Photo by Kiran Mufty
If you have been to Lawrence and Appleton’s art galleries in the last few years, you may be familiar with the works of fifth-year senior Kelsey Stalker. Stalker is a studio art and environmental studies double-major who enjoys blending her interests in her art pieces.
Originally from Janesville, WI, Stalker came to Lawrence to study art and play volleyball. Although volleyball has faded from the picture, her interest in studio art has only grown. She is currently working on pieces for the Senior Art Show on Friday, May 26 this year. She also hopes to send works to The Rabbit Gallery, a pop-up gallery in downtown Appleton, which shows many student works.
Most of Stalker’s art pieces are influenced by her interest in the natural world. She enjoys making “objects that reference natural environments, whether in ceramics, drawing, printmaking or painting.” They reference and represent her world and the places she has been, often taking a stance on environmental issues.
Stalker believes in the power of the subconscious mind and likes to “take the back seat” while she works, allowing herself to create without the constraints of structure and rigid plans. In the past, when she defines the concept or goal of a project before she begins working on it, she has found it difficult to work naturally and finish it. Thus, her unique creative process gives her art its own identity.
Stalker works as building monitor in the Wriston Art Center and as Studio Assistant for the Ceramics Department. Her mentor, Uihlein Fellow of Studio Art Meghan Sullivan, has taught her much of what she knows. Stalker spent a summer as Sullivan’s research assistant. Over time, Sullivan has helped her develop her proficiency and interest in ceramics.
Between her jobs, time in the ceramics studio and academic courses, Stalker is very busy, but she has found time to study abroad twice in her five years at Lawrence. In fall 2014, she travelled to Costa Rica to study environmental sustainability, and in fall 2016, she studied geology in the small town of Coldigioco, Italy.
Early in her art studies, Stalker was concerned about job availability after graduation. Now, considering her variety of interests and large portfolio of completed works, she is more optimistic. She plans to look for a position at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis or look for an artist residency opportunity.
You can look for Kelsey Stalker’s art at the Print and Ceramics Sale in the spring (date to be announced) and at the Senior Art Show on Friday, May 26.