Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1960 Lorelei Stumbo grew up in the Midwest. Her art training started early as a daughter of an art professor.  As a teenager Lorelei helped her father, Hugh Stumbo, in creating a cylindrical cabin in Cedar Bluff, Iowa. Still unfinished after 30 years, Lorelei is hoping to convert the cabin into an “Earth Ship”.
Lorelei studied art at the University of Iowa as an undergraduate. There she worked mainly in abstract and “found object” art. Later, experimenting with a technique learned from an art teacher from Normal Illinois, she began burning wood as raw material for her art.
Lorelei has worked as an artist showing her burnt wood pieces throughout Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota. For a time she settled in Maryland to assist Leon Der in the hand crafting of a unique home located in the Wheaton-Glenmont area of Maryland. She now lives in Iowa City and is collaborating with Hugh Stumbo in establishing art galleries and studio spaces in Tipton, IA.
Having access to the family’s “burn pile” she is again creating works of art using burnt wood as well as continuing her “found objects” art. In August of 2013 her work was showcased in the grand opening of Stumbo Art Gallery. In November of 2014 her work was exhibited at the Chait Gallery downtown Iowa City as part of the Small Works Show. She is currently designing main entrance signage for the Gallery of Collections to be located adjacent to the art gallery. The Iowa City Downtown Association’s Benchmarks Project’s “Cat” bench located at the Washington Street end of the Ped Mall is Lorelei’s most recent contribution to that Project.

"I’m near sighted. I like to get up close and personal with visual details. So, the ground, generally being the closest thing to me visually, fascinates me. The intricate and organic patterns in pavement, cement, dirt, and plant and insect life can be engrossing. Always looking down I tend to see and collect small, lost items while I walk. I am fascinated with the shapes, forms, and details of these items, not their utility.
This attraction to small items led to collecting beads. To exploit the beauty intrinsic in the “flawed” appearance of natural beads I have developed a sculptural technique to create human and animal figures. These figures manifest individually as spirit dolls like my pieces “Rasta man” and “Fan Dancer” or are incorporated into found objects pieces.
The attraction to detailed patterns in nature might explain my affinity with burnt wood art. An artist in Normal, Illinois introduced me to a several step technique of burning wood that result in organic, non-representational sculpture. In my current work I have adapted this technique using “found wood”, construction scraps, and demolition waste which is already weathered and misshapen, to make intricately dimensional pieces that can stand on their own or serve as an environment with found objects."