Marilea Groves

MarileaImagination and creativity have been Marilea Groves’s defining traits since childhood. Today, as the Lead Artist for The Rhyn-Rivét Collection, Inc., Marilea’s unique vision has helped shape the company’s signature style for its line of elegant porcelain ornaments.

The eighth of ten children, Marilea grew up on a modest Wisconsin farm. "I had to use my imagination to entertain myself,” she remembered. "I also became quite a daydreamer, which has served me well in my art career.”

Many of the pieces in the collection were, in fact, inspired by Marilea’s childhood memories. For example, the delicate delftware-like "Coming Home” recalls trips to her grandmother’s house where Marilea would spend hours in the woods admiring the showy columbines.

But Marilea’s career path was not always paved with floral art and porcelain. From murals to tiles to jewelry to caricatures to billboards, her style and talent have taken her on a fascinating journey. She has even lent her skills to the art department of a local correctional facility.

It wasn’t until a chance meeting in a ‘just-for-fun’ pottery class that thisversatile artist teamed up with Rhyn-Rivét founder, Catherine Rhyner. "I truly believe things happen for a reason,” she said. "When Catherine and I met, we just clicked.”

For several years, Catherine had been looking for a business partner who would allow her to concentrate on the creative development of the ornaments. But what she unexpectedly found in Marilea was an artist who adapted so well to the Rhyn-Rivét look that Catherine was able to shift her focus to growing the company. "It was uncanny that I found an artist who could pick up right where I left off and create new designs that were perfect companions to my work,” noted Catherine.

Since then, Marilea has helped take the collection to a new level of beauty and sophistication while maintaining the integrity of Catherine’s artistic vision.

Marilea also uses her skills to give back to her community. "I’ve worked with more than 2,000 students in creating murals in schools,” she said. "I think it’s important for the kids to be personally involved and feel like they have a connection to their school.” In addition, she continues to work with inmates at a correctional facility, giving them a creative outlet while raising money for charity.

Staying challenged and being open to new opportunities are what keep this amazing artist fresh. "I like to be busy all the time,” she said. Even in her downtime, Marilea is always searching for new inspiration—whether browsing through old books at garage sales or enjoying a family road trip across the country.

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