright River Maria Urke. All rights reserved.

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