Martha Bird is a Minneapolis-based artist who specializes in sculptural basketry. Her education as a Board Certified Holistic RN with a Masters in Human Development weaves into her artistic practice. Committed to community, Martha has been involved in the arts as a student, volunteer, curator, writer, arts organizer, teaching artist and arts advocate. She has exhibited regionally and nationally, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Minnesota History Center, as well as a traveling exhibition sponsored by the National Basketry Organization in New Jersey, Washington and Massachusetts. Martha’s work has been acquired by the Minnesota Historical Society and she received a 2019 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant.
In 1994, Martha enrolled in her first basket class and fell in love with the materials and wove her way into activity and health after a back injury, two years of prescribed bed rest, and a bout of serious depression. She is a frequent speaker and presenter for both healthcare and arts organizations. Martha’s lecture “Reclaiming Basketry: Working Through Stigma To Reach Creative Potential” has been heard at numerous locations around the United States, including at the Rooted, Revived, Reinvented : Basketry in America exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum. She uses her work as a weaver and health professional to encourage a deeper understanding of how creating with one’s hands can enrich our level of well-being.
Martha’s current work is a conceptual building of individual human body parts and body processes through the medium of sculptural basketry. When viewed together, the work is a symbol of the human form and experience, particularly expressing the bodily manifestation of trauma. The project as a whole is connected to the process of healing and understanding the various experiences the body can contain.
More about Martha on her website: Martha Bird Art