Artist Marcella Rose brings world-class art to Pelican Rapids

The talent one finds in tiny towns can be utterly amazing.

That’s the feeling you get when you visit with Pelican Rapids’ downtown artist Marcella Rose, a feeling you could shout from the rooftops.

Stop by her Rose Gallery on the main drag and prepare to be awestruck.  Paintings of all sizes, bronze and clay sculptures, fine jewelry and the amazing Minnesota Woman sculpture are all on display. On this particular day, Marcella was preparing to transport art pieces to Sante Fe, New Mexico as one of a select group to participate in the Art Sante Fe 2018 Contemporary Art Show.

“This is a very prestigious show, and the combination of world-class artists and large art-savvy audience of visitors promises to make it a great three days,” she said.

Creativity has always been with Marcella. Her roots go back to the farm near Ortonville, and she graduated commercial at Moorhead Tech (now M-State). Her life and career path took some twists and turns from Fargo to Phoenix, from Kansas City to Spokane, and finally Sante Fe.

Along the way, you might recognize some of her work because her drawing skills went hand-in-hand with pop culture. She created illustrations and designs for Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Cards, Budweiser and the Kansas City Royals.

Changes in the industry eventually prompted her to move into the realm of an independent fine artist. "By 2006, the commercial art industry had evolved into something with which I wasn't as comfortable, and contracts were increasingly hard to come by," she said. "So I decided it was time for me to focus on my core passion: fine art."

Shortly after, though, she chose to return to her hometown and care for aging parents. A new romance blossomed on the Minnesota prairie and when the time came for the couple to find a new home, they had lots of choices. But Marcella has always been in tune with nature and the idea to explore Pelican Rapids came when a pair of pelicans flew overhead. A little research later sealed the deal.

“I am impressed with the authenticity of the people,” she says about her new home. “They will support you with anything; just ask.” She also likes that everything she needs is within walking distance of her studio gallery. “I like that I can trust everyone in my life now,” something that wasn’t always the case in the big cities of her past.

“Live Wide Open to me means ‘out of the box.’ "I prefer to Expand rather than feel Confined,” she said. “I like to call it ‘Live’ wide open.’”

That’s as in (think announcer’s voice) “Live from Pelican Rapids, it’s Marcella Rose!”

(Editor’s Note: Marcella’s work is featured in her own gallery in Pelican Rapids, AOTL Gallery in Battle Lake, and in the Griffin Gallery, Edina, MN.)