Joan Mitchell Center AIR Program

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Terrence Campagna

Omaha, NE
2009 MFA Grant Recipient

Artist's Statement (2013)

Since 2010 I have been working on a new body of work that emerges from walking in the places where I live. I carry out daily walks in the places where I live and longer cross country treks in my region. While walking, I make physical collections of materials that I bring back to my workshop to transform. I also make a variety of textual and visual records in the field that inform my practice in the studio and provide some context for the singular objects that I make.

My recent focus has mainly been in the Midwestern United states—central Minnesota, southeastern Michigan, southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and eastern Nebraska. This body of work has also included fieldwork I carried out while living in China, near the city of Shenzhen, in 2011. The materials I use or the phenomena I study are always specific to particular sites in the places where I’m living. For example, materials I have used in the recent body of work have ranged from cast-off popcorn boxes collected from the stands of the Minnesota Twins baseball stadium, to wire garden tomato cages I gathered while living and working on a vegetable farm in Wisconsin, to discarded picture frame molding collected from the streets of an “art factory town” in China. In my studio, or sometimes in the landscape itself, I carefully order and arrange my collections until I create an object or a situation that brings new life to the ordinary.

  • Lao Wai (Undocumented Relationship), 2011, found picture frame moulding, nails, screws, 7 x 9 feet.

  • Lao Wai (Undocumented Relationship) (detail), 2011, found picture frame moulding, nails, screws, 7 x 9 feet.

  • Vessel (Undocumented Relationship), 2012, paper fast food containers, plastic (Reedsburg, WI - Detroit, MI), 144 x 96 inches. 

  • Vessel (Undocumented Relationship) (detail), 2012, paper fast food containers, plastic (Reedsburg, WI - Detroit, MI), 144 x 96 inches. 

  • Neikro, 2010, popcorn boxes, paper hot dog trays, water and soda bottle tops, india ink, 72 x 60 inches.<.small>

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.