Maria Lux

Awarded 2022

Born in Ames, Iowa, I earned my BFA from Iowa State University (2006) in graphic design and studio art, and my MFA (2012) in painting and sculpture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I chose these large, research-based institutions because I was (and still am) invested in being around scholars
and practitioners from outside art-making as a driving force within my work. While in graduate school, I found my intellectual home the cross-disciplinary field of animal studies, which by-definition calls upon a wide variety of perspectives to engage with the expansive topic of “the animal.” This starting point has led me to not only show my work around the United States (in spaces ranging from art centers and university museums to a store-front window in a shopping mall or within an institution’s taxidermy collection), but also to regularly present my work at academic conferences. This includes broad and diverse meetings like the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts, as well as very specific ones like
“Creaturely Fear: Horror in Animality.” I see both exhibitions and conferences as vital for putting my work into conversation with other ideas, and putting myself into in-person conversation with other makers, scholars, and the public. These interactions fuel my work and give it meaning. I am also a member of Carnation Contemporary, an artist-run gallery space in Portland, Oregon. In 2016, I moved to Walla Walla, WA to teach at Whitman College, where I am currently an associate professor of art.

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