By Barbara Manger & Janine Smith
Mary Nohl: A Lifetime in Art tells the story of a Milwaukee-born artist who made her home on the shores of Lake Michigan. From the time she was young, Mary enjoyed making things, from the model airplane that won her a city-wide prize to assignments in shop class, where she learned to work with tools.
Her interests in art blossomed during the years she spent training at the Chicago Institute of Art, leading to a lifetime of curiosity and ventures into new mediums. From pottery to silver jewelry, oil painting to concrete sculpture, Mary explored new ways of making art. Many of her pieces were made from "found” objects that other people might think of as junk. Like chicken bones, bedsprings, and sand that she made into concrete.
Mary decorated the interior of her cottage with bright colors an eye-catching figures in driftwood and glass. During her later years, her home became known as "the Witch’s House”-a place of local legend known far beyond Fox Point. Though she died in 2001, Mary’s legacy continues. Her art is held at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, and her home is a National Historic Site.