The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania
Creative Makers Exhibit: Mickayla Poland
Photographs of Mickayla Poland, creating in her studio which can be found in Elk County.
Mickayla Poland has a knack for bringing the outdoors inside.
Her artwork is inspired by wildlife, culture and the people of Elk County. And her workspace is, too.
The painter and graphic designer calls herself "West Coast born and PA raised."
As you enter her home in St. Marys, PA, you enter her studio – a small foyer room with an L-shaped desk. A computer and a light sit on one side of the desk; an easel is perched on the other.
The modern space is filled with natural light, provided by three large windows. Scenes of nature hang on the walls, as does a dreamcatcher.
The young artist studied graphic design at Edinboro University – but admits her most unique technique falls outside of computer illustration.
Using old building windows, which are often donated and splattered with old stains and paint, Mickayla frosts the glass and uses acrylic paints to create lifelike images of nature and wildlife. When the sun hits the final product, the translucent quality of the painted surface gives off a stained glass aesthetic, but without the solder lines.
“Painting is something I've always done,” she says, explaining that she just happened to stumble on the process of painting on frosted glass.
Mickayla also creates black-and-white graphic badge designs and illustrations celebrating entrepreneurial and natural assets in the Pennsylvania Wilds – from places like Straub Brewery to the scenes of Elk County.
These images were captured by Tracy Smith as part of the 2018 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.