2017: Katie Kameen

The annual Ethical Metalsmiths’ Emerging Artist Award is chosen by the Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee and exhibition jurors. This year’s jurors were the 2017 members of the Ethical Metalsmiths Student Committee and guest juror Christine Clark.

The Emerging Artist is awarded $1,000, generously sponsored by Richline Group, and featured on a large poster along side the Juror’s Choice Award and Committee Choice Award winners. The poster is mailed to academic institutions and trade schools across the globe.  We also highlight the Emerging Artist on the EMStudents.org website by updating images and content through out the year.

The Emerging Artist Award is made possible by Richline Group as lead sponsor, withRio Grande and No Dirty Gold sponsoring the Juror’s Choice Award and  the Committee’s Choice Award, respectively.

The Emerging Artist is chosen from the the applicants for the Annual Student Exhibition. So look for the 2018 call for entries!

We are proud to present to you this years emerging artist Katie Kameen


Artist Bio:

Katie Kameen finds herself surrounded by potential art materials as she searches for objects that have been discarded and outdated. By giving them another chance, these items preclude expiration by becoming interactive sculptural objects. Katie received her BFA in 3D Studio Art from Eastern Illinois University, and her MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including Galerie Marzee in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and Talente 2017 in Munich, Germany. Katie is currently teaching metals and digital fabrication as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.


Artist Statement:

My sculptures are the result of discovering life in objects that have outlived their intended functions. I am interested in the potential of everyday objects to communicate with us, through us, and to help us communicate with others. I draw from my own experiences, relationships, and emotional growth to find new ways to communicate with old materials.

Our daily routines depend on an assortment of items. Our reliance on these objects becomes a source of both strain and neglect, causing us to value them less as they break down, and eventually discard them. Although they become forgotten, they remain imprinted with our memories. For this reason, my chosen materials originate from the 1950s to the 1980s, which coincides with; my parent’s lives and my early childhood. Old tools remind me of helping my dad in the garage or gardening with my mom, and vintage cookware reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen. These recollections are triggered by both material and color. I use mid-century pigments, plastics, and fibers to create common ground between the dormant object, its past function, and the present viewer. As I discover the messages embedded in my objects, they transform into vessels of communication, each one bringing its own story and culminating with a larger abstract message. Instead of acquiescing to the end of their usefulness these items embrace their beauty, captivate our attention, and incite our memory and imagination.

I gravitate towards things that have or had a function; they are not purely decorative. Though they are no longer actively used, they continue to speak about our habits, and by giving them a new purpose they can simultaneously communicate their history and embrace their future.

I begin a sculpture with only an idea, or expectation, of its final form. I give myself the freedom to change the materials and alter them in a way that is unpredictable yet satisfying. By exploring how individual objects fit together and interact expectedly and unexpectedly the sculptures can begin to take form, and become redolent with growth, life, and even evolution. Mirroring our posture, they speak about vocation. Connecting and fitting together, they mimic human contact. Seemingly natural in character, the transformations reveal the meaningful relationship between objects and the entanglements of material and memory.