Marlena was raised on her parents’ farm near Rockyford, Alberta, which had originally been farmed by her paternal grandparents. She has lived in Edmonton since 1974.
She is a visual artist who works in encaustic, printmaking, drawing, 3-dimensional mixed media and installation. She has exhibited across Canada, and her artworks are held in private collections in Canada and the US and in the Alberta Foundation for the Arts collection.
Marlena has been active in the arts and heritage communities of Edmonton for over 30 years, integrating her passions for art and history. She is a co-founder of Urban Sketchers Edmonton, has worked as an Artist Mentor for Visual Arts Alberta mentorship programs, and served on the board of the Women’s Art Museum Society of Canada.
Marlena was the Audio/Visual Archivist at the Provincial Archives of Alberta for 28 years, and she was named the City of Edmonton’s Historian Laureate, 2018 to 2020.
The focus of her art practice is the first immigrant women who came to the prairies. In her former work as an archivist, she found that one of the significant gaps in archival collections is that of women’s stories. In particular, the voice of early prairie women is largely excluded from mainstream history.
As an artist, she honours these women’s contributions, advocates for their rightful place in history, and encourages women to deposit their own and their foremothers’ records in archives.
Copyright of the images and contents in this blog are Marlena Wyman’s and the archival institutions as indicated where the photographs and documents are sourced.