Katie Strader is a recent graduate of Weber State University and will be starting a Low Residency MFA at the School Of Art Institute Of Chicago this June. Each of Katie’s works are driven by the process of embracing experience. An intimate interaction and relationship between her and the mediums chosen, she organically builds and subtracts layers until she, and the piece, find their identity as more than a painting or painter. Katie strives to engage the viewer to experience a subject as a drawn out moment that invites a deeper interpretation from the viewer by defying the linear definition of a person or thing.
Like me, my work is a culmination of the experiences that created it. These are active works that invite deeper interpretation of our efforts to understand ourselves and relate to others. Through use of layers and semi-transparent or organically shaped surfaces, I offer viewers the opportunity to embrace the fluidity of “being” and hopefully evoke a visceral connection to the work by defying the linear definition of a person or thing.
According to Webster’s Dictionary identity is a noun, a “fact of being”. But being what? A Female? A Mother? A Wife? An Artist? Daily we’re confronted with a world that functions almost entirely on titles that try to define us and titles we try endlessly to define. This was the trap that I’d fallen into while growing up. But it is rigid, stifling, and ultimately brittle. This is the same way I feel when I label myself within a specific artistic discipline. But, what happens if we re-frame our understanding of identity from a noun to a verb? Does our ability to understand ourselves and others become more fluid and authentic? Are we better able to empathize with those around us, see them as more than a definition? Can empathy build a stronger societal connection? What does it mean to focus on the “act” of being as opposed to the “fact” of being? And how is that portrayed in my work? Is it possible to experience a “moment” of a piece without limiting it to one discipline, and so more accurately express its identity?