An artist who examines human myth in the modern age, sculptor Thaddeus Erdahl creates art that focuses on the less popular folk who emerge from society’s underbelly. Using that perspective to form his art, Erdahl will detail his creative process during his presentation for the SUU Department of Art and Design’s Art Insights series, which will take place in the Gilbert Great Hall in the Hunter Conference Center on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and the general public is invited to attend.
Thaddeus Erdahl was born and raised in La Porte City, Iowa. He has exhibited his sculpture and presented workshops regionally and nationally throughout the United States. His art and background in education started at the University of Northern Iowa where he received his BA in art education and a BFA in ceramics. Upon graduation, he substitute taught in the public school system, instructed ceramics courses at a local art center, and served as an interim art educator.
Thaddeus actively practiced and taught a variety of art media including ceramics, drawing, assemblage, sculpture, painting, and graphic design. He received his MFA in ceramics from the University of Florida where he was a University of Florida Alumni Fellowship recipient during his three years of graduate study, from 2006 to 2009. In the summer of 2008, he attended Think Tank III, a national arts in higher education symposium, as a graduate fellowship recipient. In 2009 he was selected as one of four artists-in-residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tenn., for an 11-month residency program.
Most recently, Thaddeus was recognized as one of four short-listed artists for the inaugural American Craft Council Emerging Voice in Craft Award. Thaddeus moved to the Northeast in 2010 and is currently living in Princeton, N.J., pursuing his studio art career and acting as the head of the Lower School Arts program at Princeton Day School.
“Ceramic sculpture and portraiture, in particular, are forms of a visual narration that I use to satisfy my urge for documenting what I see in human nature,” Erdahl states. “Evocative of well-loved toys and obsolete artifacts, I use the implied history of these objects to encourage the viewer to disconnect from the present situation and conjure their own individual narratives from my sculptures. Working with concepts that are personal and sometimes narcissistic perceptions of the gloomy side of life, dark humor is my buffer. Dry or irreverent, it is humor that mystifies the tragic.”
Art Insights is a weekly program hosted during the fall and spring semesters by SUU’s art and design faculty. Students and community members meet to experience presentations and discussions by visiting artists and art educators from around the nation who share their work and insights and attend gallery openings. For more information, visit suu.edu/pva/arts.