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First Friday: Miranda Knutson || Purple Brick Roads

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I am currently finishing up my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, emphasizing in Painting and Ceramics, although mixed media chalk murals are my passion outside of the studio life. I am always taking commissions. I have a highly versatile set of skills in the fine arts field, along with an intermediate level of experience with the digital arts as well. Art is not only my career but my passion. I plan to pursue getting my Master of Fine Arts Degree, and I am open to any opportunities that may pop up along the way! 

Personally I plan to use my art as a vehicle to motivate, inspire, and educate the community on a multitude of topics; fighting for social justice and equality, fighting for environmental rights and protection, promoting a brighter future and outlet for the youth, providing aide to the homeless by promoting organizations such as “Skate For Change,” etc. I strive to help my community with my art, and hopefully expand nationally and worldwide as I progress with experience and age.

I involve myself in activism, social practice, and forms of art that speak truth to power.  My intent is not only to continue pursuing activism, but also to use my work to stimulate community involvement.  As an artist who typically incorporates a wide variety of mediums in my work, this may involve something as simple as a drawing, performance, or as complex as utilizing public space that creates a confrontational experience for the public.

 I am coming from a school that puts much of its focus on traditional object making.  That is not the kind of artist I am.  While I see nothing wrong with it, I feel compelled to be involved in the fight to improve our world.  My technical skills have been developed, but my content and intent has not really been as developed as it could be simply because it made both students and faculty uncomfortable. Because of this I feel like my work has plateaued and I need additional education to fulfill my goals. Upon completing my BFA, I feel that the ideal next step would be to complete my MFA. I have only scratched the surface of the fields I am interested in and I am certain that the next logical step is also the natural choice. Receiving my MFA is a decision born from the urge to develop myself, not only as an artist, but also as an Artivist and art educator.  Over the course of my undergraduate career I have found that my art can vastly impact my community, speaking louder than I ever could with my voice.

Over my time as a student, I have attended The Kent Bellows Program, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The University of Nebraska, Lincoln; while these provided me with the skills necessary to physically create work I have found myself interested in acting as Artist as Provocateur. Sometimes angry disagreeing parties have treated these pieces with hostility, and sometimes with equal antagonism and intimidation by police officers (see attached articles) however, others have shown great appreciation for these works, and have spoken out in support of my work. One of my installations was smashed into smithereens, brushed up into a box, and confiscated. The Walls were hosed off, and the piece was dismissed from the property, thanks to an opinionated police officer, and an unsupportive faculty. My convictions in the content of my work remain unwavering, however, once these projects were installed in public and the ensuing and heated debate started, I was left to defend myself without support. I have no problem taking responsibility for my actions, but I also was left adrift because while I was instructed how to physically create work, I had not been provided with an understanding of public sphere works, the history of controversial works, artist as provocateur, or really an understanding of how to deal with this integral part of my work.    

Earlier Event: July 5
Songwriters' Open Mic Night
Later Event: July 7
Paddywhack