As an immigrant from England to the USA Muriel Stockdale has always been inspired by the diversity of cultures coexisting in the USA.
For over 30 years Muriel has enjoyed an extensive and varied career in the entertainment industry thus cultivating a stellar professional ethic and network of professional contacts. She has created some scenery and many outstanding costumes for some of the finest producers of film, TV and live entertainment. Among these are Disney (CITYKIDS & OUT OF THE BOX), Children's Television Workshop (GHOST WRITER), NBC (LAW AND ORDER), CBS (GUIDING LIGHT), PBS, ABC (ONE LIFE TO LIVE), Universal Television (THE EQUALIZER) Elizabeth Ireland McCann (THREE TALL WOMEN), The Vineyard and Public Theatres, The Champlain Shakespeare Festival and dozens of US and European regional theaters. Muriel has worked with world-renowned, award winning performers, directors, writers, and composers such as Richard Adler, Colleen Dewhurst, Adriana Trigiani, Kermit the Frog, Tony Roberts, S. Epatha Merkeson, Lynn Redgrave and Edward Albee. She has spent over 30 years working with Jim Henson Productions building and designing puppet costumes.
After a long career as a theatrical designer she quit her career to explore art and media.
In 2003 she completed her short film, "New York City Spirit" which shows diverse New Yorkers taking time out of their busy lives to connect to the divine in their own traditional or personal way. She is now dedicated to creating uplifting entertainment through her company Raasa (www.raasa.org), and to creating art which celebrates diversity with her project E Pluribus (www.epluribus.us).
Muriel is convinced that focusing on uplifting images of how cultures intermingle in respect is the best way to actually create a harmonious world. Her series of USA flags, E PLURIBUS are constructed from materials typical of various cultures. The flags are inspired by immigrants who have come either recently or in past generations to the United States of America and contribute the richness of their former culture to the fabric of the USA.
Recent exhibits of Muriel's E Pluribus flags include in 2010 the Wang Center for Asian Art and Culture at Stony Brook, Long Island, Cynthia Reeves 2010 installation FABRICATIONS in Newport, New Hampshire and 2008/9 LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York. In 2009 the flags participated in New York City Mayor Bloomberg's annual Immigrant Heritage Week celebrations exhibiting in the Flushing Library and the Langston Hughes Library and Cultural Center both in Queens as well as at the International Immigrants Foundation in New York City. Muriel has spoken on the issue of unity in diversity to many school children.
The flags have been on display at the community center, Charlotte's Place, opened by Trinity Church in lower Manhattan since February 2011. In partnership with Trinity Church and Charlotte's Place Muriel lead the initiative to create a twelve-foot Community USA flag constructed of donated fabrics significant to US immigrant’s cultures. The fabric was cut into the shape of the hands of participants and donators. This flag, honoring ten years since 9/11, represents the dream that we can all create a brilliant harmony within our society while maintaining and celebrating our differences.
Muriel stresses that these E Pluribus flags are created to promote harmony and celebrate diversity of culture within the United States of America and in no way are they endorsing an imperialistic view of the USA.
Muriel is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a BS in Nutrition, and of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Master’s degree in theatrical design. For 14 years she was adjunct faculty at NYU’s design department.