Maria Winkler has an MFA in painting and drawing, and a PhD in art education. She is Professor Emeritus, Art Department, California State University in Sacramento, and currently resides in Roseville. She exhibits widely throughout the US. Her paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Boise Art Museum, Idaho; California League of Women Artists, Sacramento; Kaiser Permanente’s Public Art Collection, the University of California Medical Center’s Public Art Collection, and a number of corporate art collections. Her work also appears in published form as posters, art cards, teaching aids, and books. Her biography appears in World’s Who’s Who of Women in Education and also in Who’s Who in American Art.
Winkler’s vintage toys and games series reference the playthings from the 40s and 50s that many of us remember, and continue to enjoy. As a child whose family frequently moved, Maria always kept her toys close, as they provided a sense of consistency and comfort. Later on, she sought out the same classic wind-up toys, marbles, and other games that she played with as a child for her collection and to depict them in this series.
She describes her work as multi-layered, initially attracting you to the surface treatment through her handling of colored pencil. As the viewer examines the pieces, they discover other meanings behind the strategic placement of toys and games. Her subject matter both represents her passion for collecting toys and speaks of better times to her viewers, evoking nostalgia for the joyful past.
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