Marley Kaul

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“To me, painting is a 24-hour-a-day activity,”Bemidji, Minn., artist Marley Kaul wrote in 1998. “It’s not something I do when the muse hits me or when it’s convenient.” Born and raised on a farm in Good Thunder, Minn., Kaul earned degrees from Mankato (Minn.) State University (B.A., M.S.) and the University of Oregon (M.F.A., 1971), before embarking on a career as professor and later chair of the Department of Visual Arts at Bemidji State University.

Academia provided more than an opportunity for Kaul to teach; it also provided inspiration. “As a painter, I was working at faculty meetings, during conversations and while having coffee,” he later recalled. “I saw color, composition, textures, rhythms and edges that reminded me of either new works or solutions to works in progress. The character of a face, the way light fell on the coffee cups in a meeting and the wonderful color combinations seen while driving home added to the vision.”

Now retired from teaching, Kaul continues to exhibit his work — primarily acrylic-and egg-tempera paintings — in solo and group exhibitions throughout the region. His art also appears in more than a dozen collections