2023 Artist In Residence
Dawnice Kerchaert’s artistic journey is a testament to her lifelong passion for creative expression. While her career initially led her into the world of technical illustration and graphic design, her true calling as an artist emerged during a college drawing class that ignited a profound sense of gratification. This pivotal moment prompted her to pivot from graphic arts to fine arts, setting her on a path of exploration and self-discovery. Dawnice’s career subsequently took diverse turns, including a stint as an Exhibition Director at a nonprofit art center and as an art educator at a community college, where she taught graphic design courses and American Art History.
Throughout her career, Dawnice continued to nurture her artistic vision, leaning away from conventional artistic molds, embracing new ideas and challenges that continue to shape her unique artistic identity. She gradually transitioned to working with natural materials using techniques inspired by Native American traditions. Her work encapsulates the essence of the natural world, encouraging viewers to pause and appreciate the textures and forms that often go unnoticed in the hustle of daily life. Dawnice’s art serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of our environment and our connection to it, fostering an appreciation for the beauty and significance of the world around us.
Dawnice Kerchaert Artist Statement
My works explore the textures and forms of nature. They are a micro view of the details and progressions that happen in the natural world. Branches, seed pods, and pine needles are worked into sculptures that are a connected experience with nature. I use humble but interesting remnants of a season that are spent and dry and ready to be transformed. My ambition is to work with materials I have not yet worked with that lead to new approaches in my work. I have not worked with leaves. I am inspired by the variety and beauty of the fall leaves, to make them into a suspended sculpture or installation. I would preserve the leaves with beeswax and use threads and knotting in the assemblage. I have used these techniques in many of my pieces already with success. The materials are directly connected with the location so will reflect the beauty of Michigan Legacy Art Park. As I collect materials, I take photographs. When I process materials and develop my sculptures, I photograph all the steps as well. This works well for sharing information about how I do what I do. The Art Park’s mission is meaningful in its passion to inspire awareness of history and the importance of nature, and how art can facilitate and enrich these things in our lives. This is what I hope to achieve with my art. The natural environment is where I get my materials and inspiration, and the reason I am applying for this residency.