Monica Setziol-Phillips has a B.A. degree in foreign languages from Portland State University. Monica who is married to Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor, Josiah Phillips, and daughter of well rememberd sculptor, Le Roy Setziol has been weaving for over 35 years and carving for over 20 years. Her work is in many private collections in many states. She also has work in puplic spaces, most recently three of her pieces were chosen for The Allison, the new resort in Newberg. In October of 2009 Monica finished a major work for the new Civic Hall in McMinnville, Oregon. For a number of years she has participated in the Sitka Art Invitational.
“My senior year at Portland State University I studied weaving under Solange Kowert. I knew I wouldn’t have enough credits to graduate and wanted to take a class in either ceramics or weaving. Weaving fit into my schedule, ceramics did not. Before long I was hooked. After many years, with a great debt of gratitude to my father, sculptor Roy Setziol, I began a path that involved combining weaving with wood carving. I now think of my work as a kind of collaboration with myself, the two media together forming a kind of act of completion.”
“Weaving involves building a work through the addition of warp to weft. Wood carving, on the other hand, involves building a work through the subtraction of material. Putting the two together is always precarious, for it is only in that moment that it becomes clear that the two belong together. Recently I have rediscovered the weaving technique “soumak”. It is basically an ancient rug making technique. The process of creating different and heavy textures has opened new possibilties.”
“For a number of years, I have had the privilege of working with photographer, Kirk Jonasson and metal artist, Dixie Pannu. For me these kinds of collaborations offer ways to see things differently, from different angles, ones that frequently bring about new insights. Collaboration is challenging and fascinating. It enables me to undertake approaches not otherwise conceivable or achievable.”
“I am on the board of The Art Conspiracy, a West Valley non-profit organization that focuses primarily on providing arts opportunities for young people. The organization’s main focus is a Summer Arts Program for nine to sixteen year olds. The organization was founded in large part on the belief that the Arts should play a fundamental role in the development of young people. I am also on the board of the Yamhill Country Cultural Coalition.”
“For many years I have had a serious interest in fairy and folktales, believing they contain valuable insights into the cultures they came from as well as into the common cords that connect us all. In addition to loving to tell stories, I am working on a series of paper cuts based on folk tales from around the world.”