Marquette, Mich, – (WZMQ) – The Wondermakers Collective is a collaborative art project between two friends who met on social media. Mindy Meyers of Iron Mountain, and Jenna Freimuth of Minneapolis, Minnesota connected and decided they wanted to make art together. Both artists had a history in stitching and embroidery, so they began pen-palling back and forth and responding to one another’s stitches. The project grew, and the two artists have been collaborating for about seven years.
“This year we are showing our work in Florence, Italy at the Florence Biennale,” announced Mindy Meyers, MFA. Mindy is also teaching some art courses at Bay College. Their collaborative artwork was discovered through a website they were registered on, and they received an invitation to apply for the exhibition. The artists are sending two brightly colored, heavily beaded, and sequined embroidery panels to be displayed in the Biennale.
“We got in, which is super exciting,” said Meyers. “But it does come with a heavy creative investment,” she added. There was a participation fee to show in the Biennale, and the art will have to be carefully shipped through customs. The art will be on display for about two weeks. The two artists will be attending the awards ceremony on October 22 at the Fortezza Da Basso in Florence. The artists have raised money with a crowdfunding campaign to help with the costs associated with travel and shipping the art.
Meyers moved back home to Iron Mountain about two years ago, and she is grateful to have her own studio with the help of Elsa Pontbriand and the Iron Mountain co-working space called CWRK Collective.
“To have a creative space where an artist can make, and think, and deliberate over work. And then to live in a town where there is like this resurgence of art, Iron Mountain has a public arts advisory committee now, there are art courses at Bay College again. We’re seeing a lot of interest in art again and people wanting to do more creative things. I’m so grateful I get to be a part of that community,” Meyers commented.
“Because we have the internet, it’s connected me to so many people and galleries that I’ve been able to keep my art career thriving. And it definitely connects Jenna and I, as long-distance penpal art collaborators. We meet once a week over zoom,” Meyers remarked. Meyers added that the Wondermakers Collective is grateful for the ability to connect long-distance with art curators that modern technology affords.
Meyers also has her own personal work, which is heavily rooted in nostalgia. “That was something that moving back home really meant a lot to me. I could really steep in the nostalgia of growing up in downtown Iron Mountain, and walk the streets that have so many memories for me. So my personal work is made with pop culture items, toys from childhood, and it’s really supposed to be a vehicle of time-travel for people. When they view the work, they can think of their own childhood memories and maybe do a little bit of time-travel themselves.” noted Meyers.
Over the years of the artists’ collaborative project, the collaboration and friendship the two artists have formed has brought Jenna Freimuth from her life in Minneapolis to Iron Mountain. Freimuth has been to the city about 3-4 times in the last two years. Both artists have been to each other’s city over the course of the project, and have sometimes met at a halfway point in Wisconsin.
“What Mindy and I learned when we started this project long-distance, is that it’s possible to work from anywhere. You can be in a rural city, you can be in an Urban City – I’m in Minneapolis here, but through discovering what medium worked best for us to collaborate together and how we could mail that back and forth and have visits to one-another’s homes whenever we wanted to get together and finalize any details before an exhibition or just to connect as friends,” remarked Freimuth. When they can’t be together in person, they use Zoom, and FaceTime, and phone calls to Meyers’ functional 80’s-style telephone. “It’s a pleasure to know that we can make art from anywhere, and we can stay connected and bring art and projects to communities that would feel inspired from that collaboration,” commented Freimuth.
“Because we live in different towns, and we truly see each other the most through screens in order to make our artwork, any chance we get to travel together is beyond exciting because it’s an explosion of friendship and art and ideas. We are thrilled to be taking our work to Italy and representing what two Midwestern artists can make together when we just decided we wanted to make something and figured out how to make it work,” Freimuth shared.
Freimuth added that her favorite part about Iron Mountain is how the city embraces community projects and supports one another. “Seeing how Mindy is received in her town and how people have supported her is such a thing to cherish. I’m just in awe that Iron Mountain’s community can really rally around its citizens and be as excited about our project as we are,” added Freimuth.
To find out how to support the two artists’ crowdfunding campaign, visit:
For more information about the Florence Biennale in Italy, visit:
To see more of the artist’s collaborative embroidery collection, visit: