The weight and substance of my work rests on a recurrent interest in pedestrian activity, especially visual elements that I document from collections of ordinary evidence (candid photos I take or actual materials that I accumulate). Despite their quotidian appearance these bits of information when repeatedly grouped together have the capacity to identify behavior, describe a demographic and in particular they bear visual signs of habitation customary and common but unremarkable enough that we overlook their suggestive and descriptive power. The small, incrementally sized members of my work couched together en masse emerge as essential cues to serve as a persuasive interface for viewers. Designed as a network of non-linear reading and viewing I am giving individuals another way to scrutinize imagery and material content particularly at contrasting vantage points.

Specifically I examine, modify and assemble fragments through a combined process of accumulation, candid photography, deconstruction of documentation and repetitive reorganization. This is the core of my ongoing research and making; these functions are the nucleus of my process and the foundation of my daily practice. Together they could be considered sine qua non, essential actions without which I would have few clues to address and make visual my observations. As a result I also characterize myself similarly to the material I work with and the art I make as one who undertakes a process of “being here and having been there”. It is an apt description that defines my course of methodical exploration and random discovery, of tangible information collection, and especially the effect my own interventions have in shaping subject and material.

As paper aggregations of text, color, texture, pattern and surface topography, my work loosely references adaptations of fabric and fiber handling, a reference to the influence of long past familial practices. These compilations and large-scale installations tap into an endowment of subject specific broken down material laden with out of context information in the form of dissected text, phrases, colors, interrupted designs. They are the essential units that make way for analyses and exploration of image anthology, idiosyncrasy, abstraction and most notably a transformational shift from the original material identity.

As I have become increasingly interested in methods of organization, breakdown and reconstruction as ways of transformation I am exploring those utilized by my grandmothers, their mothers and their communities when making rugs, quilts, blankets and clothing assembled from used garments and discarded fabrics. As a child I often helped cut and organize old fabric into strips and squares for my grandmothers and aunts. In recent years variants of those methods began finding their way to my work. Borrowing from the past and acknowledging the importance and skills of the women who preceded me I am repurposing those experiences into my practice. Aware that any of my bodies of work follow a plausible path of transition I continue to examine alternative interpretations of subject, material and method accessing the underlying foundation and processes of my work.

My work has been shown in solo and group shows nationally and internationally including The Kansas City Collection V (2018-19), Rural Urban at The Volland in the Kansas Flint Hills (2018-19), remnants and residue a solo exhibition at Haw Contemporary (2017), Underpass at Studios Inc opening the 2017 International Sculpture Conference in Kansas City, the touring exhibition State of the Art: American Art Now at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (2014), at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2016) and at the Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville (2017). Other shows include a solo exhibition, Kindred Virtuosities at the Daum Museum in Sedalia, Missouri, and Invito A Tavola in Como, Italy, Paris and Venice in 2015 and 2016. In 2014 my work appeared in read this…part two at Studios Inc, The Center is a Moving Target at the Kemper Museum Crossroads, sum of us at the Bemis Art Center in Omaha, Nebraska and read this at Haw Contemporary (2013).

Works are held in collections of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum, Cerner Corporate Collection, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Helzberg Collection, Francis J. Greenburger Collection, Louis Rice LLP, Emprise Bank Corporate Collection, Stinson Leonard Street Corporate Collection, University of Kansas Medical Center HEB and University of Kansas School of Business as well as others.

Recently I accepted the 2018-19 inaugaral artist residency in the School of Nursing at the University of Kansas Medical Center where I completed a major permanent commission in 2017. Other awards include Art Omi International Residency in 2016, two ArtsKC funded Inspiration Grants, a three year Studios Inc Fellowship through the Brad and Linda Nicholson Foundation and a 2012 nomination from the National Museum of Women in the Arts Women to Watch Program.

I am a native of Kansas and have lived and worked as an artist in the Kansas City area since 1987. My education includes a BFA and MFA from the University of Kansas followed by teaching positions at the Kansas City Art Institute. My work is represented by Haw Contemporary in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bio (pdf)

Vitae (pdf)

miki portrait