Art 4 Shelter Artist: Marla Gamble

Posted on May 6th, 2019

Marla Gamble has been a selfemployed professional artist for nearly 50 years. I decided I would be an artist in fifth grade, but when I helped a classmate complete a Picassoinspired art project which won her the first prize, I was committed to being a professional artist,” she says. 

Marla is a jewelry designer, working in platinum, gold, diamonds, and precious gemstones. She works one-on-one with clients to design original and heirloom jewelry.  She managed the jewelry department at Perpich Center for Arts Education for more than 20 years and continues to assist with lost wax casting and manufacturing of the school’s class ring. 

To balance the intricate work of jewelry designMarla also paints, using oil, watercolor and acrylic. I deal with the world around me through paint, often expansive landscapes and unending skies. Currently, I am putting together a body of work centered on the cancer journey. Having lost my husband, sister and so many good friends to cancer, it is an exploration of the medical processes and the emotional experiences on all levels,” she says. 

Marla has been involved with Art 4 Shelter since the inaugural event nine years ago. When Art 4 Shelter cofounder Megan Rye, also one of Marla’s jewelry students at the Perpich Center for Arts Education, encouraged her to participate. 

Megan is a fabulous artist and recruited all of her teachers and fellow artists from Perpich. I had previously worked with the Pillsbury House and feel that Simpson Housing Services is a great charity. To share without having to donate large works was also very attractive. I love the 5″ by 7″ format,” says Marla. 

Marla’s art has been exhibited in many private and public galleries including the Minnesota Museum of American Art and Arizona Gallery, at which she earned a People’s Choice award. Marla has also devoted many years to the development of artists’ housing.  In 1985, she helped create the Lowertown Lofts Artists’ Cooperative, a national award-winning model for artists’ housing and urban development in St. Paul. 

Originally from North Dakota, Marla grew up in St Louis Park. She currently lives in downtown St Paul in the Lowertown Lofts Artists’ CooperativeAs a studio owner and site/facility manager for the Lowertown Lofts, Marla enjoys living a life centered around creating art and sharing her artistic talents with emerging artists and the community. 


Click here to visit our Art 4 Shelter home page.