I make puppets and dolls and animals and fantastic creatures of all kinds. I work in any medium that catches my interest, two or three dimensional, to make whatever I can conjure up. I’m more interested in the objects themselves than in any single, specific narrative. My visual vocabulary draws from world mythology, the spirit world as conceived by people everywhere, and the infinite variety of life forms that make up the natural and supernatural worlds. In recent years I have concentrated mostly on fabric and textiles. Many works take the form of flags or banners, embellished with embroidery, beads, buttons, found objects, and other materials. Other works include dolls, puppets, masks, mobiles, and three-dimensional human and animal figures. I go back to painting and collage on paper, canvas, or wood panels when it suits me.
Mary Fortuna recently moved to Traverse City from the Detroit Area. She currently works primarily in soft sculpture and textiles. She has exhibited her work all over Michigan, nationally and internationally. She has conducted hands-on workshops and classes for children and adults at the Detroit Institute of Arts Education Department, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Hatch Art, The Scarab Club, Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Anton Art Center, Flatlanders Sculpture Center, Popp’s Packing and elsewhere. She is semi-retired from her day job and spends most of her time in the studio and in her garden.