I find inspiration in ordinary and overlooked urban areas, spaces filled with concrete and asphalt. In January 2008 I began monitoring Milwaukee, Wisconsin traffic cameras from afar. I watched as blizzards emptied the freeways of commuters and softened the geometry, blurring the edges of nature and culture. Empty space filled first with snow and sleet and then with private distractions. “Trafficland” is a series of watercolors based on those webcam images. It is a construction, a vision of the urban landscape mediated by the practical role of traffic cameras and the poetic inclinations of a solitary viewer.
Artist Bio / CV
Susan Maakestad earned her M.F.A. in painting from The University of Iowa in 1987 and a B.A. (magna cum laude) and M.A. from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. She was awarded a regional National Endowment for the Arts fellowship from Arts Midwest in 1988. She has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has been included in “New American Paintings” and The Painting Center in New York’s on line “Art File”. Her work has been exhibited nationally. She is represented byThe Rymer Gallery in Nashville, Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis and Perry Nicole Fine Art in Memphis. She is Associate Professor of Art at Memphis College of Art where she has taught since 1997. She is also the longtime radio host of “House Bayou” on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis.