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Faculty with artwork on exhibition


Alison Aune

Nordic Mandala Lily, 2014
Acrylic and paper on canvas, 36" x 36"


Artist's Statement

This painting is part of a series of paintings that are inspired by Norwegian and Swedish folk art. Through my research, I have learned that originally the repetition of symbolic designs in sweaters and textiles gave the owner strength, power, and protection. I have retraced and rearranged these traditional textile designs and arranged them in a mandala, a symbol of balance, surrounding a blooming lily, a symbol of new life, to honor my Minnesota-Scandinavian ancestors and other artists in aprons.



Fatih Benzer

Hum, 2014
Acrylic on wood, 46"x72"


Artist's Statement

My recent iconographic works are inspired by Ottoman and Persian miniatures, whirling dervishes echoing Rumi’s ecstatic poetry of freedom and devotion, as well as abstracted spatial-forms inspired by Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. The main purpose of these works is to build a bridge between East and West while dealing with concepts such as "stigma" and "co-existence." Coming from Turkey, a country influenced by Near Eastern and European cultures, I try to build a visual world in which all those various influences can co-exist regardless of their diverse backgrounds. Such combination of various images and symbols from different cultures play a very important role to offer the audience a multiplicity of meanings. 


Steve Bardolph

Imagine Living Here: Butler Arch Panorama, 2014
Archival Inkjet Photo on Tyvek, 5' high x 10' wide (60"h x 120"w)


Artist's Statement

My goal is to share, through immersive photographic panoramas, the awe I experience at the flaming shining grandeur in the world around me. I want to help people see, even in everyday events and places, life charged with deep freshness and bright wonder. These panoramas are my primary artistic and design direction, and I’ve been exploring the human interaction with beautiful and sublime landscapes for 20 years. These works are like a Japanese garden, at once presenting an awe-inspiring and complete whole, as well as a lush tapestry of individual details spread across singular moments in time. ...


(To view the full statement, click here.)


David Bowen

46.699546 lat. -91.996948 long. 30 meters @ 1406676360, 2014
Acrylic, 64mm x 230mm x 230mm


Artist's Statement

46.699546 lat. -91.996948 long. 30 meters @ 1406676360 refers to the location and time where the three-dimensional data was collected to create this work. An autonomous aerial vehicle hovering above the surface of Lake Superior scanned the surface of the water. The collected data was used to create a three-dimensional model. The model was then carved into a block of clear acrylic with a three-axis CNC router. This process captured the dynamic movements of the waves and ripples from a specific time and location and suspended this ever-changing water pattern into a static transparent form.
David Bowen is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.


Gloria DeFilipps Brush

(8510), 2014
archival pigment print, 23.5 x 32"


Artist's Statement

My series Recastings  uses the book as the recurring connotative premise and arena for interactions of visual thoughts and notations.
Memories encoded in books are inexactly iterative.
Pages cannot always contain thoughts.
Our histories invite revision.
The book itself as object is multivalent, its meaning shifting with the expectations and framing of the reader. The relationship between fact and
fiction in its pages may be altogether evident to one individual, unfathomable
to another, or the very distinction between them seen as irrelevant or nonexistent
by still others.
These are archival pigment prints from multiple photographic sources.
© Gloria DeFilipps Brush 2013



Jen Dietrich

Seed Project, 2010
Mixed media, 10” x 36”


Artist's Statement

I am fascinated with American culture and the endearing components that form our identity.  Since 1996, I have concentrated on the dominant theme of American identity.  This exhibition is part of an ongoing project that looks at parts of American culture and the elements once considered archetypal icons but are now fading, soon to be lost. This is a multifaceted project called, “Lost Icons: American Myth and Identity”, with a variety of subtopics (separate bodies of work) including: The American Barn, The Kennedy era, and Baseball...


(To view the full statement, click here.)


Darren Houser

Sunder [Cognitive Dissonance], 2014 
Mixed media on paper, 21” x 14”


Artist's Statement

This work is a visual amalgamation of metaphysical exposition, occult philosophy, and personal inquiry; numinous reflections obscured by the formality of actually existing.  Intended to intrigue while simultaneously befuddle viewer and artist alike, the fishy aroma of reality’s truthiness is present.  I don’t really know, but it’s been said that ‘it’s all just in your head.’  




