Introducing the 2016 MAS featured artists

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I am extremely excited to be heading into Year 3 of the 3 year project, the Midwest Artist Studios™ (MAS) Project. I will be traveling this summer to the following states to visit the 2016 MAS featured artists; Karri Dieken (ND), Sharon Grey (SD), Jody Boyer (NE), Lori Elliott-Bartle (NE), Rachel Mindrup (NE), Joe Bussell (KS), and Larry Thomas (KS).

These artists were selected based on their responses to an online survey focusing on Art Education, body of work, and a Skype interview.

Throughout the studio visits I will be introducing you to 7 amazing and talented artists from the Midwest working in printmaking to painting, sculpture to mixed media and collage to installation art.

Click here to read a collaborative reflection from this past school year’s MAS Project. 

This project is supported by a grant from the Kohler Foundation, Inc. 

Join me on this MAS adventure via facebook.com/midwestartiststudios or subscribe to the blog, midwestartiststudios.com.

– Frank Juarez, art educator and founder

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portrait2014.5_thumbKarri Dieken

Web: www.karriadieken.com

Here are two questions asked on our survey and the artist’s response.

Please share one positive Art Education experience that you had in middle school, high school or college.

I have always known I was going to be a teacher, how I was going to get there and the full time line. Up until my final year of college, it was then, that I met a professor who changed the way I will forever look at teaching. Rita Cihlar Hermann was a professor of photography, she engaged all students in the course dialogue, creation or work, and developed a safe work space. I never, thought college would be a place with bullying, I found out during my final year of school that there were so many students who didn’t quite fit in. This is where Rita, helped them see they had a full potential, and a place in art, where they could share their stories and belong. She incorporated interdisciplinary curriculum, innovative uses of technology, and group work where all the members actually participated. It was as if she had some magical power over the students, where everyone wanted to participate and create to the best of their ability. Her magical power was positivity, and using positive feedback during critiques, she modeled behavior on acceptance and free speech without hurting another person. During this last year I was exposed to new forms of art and photography and how they could be created to make one piece of work or a body of work. That we as a class were a team and once we worked together we were un-stoppable. Today, I use many of the teaching methods facilitated my Rita. It is through kindness and positive feedback that we see the greatest gains, building strength through confidence and trust, this is what allows for the opportunities to take risks and not fear art. Its with this that I share art in my classroom, exposing students to a world they shouldn’t fear. The biggest gain has been seeing so many students share their creative voice!

Why is Art Education important today?

Art is a way to pair our thoughts and ideas in multiple forms, mediums, methods. Its something that everyone can do! Through art education we will open doors for future scientist, mathematicians, doctors, accountants, and so much more. With out art education in schools, children loose the opportunity to express themselves through visual images and creative solutions. We can look at Adult coloring books and see that art is essential in balancing our everyday lives. Art is a necessary part of our lives, and is essential in our K-12 and college schools. Art is the butter to our dry toast!

Artist Statement

As a mixed media artist, she is interested in fibers and polymers as mediums for documenting moments in time, considerations for collecting data, re-creating patterns, and engaging in community based performances and installations.

Relying on the repetition of imagery found in relationship to domesticity of common place and nostalgia. With the use of various techniques within handmade art making practices. Her work is about making marks via material exploration. She works with both traditional fibers, to cast porcelain, to found material sculpture. Resulting products range from cross stitched food, domestic interior installations, prints and paintings about “home.” Dieken, references outdated technological use of communication with everyday objects and repeated patterns.  Type writers, telephones, sewing machines, and bicycles become surrogate objects within each narrative space. Much of the work is instigated by a collection of narratives informed by life experiences growing up in the Midwest to current daily interactions. The labor intensive repetitive work is an act of meditation, remembrance and homage to her Grandmother and Father.

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Bio

Dieken grew up in the badlands region of the Midwest, inspired by the landscape, heritage, craft and the hand-made. She earned an MFA from Washington State University in 2010, and a BSED in Art from Black Hills State University in 2007. She has studied printmaking, sculpture, photography, and ceramics throughout her education.

Since 2007, her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the United States, New Zealand, Germany, and the Netherlands. Her work has been included in exhibits at the Plains Art Museum, Museum of Art WSU, Boise Art Museum, Essex Art Center, Dahl Fine Art Center, and the South Dakota State Museum of Art. A selection of her prints have been acquisition into the permanent collections at the Museum of Art WSU, Boise Art Museum, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Missoula Art Museum. She continues to participate in select print exchanges and sculpture based installations exploring narratives of nuclear family, midwestern heritage, and childhood in rural America.

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