Marliss Borenz Jensen
BFA in Painting/Printmaking
Theatrical Dyer/Painter

In 1964, after receiving a scholarship, Marliss Borenz Jensen arrived at the Minneapolis School of Art (now MCAD) to begin her studies in painting and printmaking. Upon completing her BFA program, which included a year studying abroad in Haarlem, Holland, Jensen began her professional career as a costume dyer/painter for the Guthrie Theater. 

Due to increasing demand for her dye work, Jensen became an entrepreneur and started her own business, Iris Color Studio, in 1985. She has worked with many clients, ranging from the National Gallery of Art to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Highlights of her theatrical career include painting costumes for the original Broadway musical The Lion King and several Hollywood films. Dyeing custom-color archival case fabrics for museums has contributed greatly to her studio’s success.

Jensen's dye-painted textiles have been exhibited at the American Craft Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and in many local and national shows. She has taught courses in surface design at MCAD and the College of Visual Arts, and she has given workshops on dyeing at colleges, universities, and the Textile Center of Minnesota. When not busy with clients, Jensen works on her dye-painted fabrics and oil paintings.

"Coming to art school to learn painting, I never imagined that I would have a career in opera, or that I would become a famous dyer. MCAD was the best preparation I could have had for my work, which involves daily creative problem solving in color, design, and painting."

Jensen on the Web: