Ilse was born in Berlin, Germany during WW ll in a war-torn country to Lithuanian refugees. After the war, she immigrated to North America with her family and now resides with her husband, Kestutis, near Cochrane, Alberta.
She is a visual artist who graduated from the Alberta College of Art, Calgary, Alberta in 1980, having majored in fibre art and minored in printing. She taught children’s art classes for the Calgary Board of Education’s Continuing Education Department from 1981 until 2002, and both adult and children’s art classes for the Alberta College of Art and Design’s Continuing Education Department from 1986 to 2006. Since retiring in 2006 from a successful teaching career, she has been creating her art work full-time.
She received a Canada Council Grant in 2009 and in 2008 & 2009 attended two Leighton Studios in Banff, Alberta. Two of her art works are in the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, in Edmonton, Alberta (1990, 2011) and one is in the collection of the Idea Exchange Art + Design, Cambridge, Ontario (1988). In 2005 she received the “Curators Choice Award” from the Kitchener - Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario and in 2010 received an “Honourable Mention Award” from the Homer Watson House & Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario.
Her art work has been exhibited across Canada, the US, Korea, Japan, the Netherlands and France. Her mixed media art works are in private and public collections in Canada and in private collections in the US. Her art work images have been published in Canadian and American books and magazines.
She was juried as a Full Member into the Alberta Society of Artists in 1983 where she has held the position of Membership Chair from 2012 to 2015. In 2008 she was juried into the Studio Art Quilt Association (USA) as a Professional Artist Member.
She is known for a series of projects using unconventional materials and techniques to comment on issues of landscape, land use and environmental preservation. With her art, she investigates and explores the fibre art medium’s boundaries creating a marriage of formal artistic principles with old and new techniques for working with fibres.