2014 Artist in Residence Finalist – Niki Johnson
Niki Johnson – Milwaukee, WI
Proposal: If chosen as the Artist in Residence at the Pfister Hotel, I will create a series of six sculptural child-sized bathtubs decorated to illustrate fairytales written by Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm.
Fairytales are the earliest narratives that join us culturally to one another. This body of work re-imagines the bathtub as the place where children go before hear bedtime stories. It is my intent with these sculptural works to create dialogue about earliest stories we come to learn, as well as how daily rituals and self-care shape our everyday lives.
I envision my residency in the Pfister artist’s studio as a professional and inspirational experience, where I am allowed the opportunity to share various aspects of my practice with the patrons of the hotel. During my 30-hour workweek in the Pfister artist’s studio, I will primarily be working in oil clay, sculpting and carving features for the bathtubs, and drawing detailed sketches for the components of each piece. As the final sculptures will be made out of cast porcelain, I will be spending additional time in my home studio preparing molds and casting. To encourage a holistic experience for the patrons, I will keep a few molds on display and will also regularly post photographic documentation of the work I do both on and off site on a digital display that I can talk about.
Additionally, I will produce a line of limited edition commemorative plates to match each of these sculptural pieces. They will be available when I begin each tub, as both an aide to help patrons visualize the direction of the work in progress, alongside the drawings and sketches that will be on view.
(Please note that the public vote only counts for one chair on the final selection committee).
Starting at Noon on January 17th, you can vote for your favorite artist by visiting the voting tab on Facebook right here.
You can read the proposals from each of the other finalists by clicking their names below: