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DIANE QUILLEN

Artist biography

DIANE QUILLEN

1942 - 1997

Menes (Dove)
Saginaw Chippewa of the Swan Creek and Black River Band
Rosebush, Michigan

Image of Diane Quillen

Born in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Diane Quillen always felt she was born to be an artist. "As long as I can remember, I have been able to draw. As I walk through life, always my artistic ability has followed me, placing my belongings in a pretty way, little expressions of my nature." Her grandmother Pelcher, known for her quilting and beading, gave Quillen some of her first lessons in sewing and beadwork. Quillen had her first exhibit when she was in the seventh grade--a showcase in the high school hallway. Over the years, Quillen was exposed to a variety of artistic expressions within Indian culture and worked in many materials, including feathers, leather, wood, paint, and clay.

Several years ago she tried sculpting in alabaster stone and immediately fell in love with the beauty of the rock. Until then she had never seriously considered an art career. "Nothing had captured my attention so completely," she commented. "Since I have been artistically active all my life, it took me a long time to find my real love." Once she found this love, it was very difficult for her to part with her finished work and she rarely chose to sell her pieces. Prior to her passing in 1997, she worked with Dennis R. Christy, her cousin and a master sculptor.

Artist's work

Image of Dreamdancer by Diane QuillenObject measurements and display specifications:

Diane Quillen
Dreamdancer, 1994
Alabaster sculpture
19 5/8"
Sisters of the Great Lakes Collection
MSU Museum 7594.21

Objects held in free-standing vitrine: base height = 33 inches; base width = 24 x 24 inches; acrylic height is 25 inches. Dreamdancer is fitted with metal rods inserted in the base which fit into the drilled holes of case floor. Quillbox rests on floor of case.