Elizabeth West is an emerging, interdisciplinary artist, living and working in Wisconsin. Her roots are in ceramics, in which she received her degree at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. During and after her time in school, West assisted and taught ceramics classes at the UWL Art Department, The Phipps in Hudson, WI, and in NC at a residency through The Bascom: A Center for Visual Art. Her time in North Carolina expanded her knowledge and understanding of clay and introduced her to the cultural and social impact that functional ceramics possess. This sparked her current exploration of functionality and how objects influence us in personal, historical and social contexts.

Since branching into digital photography and video performance, West has been exhibited across the U.S. including VisArts Center, Rockville, MD; Annemarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons, MD; Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT; and No. 7 Center Gallery, Vermillion, SD.

West is also part of the collective, Polyester Projects, which in early 2022 had their exhibition Searching for the Absurd, at The Phipps in Hudson, WI.

She also co-founded WHAT Art Gallery in 2021 in St. Croix Falls, WI, which features local, national, and international artists. West assists WHAT in engaging with the community by facilitating artist talks and other special events.
My work is driven and influenced by ideas around function and its correlation to value in our society. I explore this primarily through photography and video performance in which I manipulate the usability of objects.

I am particularly intrigued by ceramic objects and the feminization of everyday items. This is illustrated well within the relationship between, us, cows and ceramics. We use the ash of cow bones to create beautiful bone china, and their milk to repair it when it breaks. Beef tallow has also been discovered in ancient makeup alongside tin oxide. All three have a strong tie to the connotation of function as value and examining this exposes the harm and exploitation this definition of value causes. 

The feminization and erosion of the life of an object beyond its functionality is not limited to ceramic objects. I explore this in all items I come in contact with. Throughout my work I also consider the systems around us that have created these items and my role within them. I believe this is something we should also consider outside of objects and things: what systems and situations do we perpetuate through our actions and complacencies?

Education

September 2012 - May 2017

BA - University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Experience

November 2021 - Present

Digital Communications Coordinator- Big Bad Toy Store

August 2020 - November 2021

Product Specialist - Big Bad Toy Store

March 2019 - August 2020

Office Manager - Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN

January 2018 - September 2018

Ceramics Teaching Resident - Dave Drake Studio Barn, Highlands, NC

August 2017 - November 2017

Volunteer and Visitor Services Intern - Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, MN                                              

June, August, November 2017

Ceramics Instructor - The Phipps, Hudson, WI

October 2015 - May 2017

Student Coordinator - University of Wisconsin La Crosse Creative Imperatives Festival, La Crosse, WI

August 2015

Haystack School of Arts and Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

September 2015 - December 2016

Ceramics Department Classroom Intern - University of Wisconsin La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 

October 2014 - May 2017

Ceramics Department Studio Assistant - University of Wisconsin La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

Exhibitions

2022

I'll Be There: An Exhibition About Love, Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons, MD

Undercurrents , Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT

Searching for the Absurd, Gallery 2, The Phipps, Hudson, WI

2021

Packard Group National Exhibition, No.7 Center, Vermillion, SD

This Moment of Rupture, VisArts Center, Rockville, MD

Winter is Alive, Garver Feed Mill, Madison, WI

2019

Alumni Show, Main Gallery, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

Image Art Show, East Central Regional Arts Council, Braham, MN

2018

Pop - up Show, Atrium Gallery, The Bascom, Highlands, NC

2017

Trafik, Main Gallery, Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI

It's All Sausage to Me, Capstone Show, Main Gallery, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI

All Students Juried Show, Main Gallery, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

2016

All Students Juried Show, Main Gallery, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

Telephone: An Interdisciplinary Game, Dialoge Space, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

2015

Junior Exhibition, 3rd Floor Gallery, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 

2014

Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, Vahalla, Cartwright Center, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

Grants

2017

University of Wisconsin La Crosse Research and Creativity Grant, Sins of the Father

2015

University of Wisconsin La Crosse Research and Creativity Grant, Portraiture in Clay

2014

University of Wisconsin La Crosse Research and Creativity Grant, 2D Design with 3D Media

Awards

2017

People's Choice Award, Trafik2017, Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI

University of Wisconsin La Crosse College of Liberal Studies Recognition of Excellence





elizabethwest507@gmail.com

@elizabeth_di_west

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