A MAS Update: Karri Dieken


The Midwest Artist Studios Project has spent the past three years traveling the Midwest interviewing 24 artists from 18 cities/towns. This project has been such a joy to create and to see how these artists have touched the lives of art students through online interactions, emails, and social media.

One of the areas we pride ourselves in is staying in touch with these artists and hearing what they are up to these days? For the next two-months the MAS Project will be spotlighting one of our 24 artists by sharing with you what they are doing in their studio as well as in their communities. 

All three of our MAS publications are now available online.

Click here to buy your copy today!


Karri Dieken

2016 MAS artist from North Dakota


MAS: In what ways have you benefitted from your participation in MAS?

KD: Built a larger art community, sharing art and artist from the project with students at VCSU. The projected has had a way of keeping me connected to the practice of making. Current roles in art education, tend to take away from studio time, the MAS project has inspired daily mini projects, to larger more intricate pieces. 


MAS: In what ways has your work and/or working environment changed since your MAS interview?

KD: In the past year much of the work was focused on the absence of colour, using only white on white in its variations. The new series of work focuses more on photorealism, representation through photographic truths, and emphasis on colour as memory. 


MAS: What is one thing you wish you’d said in your original interview, or what is the one thing that you hope the MAS audience remembers about your and your work?

KD: There is plenty to be said when it comes to advocating for the arts, I could go on for days about the small steps to larger steps to take to raise awareness and creating a community for the arts. However, its limited to action from these words. I hope that people take away a sense of opportunity from the work, see the mistakes and embrace them, and become motivated to find their creative voice in the act of making. 

Photos courtesy of Brenna Winter, VCSU Art Major

Looking Ahead

Karri will be participating in the following:

February 5-12: North Dakota Museum of Art “This Week Only” digital cross stitch print “Kadoka” Grand Forks ND

March 4: Plains Art Museum, 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Exhibition and Educator Pin Award, for student Megan Tichy scholastic achievement. Fargo, ND.

March 10:  MAS exhibition, reception: 5-9pm at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. 

May 20: Barnes County Museum Artist Lecture Series “The Last Bite” Valley Cit, ND

Visit Karri’s website to see more of her work.

All images copyright of the artist and used with permission.



Day 4: View from the Road

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We are about half way through our last road trip to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. This has been such a great experience thus far. One of the things we enjoy about this project is that we have no idea what the artists’ studios look like. We sure have seen quite a range from a studio housed in garage, basement, art center, warehouse, university, attic, barn, former bookstore, house, and a one-bedroom studio apartment from the past two years. Regardless, these are magical places in which artists create their vision. 

“A studio can be anywhere” – Emma Anderson, freshman

Our first day started with a visit with MAS artist, Karri Dieken in her studio at Valley City State University to driving to Rapid City, SD where we visited MAS artist, Sharon Grey at her home studio the following day. In Rapid City we stumbled upon Art Alley, where the alley was covered in graffiti. We have never seen this in my life. It felt as if we were part of the artwork. Such a neat experience. Today we visited two studios in Omaha. In the early AM we drove to MAS artist, Jody Boyer‘s home studio and then to the studio of MAS artist, Lori Bartle Elliott at Hot Shops

During our 1800+ miles to our destinations we were able to take detours to see some amazing sights such as the Badlands in Interior, South Dakota to the Old Market Business District in Omaha, Nebraska. We still have three more studio visits with MAS artists, Rachel Mindrup, Joe Bussell, and Larry Thomas to do before we head back to Wisconsin. 

Listen to what MAS artist, Karri Dieken has to say about being part of the Midwest Artist Studios Project.

Here is a snapshot of what we experienced to date. 

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