Marie Olofsdotter

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HomeArtistsMarie Olofsdotter

Marie Olofsdotter is a Swedish-born artist & poet who paints, writes poetry, creates picture books, and works in mixed media. She has shared her love of creativity with young and old alike as a teaching artist for over 25 years. Her accolades include a Minnesota Book Award, a Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry, along with grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Besides studies in art history, fine arts, and writing, Marie went to clown school for two years, first in Stockholm, then California, and she swears by Steve Linsner’s quote, “a clown is a poet who is also an orangutang.”

In her classrooms, Marie sets the stage for each student to express their unique visual and literary vision. She fans the creative flame while teaching craft and provides an inspired, artful learning environment. Her poetry classes fling the imagination wide open, and students learn to use tools such as metaphor and anaphora. She helps students write original fairy tales and offer a variety of visual arts classes like bookmaking and illustration.

More About the Artist

Learn more about Marie in her April 2020 Artist Spotlight Interview.

Program Offerings

Virtual and Remote Programs

See an example virtual residency from Marie and learn what to expect from a remote program!

Virtual Residency: Peace Poetry

Look at the world through the eyes of a poet, through the lens of peace. Reflect on the idea of peace and create poems rich in imagery. Students will be inspired by the poetry of Alberto Blanco, N. Scott Momaday, Langston Hughes and more through a 5 video series featuring Marie and accompanying handouts that can be incorporated right into your virtual classroom. Students will learn forms and prompts that will help them celebrate and better understand peace in their own words. Students can receive feedback through a Flip Grid or additional live meet office hours.


Poetry: Your Voice is a Kaleidoscope

“Poetry is an egg with a horse inside.” —third grader. This quote captures the possibilities within poetry beautifully. Use creative visualization, drawing and journaling to create a basic portfolio of poems. Experience a whole-brain approach to writing that opens the door to creativity. Learn how to use valuable writing tools, while being introduced to poets from around the world. Incorporate figurative language, metaphor, pattern and rhythm in the new works. Share poems aloud and practice revision and peer editing. Always remember the words of poet Maya Angela, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

The poetry residency works well for all ages and younger writers in particular are drawn in by a variety of brainstorming techniques such as sketching, list-making, and masks.

Book Arts

Create and design an original book through this introduction to several bookmaking techniques and book arts projects. This residency can stand-alone, or be combined with Poetry: Your Voice as a Kaleidoscope—which would allow newly written work to be put into a handcrafted book. In a poetry & bookmaking combo class, there are many projects to choose from, such as an accordion book in the shape of a house, or a hardcover accordion book constructed with handmade papers from around the world. Create a stick-bound book, or a 3d pop-up creature made from a variety of inspiring materials.

Bookmaking is magical at any age, and a mask-inspired poem in combination with a 3d pop-up monster works wonderfully for grades 2-4.

Fairy Tales

Explore the timeless territory of magic and write a myth-inspired fairy tale. Students record the hair-raising adventures of a main character, who sets out on a magical journey to save a troubled world, and along the way, encounters menacing villains and mystical beings. Students invent their own settings, characters, and plot.

This program has been great for grades 4 and up. As an option, Swedish myth, folk beliefs, and mythical figures could be introduced for a culturally specific experience.

Roots: An Exploration of Ancestry

In a curriculum called ROOTS students explore their own cultural heritage through poetry and letter writing. Write an autobiographical poem, create a family tree, recall memorable moments in a timeline, and compose a letter to a future self. Create an accordion book to hold the writing, a memento for years to come. This project works well for grades 4-8.


The workshops work well for young and old alike, ages 8 and up. The program will be designed to fit the specific age group for which it is intended.

Poetry: Your Voice is a Kaleidoscope

Use creative visualization, drawing and journaling to get the ideas rolling and create poems that sparkle. Learn about metaphor, figurative language, pattern and rhythm while being introduced to poets from around the world. Share poems aloud for the written word to come alive.

Book Arts

Create and design an original book. Projects to pick from include accordion books, a pop-up book, or a stick-bound book. This residency can stand-alone, or be combined with Poetry: Your Voice as a Kaleidoscope—which would allow newly written work to be put into a handcrafted book.

Card Making

Make a greeting card, a holiday card, a cherished gift for someone special. Learn how to make a pop-up card, a card with unique folds, and more. Add a tiny envelope with a secret message. Learn how to collage and embellish your card in a multitude of ways. As a finishing touch, create a personal message, a one line poem.


Learn how to find an interesting flow from image to image when illustrating a text. Work with text from a book to come up with imagery and learn the techniques and skills of illustrating.

Professional Development

Creating Space for Imagination

Learn how to create art-infused curricula. The program can focus on poetry, fairy tale creation, and complementary book arts projects.


“Marie drew students into the poetry writing process easily. She had good examples and brainstorming activities for the students to easily become involved and be able to write a poem each day. She was well prepared and grade level appropriate, and fun and easy to work with.”

Ms. Mach, Meadow

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COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.