Sunday, January 6, 2013

Monica Reede - Mixed Media

Vertical Trees, 2012, 30” X 60”
Monica Reede

Name: Monica Reede
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Website: profile:
Facebook page: Monica Reede Art

Monica Reede is a mixed-media artist living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Historically her works have juxtaposed a variety of images - human artifacts, the human figure (or fragments of the figure) with various natural elements and beings. In her most recent pieces, Reede overlays wood panels with stained or etched Plexiglas creating a mysterious, even ghostly, interplay of images that illuminate intersecting realities. These works have pointed to the essential sensuality of the human body consciousness, the ever shifting relationship of form and void, and the transitory nature of the material world.  She is interested in the spiritual practices of Eastern mysticism and the theories and discoveries of contemporary science.  

Monica Reede has worked as a professional artist for 20 years. Her work as an artist has been recognized through grants and awards including three fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board.  She exhibits regionally and nationally and is represented in numerous corporate and private collections.        
Reflection #2, 2012, 30” X 30” 

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?  
I have always been interested in perception, or rather, how we perceive and categorize things and experiences; how we create a hicherarchy of those things and experiences in a way that inevitably ends up placing ourselves at the center of the universe, at least metaphorically speaking. However, my newest work represents something of a shift from that way of thinking.  These pieces delve into the act of perception itself, or to put it another way, what happens when light hits the anatomy of our eye.  There is a moment, an instant really, before we begin to interpret and categorize, where all that exists is the phenomena of light itself bouncing off of an object.  The photographer Uta Barth has described this as “a moment when everything else drops away and the experience of seeing, of sensing, becomes so overwhelming, so all-encompassing, that the very idea of interpretation does not, can not, exist.”  In this moment all possibilities exist, yet none are necessary.

These works are created using layers of oil stained Plexiglas on wood panels.  Soft focus creates a blurring of the distinction between figure and ground, while the layered construction of translucent material over a reflective surface plays with the notions of flatness and depth.  Light bounces around and inside each piece and back to the viewer creating different effects based on the angle from which it is viewed.  In this way the quality of the light from the surrounding environment participates in the composition of each work by altering the colors that are reflected and the shadows that are formed.  Finally, it is the viewer who completes the work through his or her own unique perception.

Reflection #2 detail

How did you decide to become an artist? 
Making art has always been a part of my life.  It was not so much a choice as it was a joyful engagement in the activity of making things.  As a child I spent much of my time drawing and when asked, I always told people that I wanted to be an artist.

As I grew up, I was discouraged from following art as a career path due to the lack of financial security.  So, when I entered college, I was working toward a degree in science.  At some point during my junior year I decided that I did not want to go through life never having even tried to live my dream. I switched my major to fine art and graduated with a BFA.  Those who warned me were right, there is little financial security in the life of an artist, but I have not regretted my decision.
Reflection #1, 2012, 30” X 30”

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
The best advice I ever heard was to make work for all the people out there who are like you.  It doesn’t matter how many of them there are.  If you feel strongly about the work you are doing, there are others who will too.  

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
I have been fortunate to have been represented by galleries for most of my career.  This has been my primary source of income from my art.  My main gallery in Minneapolis has been Circa Gallery (  

To market my work, I use my website,, my facebook page, Monica Reede Art, and a well crafted email list.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 
There are many Minnesota artists that I admire, too many to list, but here are a few of my favorites:  
Carolyn Swiszcz,
Mary Bergs,
Michon Weeks,
Elaine Rutherford,
Barbara Kreft,
Ken Steinbach,
Harriet Bart,

Tiny Mountain, 2012, 6” X 6”

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Walker Art Center,
Franklin Art Works,
Minneapolis Institute of Arts,
Burnet Art Gallery,
Weinstein Gallery,
Bockley Gallery,
Circa Gallery,

Tiny Mountain Detail

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? 

For local events I usually rely on facebook and word of mouth. 
MNoriginal is also a good place to find Minnesota artists,

There are a number of galleries around the country that I follow online through their websites.

I also read The New York Times arts page
Art Daily News,
Art Forum,
Art Slant,
Visual Art Source,

Something Tender detail, 2010

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes, I have an exhibition at the Bloomington Art Center entitled CONVERGENCES that opens on January 10th and runs through March 3rd, 2013.

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