Artist Talk and Exhibition “Inspired by Life” by Marlene Wood


Painting by Marlene Wood

Bay College announces the exhibition, Inspired by Life, paintings by Marlene Wood in the Hartwig Gallery located in the Catherine Bonifas Building on Main Campus. Her work will be on view from January 17 – February 23, 2022. Please join us for the Artist Talk and Reception in the gallery at 11am EST on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.

The talk and exhibition is free, all are welcome to attend. The College asks that everyone on campus wear a mask and to stay home if feeling ill. Thank you for helping keep Bay safe. For Gallery information, visit


Marlene Wood, past owner of Positive Strokes Art School and Gallery (Palatine, Illinois {established May 2000}) and past president of TAG (The Art Guild of Palatine), has been teaching art to children and adults for over thirty years. Her passion is to teach in a way that elicits personal self-discovery, emotion, and the unleashing of creative juices. The heart of Marlene’s philosophy is that “if one can learn to see correctly, all else {in art} is both teachable and obtainable”. Marlene brings with her a diverse art education and a positive and supportive approach to teaching.

Marlene’s background includes study at The Palette and Chisel (Chicago), Studio in the Woods (Wacaunda) and workshops/instruction with many well-known artists such as Richard Schmid, Scott Burdick, John Naylor, Bruno Serdo, and Jim Pollard. Much of her insight has also come from fellow artist friends, students, and associates. Her past training in Clinical Psychology has helped her to build and strengthen creativity and motivate her students through the use of a positive and encouraging teaching style.

Marlene encourages students to see and draw correctly and to then move beyond that realm into personal self-creativity, artistic progression, and experimentation with new mediums. Seasoned students are encouraged to become dynamic artists through risk-taking and finding new ways to approach their creative growth.

Presently teaching classes and workshops for Marquette Arts and Culture Center (Marquette, Michigan), Bonifas Art Center (Escanaba, Michigan), and through her personal Studio, Positive Strokes Art Studio (home and away workshops), Marlene focuses on oils, pastels, plein aire painting, and drawing. She has also developed and oversees/teaches art programs at several outside agencies and educational facilities. She has been selected to be part of a variety of community and fundraising projects and juried public art displays.

As an artist member of Zero Degrees Art Gallery (Marquette, Michigan), Marlene displays and sells her artwork and is presently the Gallery Chair. She has been involved in Marquette Art Week, creating 3D community hands-on projects, is the coordinator of the Annual Plein Aire Competition (Marquette, Michigan), a member of Lake Superior Art Association, and winner of several art show awards. Her work can also be found in many private and public collections.


Art is History! When I look around, I feel the necessity to share the beauty, change, definition of time, and life stories that forever exist and transform in both my personal world and the world I exist in.

People are my favorite – depicting their personalities and lives through obvious emotions, stature, and their interactions to their surroundings. I find it more important to paint someone’s essence than to show all their infinite details. One recognizes friends and strangers as they relate to who they are or might be in terms of their individual makeup and character.

Landscapes will forever hold me in awe – their beauty, everchanging powers, and how they represent the multitude of diversity that surrounds us. I love to travel, to paint landscapes that depict an area, region, or the personality of what is around me. Water, in the form of oceans, lakes, rivers and wetlands, is my favorite. It seems to represent change, as it’s movement represents constant change – similar to our everchanging lives.

My painting, “Lake into River” is one of a large collection of plein aire paintings done on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is where my heart is, my future home and a feeling, not just a place, where I have traveled to for over 35 years. I never tire of the endless changes, the uniqueness, and the sheer beauty of this area I will someday call home.