Marla J. Stelk

Marla J. Stelk's professional art career began in 1999 when she moved to Martha's Vineyard. As an undergraduate student, she studied art at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and at Colorado College, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She graduated cum laude from Colorado College in 1992. After graduation, Marla pursued a career in environmental studies, until she couldn't resist the calling to get back into a studio. It was at that point, and at the insistence of her sister, a long-time resident of Martha's Vineyard, that she requested an interview with the well-respected metal sculptor, Travis Tuck. The interview was a success and Stelk moved to the Vineyard in June of 1999 to begin her apprenticeship.

The late Travis Tuck was renowned worldwide as a master weathervane maker. Condé Nast Traveler even called him "America's premier weathervane maker." Stelk moved quickly through her training and within one year was designing and fabricating from start to finish some of Tuck's most valuable pieces. By September of 2000, her independent work had received a great deal of recognition and had created such a demand, that she decided to take off on her own to start her own business, M.J. Stelk Designs.