“Through the Eye of the Needle” by Mary Beth Schwartzenberger

On view May 1, 2024 – May 31, 2024

Opening May 11, 2024 4:00pm – 7:00pm at White’s Fine Art
2414 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA 91020

Artist Statement

When work is going well, there is nothing like it – your heart and soul sing.

I started my artistic life as a photography major at Columbia College in Chicago.  Then one day I walked into a room with floor looms and became captivated. Weaving brought me into the world of fiber and I have never left.  For me as an artist, it had everything that made sense to me; work of the hand and a playground for color and texture.

I paint on a handmade paper called kyoseishi, and by combining painting with embroidery I have tried to create work that is unusual and organic, not only in technique but in presentation.

Yosemite is a memory bank of images for me – reflections in the water, the colors in the granite, the towering pines, and the meadow grasses.  All of these enter into my work to some degree.

I am also inspired by the work of other artists, particularly Matisse and Monet.  Matisse was a master at combining color and pattern and Monet brings his incredible blend of colors.  Both of these focal points are highlighted in my work.

My reasons for creating come to fruition when the viewer opens the door to experience the work and transform it into their own personal journey.

Artist Biography

Mary Beth Schwartzenberger was born in Chicago, Illinois.  She received her BFA in Design from Columbia College, Chicago.

Her work is a unique blend of painting and hand embroidery.  Mary Beth paints on a handmade Japanese mulberry paper called kyoseishi, and then bring the images to life with hand embroidery.  The result is work that is both distinctive and textural.

Schwartzenberger has celebrated the work of the hand throughout her career.  Starting as a production weaver, she was immersed in the world of color and texture. As her work transitioned to framed pieces for interiors, she has never forgotten the unique textural effect that only fiber can lend. 

Her work has been included in design houses, the Williams Sonoma Home Spotlight gallery, Providence St. Joe’s Hospital, as well as many national and international exhibits.  Mary Beth just recently completed a program for the Textile Arts group, and international membership group for fiber artists based in London, England.

Mary Beth’s subjects are always nature-based, inspired by places as intimate as her garden or as majestic as Yosemite National Park, her eternal muse. Mary Beth lives and maintains a studio in Los Angeles, California.

embroidered painting of boats on water through a window