Betsy Hunt

Excerpt from Rowdy Raccoons, Fall 2014
TV - 14in x 15in, Wall piece (jean jacket) 19in x 22in
Video, Mixed Media


Artist's Statement

Betsy Hunt & Zach Moser
Rowdy Raccoons is a new video installation that is in collaboration with Zach Moser.  The piece is about a gang of females who ride bikes and are often found in the space between glitches. With the work we are interested in exploring physical interaction and navigation through the space and time we live in.


Elizabeth James

Urban Landscape II, 2014
Porcelain, 32" x 16" x 18" 


Artist's Statement

My current body of work is an interconnected exploration of the human experience and ones interpretation of place.  My forms are multiple assemblages that combine contrasting clay bodies, glazes and surfaces that are not direct representations of this environment but rather borrowed elements or essences. I introduce materials that typically would not be found in clay to create textures that represent nature and juxtapose the biomorphic organic forms with porcelain vessels that signify our human condition. Sensuous surfaces, muted colors, and fluid forms create a quiet relationship meant to entice the audience both visually and physically. The tactile and responsive character of clay continues to interest me and is an essential component of my artwork. Using clay as a creative device allows me to explore the perfect balance and depth with a visual texture that represents how this landscape intuitively blends our humanness to nature, memory, culture, history and ideology.




Jeffrey Kalstrom

The house in the shape of a dog head,” 2014
Sculpture and Performance


Artist's Statement

My work is focused on animal imagery and its relationship to human culture. In my work I try to balance the humorous with the philosophical. The various ways animal forms are inflected in my work reflect the comic and absurd ways humans strive for meaning and pleasure using animals as their doubles and opposites. 

I work with anthropomorphic images: animals are humanized and humans become animals. These images are mixed and blended to explore the ways in which humans are, of course, animals and the ways in which we distance our animal natures by abstracting and "cartooning" animal images.

We have become technological and yet our metaphors are still earth bound: busy as a beaver, hungry as a bear, playing possum, and many more.
My work resonates between childhood reverie and adult rationality to evoke light and darkness, historical reference and the lives we live today. 

James Klueg

Years of Happiness, 2014
Earthenware, 16” x 8” x 4”


Artist's Statement

I want to make smart art pottery that could only be made in the present and that has at least something to say on various levels to diverse visual audiences. I make what I do because I've always been entranced by images and words.
James Klueg is professor and head of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Minnesota Duluth.  His ceramics have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions since the late 1970s and are in museum, corporate and private collections. Klueg’s work has appeared in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Clay Times, The Ceramic Surface, The Ceramics Design Book, Handbuilt Ceramics, Low-Fire Surfaces and Humor in Craft. His work can be viewed at


Janice Kmetz

1 T-shirt
1 coffee mug
4 business cards
1 embroidered bath robe (I have a nice grey mannequin)
I package 12h 6w 6d inches.


Artist's Statement

Why I do what I do
Most design professionals are in a highly complex working environment, both technological and methodological. In many situations the communication challenges are multilayered. Design challenges must be explored from multiple viewpoints; client, user, designer, societal needs, purpose. Yet in the end design communication is often one and one.

Design is fashion driven therefore it is important to design with longevity, economy and flexibility in mind. This is especially true when developing a brand for a small business with budget constraints as are the examples I am presenting.


(To view the full statement, click here.)


Victoria Lehman

Emergence, 2014
Mixed media, 25.5" x 27.5"


Artist's Statement

Collaborating with poets and storytellers adds another dimension to the artwork we produce. Two perspectives on an idea(s) deliver an end result that neither the painter nor the poet/storyteller would have produced individually. And it’s nice working with other creative people who don’t look at the world as I do.

Robin Murphy

Ask…tell me, 2014
Ceramic, 26” x 13” x 9”


Artist's Statement

I am interested in the figure and the narrative undertones that emerge through figurative work.  The figure’s capacity to communicate and reflect human emotions and experiences through the subtle nuances of gesture, posture, and expression are endless.   The creative transformation, of idea to form, is rather addictive and often surprising.  This piece explores the reflective possibilities of a simple act, a gesture.





