Thursday, September 6, 2012

Amelia Biewald - Painting, Sculpture, Installation

Amelia Biewald

Name: Amelia Biewald
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Amelia Biewald was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design as an undergraduate, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for graduate school. She has been working as a visual artist in the areas of painting, sculpture and installation and has been fortunate in receiving awards, residencies, and fellowships for her artworks. Some notable awards include a Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Fellowship, a Smack Mellon “Tops Picks” Award, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Space Program Award, the Schick Residency Award at Skidmore College, a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Assistant Fellowship and a Jerome Foundation Artist Fellowship. She has worked with the public in the visual arts on many occasions, and has held positions as visiting artist/professor at Skidmore College, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and the College of Visual Art. Amelia’s work has been exhibited internationally, and is currently exhibiting at Rosalux Gallery in NE Minneapolis. 

Artist Amelia Biewald’s recent works explores the fantastic visual possibilities of Elizabethan England. A time that saw extremely elaborate but exceedingly uncomfortable stylized clothing, with heavy ornamentation and silhouettes based on geometric shapes and patterns. Influenced by imaginative histories and fashion scandals of this Golden Age, Biewald’s mixed media paintings and sculptural installations mock this duality. From her visual obsession with the neck ruff, an iconic fashion accessory of the age, to her manipulation of both traditional and invented artist materials and techniques, her sensuous surfaces draw the viewer into this alluringly theatrical and voyeuristic costume drama. Biewald’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She has been a recipient of various artist grants and fellowships, including the Bush Artist Fellowship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Award, and a Jerome Artist Fellowship.

Inspired by his recent time in the rural Deep South—a landscape dotted with deteriorating infrastructures of forgotten mill villages, faded hues of old commercial signs, and the overgrown structures of a once thriving agricultural base, Jonas Criscoe visually explores the oxymoron, “Beautiful Detritus.” Through his densely layered mixed media compositions, use of distressed and worn surfaces, and graffiti-like drawings, Criscoe’s work conveys his interest in society’s disposable mind-set towards progress and nature's ability to reclaim the things that we abandon. A native of Austin, Texas, he received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, notably the Texas Biennial and the International Print Center in New York. Criscoe has also been featured in various art publications, including Art Lies and New American Painting, and most recently was a West Prize acquisition recipient.


Together, these artist’s works engage dualities that are present in both art and culture. Through their subtle manipulation of various art media, techniques, and processes, both Biewald and Criscoe create elaborate compositions and surfaces that convey an aura of touch, and a sense of history to the viewer through the materials and subject matter that they employ.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I have always been fairly obsessed with art and fashion histories and my recent works explore the fantastic visual possibilities of Elizabethan England. All the pattern and construction was extremely elaborate AND exceedingly uncomfortable! My favorite item of that time is the ruff. A complex, stiffly starched accessory that framed the face and could make your head appear as being set upon a dinner plate. This is the work I have included in my show at Rosalux in September. I am showing paintings, drawings and sculptural works. I have some works on paper which I really like and I don't often include in my exhibitions- they started out as sketches for sculptural works and I just kept working on them to make them finished drawings.

How did you decide to become an artist?

I was obsessed with horses when I was a kid and still am. I could draw a pretty good life-like horse by the time I was about 3 and I just kept at it. I spent a lot of time drawing down in the basement, and the horses became other animals, unicorns and dragons. I have such an overactive creative imagination no one else would take me. I did sort of want to become a plastic surgeon, but I'm not sure my clients would be ok with my inventions.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
Sometimes it is better to attack an idea than over think it.

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
I try to show as often as I can and also apply for a lot of grants and residencies, etc. You might not get the grant, but your work is shown to people who often want to work with you in the future and know collectors who would like your work. I also show with a gallery in New York which helps a lot.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
I like a lot of work here- it's a great art city! A few names that come to mind are 
Terrence Payne
Jennifer Davis
and Melissa Loop

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I would go to the MIA and see what is up for the MAEP. That space is so awesome I would love to do a huge installation there sometime. I would then go and look at the interiors or period rooms they have. I love art history so I could be in there for hours. I would then go to the Walker and see if they had the Paul Thek's Hippopotamus sculpture out. Love that.

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
Actually I get so many invites and notifiications just in my email and Facebook that I just use the links provided. I like that most galleries now have pages for all their artist so you can figure out what is new that way too.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I have a work in progress that is going to be pretty amazing- a huge full body mount deer that I mounted upside-down. This is going to be the basis of a huge mixed media installation.

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
“Nature’s Beast” Works by Amelia Biewald and Jonas Criscoe at Rosalux Gallery
Exhibit runs: September 6th – September 30, 2012 
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8th, 6:30 – 10:00PM

Rosalux is a cooperative art gallery that was founded in Minneapolis in 2002. The gallery is home to twenty artists whose work is well known both nationally and internationally, featured in various major collections, and who have individually received numerous prestigious awards and grant recognitions.

Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays 12-4PM, admission is free. For more information on the Rosalux Art Collective, visit

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