Alberta Marana

Alberta Marana graduated from Hamline University with a degree in Art and Sociology in 1973.  She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Studio Art from UW, Superior in 1995.  She lived in Bennett, Wisconsin for 24 years and began working with pastels in the mid 80’s, when she was a full-time parent of small children.  Pastels were handy to use in that she could pack them in her car and drive to a spot where she could work on location.

Much of her work is of scenes from northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.  She especially loves working in the fall, when the colors of the trees are at their peak.  Since her move to Duluth, six years ago, she has become inspired by the evocative mood the lights of the city create at night.

She has exhibited nationally and internationally and has won several awards, including a Milwaukee Arts Commission Purchase Award, 1st at the Florida Pastel Society Show in 1995 and Best of Show, the Duluth Art Institute, 1990.  In 2003, she was a recipient of a Career Development Grant from the Arrowhead Regional Art Center and in 2009 received the McKnight/ARAC Individual Artist Fellowship.


I find solace from the chaos of the world in nature.  I am attracted by the vibrant colors of the wild flowers and grasses in the summer, the “in your face” colors of red and gold in autumn and the wonderfully moody blues of the evening.  All of these landscapes bring me joy and a sense of wonder.  I can forget myself and the problems of the world and just marvel at what nature displays for me.

Whether working in my studio or in my car (which happens less frequently as I age), I can begin to capture the mood I am seeking in a relatively short time using pastels….It is the use of color to evoke a sense of Place that I attempt to accomplish in my work.  My work is not meant to challenge the viewer as much as to invite the viewer in, to pause and reflect about the beauty of the earth.