Ryuta Nakajima

Amburghese di cuore (No 2), 2013
Digital photograph, 50" x 65" 


Artist's Statement

Considering this current environment, it is essential to investigate the effect and implication of the visual culture, by asking such existential questions as Why do we make images, where do they come from and what is their primary function?  In order to answer these rather difficult questions, my work has focused on the cephalopods (squid, octopus and cuttlefish) adaptive coloration as a biological model that codes and re-maps visual information such as avant-garde paintings, photographs, and video. More specifically, their adaptive coloration is triggered by replacing natural substrates (sand, mud, seaweed, etc.…) with computer-generated images of paintings, photographs and videos. 


(To view the full statement, click here.)



Matthew Olin

List of 3 of 8 logos:
1: Association Solutions Inc., 2011
8" x 8"

2: Metrocash Tax Coalition, 2013
8" x 8"

3: California Employment Consortium for Youth (CECY), at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA, 2012)
8" x 8"


Artist's Statement

Developing an identifiable image that represents my client is a challenge that I enjoy. With each logo I design I am presented with the daunting task of making an image that is simple, visually engaging, and memorable, adapts to any size and can be used in any application. For this reason, the challenge is always renewed with each logo I design


(To view the list of 8 logos, click here.)

Kristin Pless

How we Live, 2014
Platinum Print, 28 x 28 


Artist's Statement

Fundamentally, I am interested in how photography can serve as a link between our subconscious and conscious experience. I am curious about the tension that exists between these realities. With this work, I was interested in using the camera as a form of investigation into the way we participate in and perceive the world around us.

Robert Repinski

Untitled, 2014
Mixed mediums (solvent transfer, collage, silverpoint and shellac)
Diptych, ea. 20" x 25"


Artist's Statement

This works stems from a melancholy contemplation of aging.  As I get older, I find myself taking a keener interest in the passage of time- one that has more to do with recollection rather than anticipation.  Along with that comes a consideration of place and transition and the various trade-offs that fuel the process of living.


Joellyn Rock

Sophronia Side Show, 2014
Digital Video Installation


Artist's Statement

Joellyn Rock teaches digital art and filmmaking courses for the Department of Art & Design. A researcher in UMD's new Motion and Media Across Disciplines Lab, she is especially interested in telling stories with emerging media.


(To view the full statement, click here.)


David Short

Untitled #9, 2013 (Grocery Day)
Archival silver halide print, 3.5’ x 5’


Artist's Statement

Artist Statement: The primary influence of my work is to communicate a narrative—whether somber or satirical, brief or extensive—often creating with the intent of generating an observation of current human practices and beliefs. I explore this area as my own history involved reading so many stories; listening to stories told by others; watching stories performed both live and on-screen; and ultimately coming to appreciate how I (we) process so much information through these base practices. My mediums include compositions created through illustration, hand-lettering, haptic typography, and photography.


Eun-Kyung Suh

Blue – Red, 2010                                 
Silk organza, thread, printed images on cotton
Dimension variable


Artist's Statement

I have been creating a series of sculptural vessels as a metaphor for individual, family or social memory and history. For this series, a vessel is any type of container used to hold something. These sculptural vessels are created out of diaphanous textiles, using a design originally inspired by Bojagi, a traditional art form in Korea. Bojagi is the wrapping cloth used to cover, store or carry everything from precious ritual objects to everyday clothes and common household belongings. It is usually a square cloth of various sizes made out of silk, cotton, and ramie.


(To view the full statement, click here.)


Rob Wittig

Three Zen Scrolls, 2013
Digital print, Scroll #1—11x33", Scroll #2—11x33", Scroll #3—33x11"


Artist's Statement

I'm fascinated by the materiality of visible language in all its forms and, in particular, in translations from one cultural sign system to another. There is a rich tradition of calligraphic scrolls in Japanese Zen culture which use a different medium (brush and ink) and a different sign system (sino-japanese characters) from the medium (computer and printer) and sign system (alphabet) that are my tools. I enjoy the challenge of doing "cover versions" of texts in the Zen tradition and seeing if I can honor their spirit by using elements both traditions have in common: visual composition.





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