manifest international drawing annual 2007 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Julie Niskanen
Vermillion, SD

University of South Dakota,
3rd year graduate student, MFA in printmaking


page 96

collapse all | expand all


The natural forms that permeate our world too often become background patterns in our hectic lives. For the most part, people no longer feel the wonder of the complexities and intricacies seen in forms such as a single seedpod. All too often one walks by a scene or object without noticing it. Many people go through a day or lifetime ignoring the small beauties and ideas around them. What happens when we slow down to truly notice and examine what is around us? Examining these organic forms allows me to reflect on the human disregard for so many things, while also reflecting on and bringing forth these rhythms of nature that are often unnoticed in our lives. The images I work with address this issue and elucidate the beauty I find within these natural forms.

Transformation is an underlying theme in these works, as I am constantly working through my own transformative journey. The subtle changes and cycles in nature are often unnoticed, and I work to bring attention and give power to them, as meaning can be found in the smallest things. In the course of exploring my connection with natural forms, I imbue them with my own feelings and experiences. For me, these prints are reliquaries containers for powerful forms and ideas. By altering the scale, space, and context of these forms, I work to free them from their concrete cognitive associations and augment interpretations of the forms. These forms become signifiers the viewer can associate with a range of ideas from their own personal experiences. The printmaking processes I use give me an invaluable vocabulary of marks that feeds my thoughts and work. The process of creating each plate parallels the history of the forms, images, and their metaphors. Through using mezzotint and various etching techniques, I am able to achieve a wide range of tones and textures to complement the images
and ideas.




born: 1983, Greenville, SC


Iowa State University, BFA, 2001
University of South Dakota, MFA, will receive degree May 2008

selected awards/honors

21st annual Wilber Stilwell Exhibition, Honorable mention award, University of South Dakota, 2008
Graduate assistantship (gallery management and teaching), University of South Dakota, 2005-2008
Focus Grant, competitive arts grant, Iowa State University, 2004

selected publications

University of Wisconsin-Parkside 21st Parkside National Small Print Exhibition Catalogue,
2008, (Reproduction of artwork, p. 16)
Connections, Loyola Academy newsletter, (Article on etching workshop), Spring 2007, p. 2
The Briar Cliff Review, Volume 19, 2007, 11th Annual Fiction,
Poetry and Creative Nonfiction magazine (Reproductions of my work, p. 18, p. 49)
Florida Printmakers 15th National Print Competition Catalogue, 2007,
(Reproduction of my work, image #39)

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Reliquaries, solo show at the Vermillion Area Arts Council, Vermillion, SD, 2007
Considerations of The Disregarded, duo show with Katie Hayes,
Vermillion Area Arts Council, Vermillion, SD, 2007
Pots and Prints, duo show with Dan Bartos, G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery, Yankton, SD, 2007
Transformative Process, Nuance Gallery, a duo show with Carrie Lingscheit, Beresford, SD, 2006

selected group shows

Naestved International Exhibition of Contemporary Mini Square Prints,
Roennebaeksholm Arts and Culture Center, Naestved, Denmark, 2008
Gallery 1905 National Small Print Exhibition, Sycamore, IL, 2008
7th Annual Janet Turner National Print Competition Exhibition,
California State University, Chico, CA, 2008
Ingenious Imprints, Longwood University, Farmville, VA, 2008

Copyright © 2006-2009 Manifest Press