Misurelli Sorensen Headshot
Photography: Camela Langendorf, Varitay Studios
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
GALLERY OF WORK
VISIT THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE

Amy Misurelli Sorensen, Kenosha

2018 RAM Artist Fellowship Award Recipient

Amy Misurelli Sorensen is a contemporary artist, teacher, and curator who lives and works in Southeastern Wisconsin. Misurelli Sorensen has 10 years teaching experience at the college level. After fulfilling a one-year position as Visiting Artist/Instructor in Drawing at Colorado State University, she moved back to Wisconsin to accept a vocational teaching position at the elementary level. She has been a Visiting Artist at several other national institutions including the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan, and the Loveland Art Museum, Loveland, Colorado. As a professional artist, her largest and most recent exhibition to-date was Between the Floorboards with fellow feminist artist Miriam Beerman at Montgomery College, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Having participated in multiple national and international artist residencies, Sorensen has also curated and co-curated exhibitions as the Gallery Director and Curator at The University of Wisconsin–Parkside Galleries.

Sorensen holds her MFA in Painting and Drawing from American University, Washington, D.C. and her BA with concentrations in Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin–Parkside. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Kinsey Institute, Bloomington, Indiana and The LGBTQ Center of Colorado.

Artist Statement

As an artist, I specialize in drawing, with concentrations in printmaking and performance. Currently, my media focus is in relief printmaking, which is a process of cutting a printing surface of wood or linoleum in such a way that all that remains of the original surface is the image to be printed. Printmaking allows me to make multiples of an image on a variety of surfaces and engages a larger audience, much like performance does.

As a contemporary artist, my work is concerned with distorted images of femininity and sexuality imposed by societal ideals. My research and work is influenced by feminist theory and everyday life. The resulting images of women are provocative and graphic, acting as commentary on how women are viewed in contemporary culture.

These large-scale relief-print portraits are inspired by and celebrate feminist artists and the strong women who stand beside me today. I am interested in current events: themes of female empowerment, vulnerability, and the resistance of patriarchy. I believe that the personal is political. While I play with adornment, I choose to be subversive and challenge expectations of beauty and the objectification of women.

Amy Misurelli Sorensen, Kenosha

2018 RAM Artist Fellowship Award Recipient
Misurelli Sorensen Headshot
Photography: Camela Langendorf, Varitay Studios
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
GALLERY OF WORK
VISIT THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE

Amy Misurelli Sorensen is a contemporary artist, teacher, and curator who lives and works in Southeastern Wisconsin. Misurelli Sorensen has 10 years teaching experience at the college level. After fulfilling a one-year position as Visiting Artist/Instructor in Drawing at Colorado State University, she moved back to Wisconsin to accept a vocational teaching position at the elementary level. She has been a Visiting Artist at several other national institutions including the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan, and the Loveland Art Museum, Loveland, Colorado. As a professional artist, her largest and most recent exhibition to-date was Between the Floorboards with fellow feminist artist Miriam Beerman at Montgomery College, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Having participated in multiple national and international artist residencies, Sorensen has also curated and co-curated exhibitions as the Gallery Director and Curator at The University of Wisconsin–Parkside Galleries.

Sorensen holds her MFA in Painting and Drawing from American University, Washington, D.C. and her BA with concentrations in Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin–Parkside. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Kinsey Institute, Bloomington, Indiana and The LGBTQ Center of Colorado.

Artist Statement

As an artist, I specialize in drawing, with concentrations in printmaking and performance. Currently, my media focus is in relief printmaking, which is a process of cutting a printing surface of wood or linoleum in such a way that all that remains of the original surface is the image to be printed. Printmaking allows me to make multiples of an image on a variety of surfaces and engages a larger audience, much like performance does.

As a contemporary artist, my work is concerned with distorted images of femininity and sexuality imposed by societal ideals. My research and work is influenced by feminist theory and everyday life. The resulting images of women are provocative and graphic, acting as commentary on how women are viewed in contemporary culture.

These large-scale relief-print portraits are inspired by and celebrate feminist artists and the strong women who stand beside me today. I am interested in current events: themes of female empowerment, vulnerability, and the resistance of patriarchy. I believe that the personal is political. While I play with adornment, I choose to be subversive and challenge expectations of beauty and the objectification of women.

Interview with the Artist, January 2021

Would you please describe your work—what materials you use; what subject matters you explore?

When asked about my work, I often say it’s “women’s work.” The Japanese steel carving tools are dangerously sharp, the wood/lino cutting surfaces protrude and fight back, and the smell of oil ink is intoxicating. From conception to birth, it is an extremely physical process. Today, I am a relief printmaker. Relief printmaking is a process consisting of cutting a printing surface in such a way that all that remains of the original surface is the design to be printed.

My images of women are both provocative and graphic, acting as commentary on how women are viewed in contemporary culture. My research is influenced by feminist theory and everyday life. My current portrait series explores themes of resistance/persistence, female empowerment, and Women’s Suffrage. It is my intention to feature these large-scale portraits in the 2019 RAM Artist Fellowship Exhibition.

How often are you in your studio? Do you work outside of your studio much or at all?

Almost evening when there are deadlines.

While I am not in my studio from 9 to 5, I am constantly working. For me, teaching art requires all of the demands of making art and more. From the start of my day in the classroom to the end of my day in the studio, I am mentally in “the” studio. For example, I may be demonstrating how to make a coil pot, but I am thinking about how I could make a textured clay portrait that works with my print series. Fortunately, I can be a working artist and a full-time teacher. They feed each other. As a K-8th grade teacher, my summers are dedicated to a daily studio practice.

I work outside of my studio all of the time because I don’t see the studio as a room in my home where I make art. My classroom functions as a studio for experimentation and play. Attending exhibitions, community events, and lectures are inherent to the creative process.

What inspires you most these days? But also what do you go to bed thinking about most nights?

Women. Feminism. Equality. I’ve learned, and I believe, that the personal is political, and this learned belief is what informs my work. In DC, as an MFA candidate at American University, I stepped out of my studio to take a feminist art history class. The women who wrote The Power of Feminist Art [Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard] instructed the class. That book changed my life. Having cradled that book as an undergrad, it was hard to believe I was actually enrolled in their course. During the course, they had us actively involved with Wack! Art and The Feminist Revolution, an exhibition at The National Museum of Women In The Arts.

I go to bed thinking about current events, the media, and being active in my community. I am curious and sensitive to everything.

Why the RAM Artist Fellowship? Since we are midway through the process, can you assess how you are feeling at this point? Are you where you thought you would be? Have your plans changed since the fellowship year started?

I have been applying for the RAM Artist Fellowship since 2011. I’ve admired its vision, mission and past fellowship exhibitions. I am honored to be included as a 2018–19 recipient.

The Fellowship has given me the opportunity to focus on my work without financial limitations for materials and tools. It’s given me fresh eyes on how I view my own work and practice. It’s given me direction, self-reflection, and an invitation to take more chances in my future endeavors. It is truly a pleasure to be gifted monies to do what I love.

Gallery of Work

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