October SÍM Residency in Reykjavík


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Here are some images from my studio at my current residency at SÍM, where I have been working on drawings which I plan to incorporate into a series of  installations with reflected light.* Briefly, the drawings engage both the idea of the souvenir (those objects we take away to commemorate an experience of significance: stones, sea glass, snippets from photographs etc.) along with the idea of the indicator (those markers we leave behind in order to communicate something, sometimes just a gesture of our passing presence: stone cairns, spray painted directives, gratified tags). I think of the vertically stacked wet-into-wet vaguely circular forms–into and against which the more detailed elements are drawn–as cairns themselves. I find many of the objects and images depicted while running and exploring Reykjavík, but many of them come from other places (Berlin) and instances as well.

I’m most interested in the ways in which these drawings on paper, their silver-leafed cut-outs, the reflective surfaces and the light can all interact and create a larger conversation between object and atmosphere, between the taken and the left. As humans generally conflate places, experiences, even dreams in our memories, with this installation I’m hoping to create a space in which such jumbled significance is a felt presence. I’m looking forward to installing what I have so far in the residents’ upcoming exhibition Fault Lines using the spotlights in the gallery at the SÍM House.

* I’m revisiting this fortuitous phenomenon from my solo exhibition Will Have Been in at the University of Nevada, Reno in November 2012.

New work: Cairn


While in Berlin, I’ve started a new drawing series not dissimilar to Last Map. It generally engages the idea of the object as souvenir. Although the act of choosing a souvenir is usually individual, the adoption of souvenirs (and/or imbuing an object with significance of some sort) is a universal act found across time and cultures. I find that certain objects, such as elements of detritus from the environment or those borrowed from nature (stones, sea glass, shells, pressed flowers, etc) are the lowest common denominator since they cost nothing and are easily found.

Using objects such as these as a starting point, and expanding the notion of the souvenir to snippets from photographs, even images from existing artwork seen in galleries and museums (we do often take something away from such experiences), I am rendering them as “stacks”. The series is called Cairn after the stacks of rocks left in natural settings, piled by people to indicate a site of memorial or as a record of their having passed by. This is what I have so far…

Artist Talk at Takt Kunstprojecktraum, Berlin


Copied and pasted from Takt Academy’s Facebook event:

Amy Sacksteder
Artist talk

Todd Belt
“Political Images” workshop

Tuesday, 25.06.2013 17h

takt academy
takt academy * müggelstr. 17 * 10247 berlin-f’hain

Amy Sacksteder’s artwork is rooted in painting and drawing, but also delves into installation and time-based media. Her work, which engages transience—often using landscape and natural imagery—has been sited on contemporary art websites and published in journals such as New American Paintings. Sacksteder’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally at many university galleries and venues such as Threewalls, Chicago; The Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Champion Contemporary, Austin, Texas; the Drawing Room, Budapest, Hungary; and SÍM Gallery, Reykjavík, Iceland. She has attended artist residencies in Illinois, Newfoundland, Southern France, Philadelphia, Budapest, Reykjavík and Berlin. Sacksteder received her BA in English from the University of Dayton in 2001 and her MFA in painting from Northern Illinois University in 2004. She lives and works in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she is an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Michigan University.

She will be giving a half-hour presentation on her artwork and influences.
Start: 5pm

Political Images
workshop by Todd Belt, University of Hawai’i, Political Science, Division of Social Sciences, Associate Professor and Chair

For millennia, artists have used their crafts to poke fun at politicians. The proliferation of computer technology and the internet have democratized this process. Today, nearly anyone can create, alter, or caption images and video of politicians in order to generate laughs, to make a political point, or both. In this presentation I describe and analyze trends in citizen-generated artistic political content on the internet, particularly by reference to the portrayals of US Presidential and Vice-presidential candidates such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. I then discuss the ramifications this trend has for democratic discourse.
Start: 5.30pm

More 2012 Exhibition Images: Return: Ryan Feeny and Amy Sacksteder

Going back to September 2012, here are images from the two-person exhibition Return: Ryan Feeny and Amy Sacksteder at the University of Dayton’s Gallery 249. Both Ryan and I attended UD for undergraduate school and we were thus curated into Return by current painting professor Jeffrey Cortland Jones.















Showing with Ryan was a really great experience. His work in the show was photo and paper-based. Note that all local images of work shown here are pieces of mine.  Individual images of my work can be seen on my website in the albums recent paintings, last map and recent objects & installations.

Here’s a link to the previous 2012 Exhibition Images blog entry: To Arrive Where We Started at 2739 Edwin.

Collages from Berlin


Small collages from Berlin: blue and white tape, silver leaf, ink, gouache and magazine collage on assorted papers.

New Work: Object Lesson Intervention


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Object Lesson Intervention | gouache on panel with gouache and silver leaf on salvaged wood supports | each panel 8″ x 6″ | 2013

Made at the Takt Residency, Berlin; professionally documented image coming to my website upon my return to the US in July.

2012 Exhibition Images: To Arrive Where We Started at 2739 Edwin

Due to the aforementioned issues with resizing images on WordPress, I have been remiss in adding installation images from my solo and two-person exhibitions throughout the fall 2012 and winter 2013. I’ll make up for that, beginning with installation images from the two-person exhibition To Arrive Where We Started with Essen, Germany-based photographer Fiona Short at 2739 Edwin in August-September 2012. My only regret is that I didn’t get better images of the entire show and of Fiona’s work, which was really stellar.










Images of individual pieces are all up on my website.

New Drawing: Residue: Net 4



Residue: Net 4 | gouache, ink, and correction tape on collaged paper | 18″ x 24″ | 2013

Made at the Takt Residency, Berlin; professionally documented image coming to website upon our return to the US in July.

New Drawing: Cumulous


Cumulous | gouache, ink, and correction tape on collaged paper | 30″ x 22″ | 2013

Made at the Takt Residency, Berlin; professionally documented image coming to website upon our return to the US in July.

Takt Residency in Berlin

Studio Takt Berlin

It’s been a while since I posted since I was on strike from WordPress until they worked out their image resize issues. Thankfully it looks like that day has come and I can share what I’ve been up to lately. I’m currently at the Takt Residency in Berlin for the months of May and June. I’m making some new drawings and experimenting a bit in the studio, and generally loving being in this fantastic city.

New work will be featured in the upcoming two-person exhibition SightSee: Colin Blakely and Amy Sacksteder at the Ann Arbor Art Center in August and September. I hope to post images from recent exhibitions in the near future.