Bricelyn area artist will be featured at the Albert Lea Art Center in June

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2008

By Geri McShane, assistant editor

When Teita Amberg sits down at her canvas, she translates more than 40 years of experience in art and art glass onto it.

Amberg, who is the June gallery artist at the Albert Lea Art Center, said her work is best described as &8220;visions through a stained glass window.&8221;

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Amberg employs oils and a variety of media &8212; from rhinestones to peacock feathers to metal foil &8212; to tell her stories.

&8220;I&8217;ve never seen foil used like I use it,&8221; the Bricelyn area artist said.

Amberg graduated from Kiester High School and was educated at Mankato State College in the mid-1950s. She went on to teach home economics and art for 21 years in Albert Lea and Huntley in Minnesota and Buffalo Center, Eldora and Colo in Iowa.

Along the way, she became the owner and chief artist in stained glass at the Art Glass Studio for 20 years in Nevada, Iowa.

After she retired from teaching in 1980, Amberg and her husband Chuck spent from 1982 to 1996 at a remote mining site in Alaska. While there, she studied photography and watercolor. Much of the inspiration that one finds in her work today comes from that time.

For example, the sandhill cranes she featured in some of her pieces circled the camp.

She&8217;s also done foil for pieces like the royal archer from &8220;The Terra Cotta Army,&8221; Maeve the warrior queen, a copper Madonna, many birds, angels and evening scenes. One she&8217;s titled &8220;My Sister&8217;s Sorrow&8221; was the first work she did with oil, jewels and feathers.

&8220;Things pop into my head,&8221; she explained of the inspiration for her works. &8220;Then I reinterpret things.&8221;

Amberg said she likes working with watercolor, oil and stained glass, but with her foil and oil combinations, she said she is able to do things she can&8217;t with watercolor alone.

Amberg plans to have about 20 pieces in the show, all of them quite large in size. The show will run June 6 to June 26, with the open house from 6 to 8 p.m. this Thursday. Regular gallery hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Admission to the show is free.

Amberg said that while this is her first show in Albert Lea, she&8217;s exhibited in a number of other places, including Edina. In July, she&8217;ll move her exhibit to Owatonna and in the fall, she&8217;ll take part in a healing arts festival in Hudson, Wis.

In addition to her mixed media pieces, she enjoys photographic hand colors and did a series of nature arts and artifacts that is in a slide show at Minnesota State University, Mankato.