Biography and Artist Statement

Marsha Salyer Jorgensen graduated in 1988 from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and emphasis in Graphic Design. She has worked as a scenic artist in the movie industry and as an interior landscape designer for a Los Angeles firm handling Los Angeles International Airport, the Carnation building and several other buildings and celebrity clients. For several years while working as an elementary school librarian, she wrote the curriculum and lesson plan and trained docents for art programs in the Conejo Valley Unified School District servicing thousands of students. She has dabbled in free lance design and desktop publishing, earning the Past Presidents’ Award for the Best New Journal for The American Amateur Press Association for her publication Elemenopea. 

In the summer of 2008, Marsha quit working to pursue her own art seriously for the first time in nearly 20 years. Since then she has had mixed media collage work and articles published several times in Somerset Studio and other international print and internet magazines.  In 2012, several of Marsha's pieces were included in Martin Dawber's book, Modern Vintage Illustration.
In 2010, Marsha began marketing a line of collage image collections for use by other artists.  Met with an overwhelming response to her restored and altered vintage imagery, Marsha continues to spend a great deal of her time collecting vintage images and paper.  Restoring and altering her collection digitally has become as  equally important to her as creating her own art pieces.
Artist Statement
“In the last four years, I have been working with small mixed media collages, exploring a completely different style of imagery than what I studied formally at the University of South Dakota many years ago. Caught up in the global altered art and collage explosion, I find great satisfaction and freedom in using, manipulating, and reinventing vintage images and constructing new ethereal but melancholy characters. I most often use photographs from the early 20th century usually from my large and growing antique ephemera collection, and other photographs now in the public domain. Though I am conscious of what might be considered a trite and simple quality to my work, I am not concerned with that in this beginning of what I hope will be a long and learning visual journey.  

"I am interested in creating small vignettes, small works that I hope offer an instant lighthearted and simple visual connection without the burden of trying to communicate a deep social or philosophical message.  I prefer a somewhat clumsy, funky, odd piece of art with a hint of humor and mystery."

"To create hand cut work, after some digital manipulation, I reprint parts from many vintage images and then carefully hand cut and often hand color these pieces in the character construction process. The characters are then attached to a background that is usually made from layering other photographs digitally and reprinting them on or with vintage papers and ephemera trims. Having used letterpress printing in years past, and appreciating the delicate impression left in the paper from that process, I sometimes prefer working with the subtle and imperfect layers of hand cut and hand colored collage work over the flat and more perfect quality of completely digital work. 

"That being said, I have found myself completely swooned by the digital process.  The immediacy and accuracy of working digitally is addicting and satisfying.  Even in preparing to do a hand cut piece, I use digital processes to restore old photographs, alter elements, and compose a piece before beginning the old fashioned cut and paste routine."

Marsha has lived in the Los Angeles area over 20 years with her husband, Kent, whom she met and married while attending the University of South Dakota. They have two college age children.