Natalie Kuenzi and Erik Jon Olson use traditional textile techniques to transform plastic waste into bold and meaningful artwork. Every piece in this exhibition uses post-consumer plastics as the main – if not only – material. Post-Consumer runs from August 12 – October 7, 2023 in Gallery One at the Anderson Center. The exhibition opens with a free artist reception on Friday, August 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.
Kuenzi and Olson both have a strong sense of color and graphic pattern. Kuenzi works in crochet and Olson uses quilting and sewing to transform everyday plastic by-products into large-scale artworks. The pieces in Post Consumer raise questions about relationship to land, cycles of consumption, and what is considered “waste.” The featured image shows details of work by Kuenzi (left) and Olson (right).
About the artists
Natalie Kuenzi is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. Her work explores traditions of craft and art making that celebrate the artist and viewer as agents of change, transforming how we make and consume through reclamation, material innovation, and the liberating power of the imagination.
She holds a BFA in Ceramics and BA in Art History & Theory from Western Colorado University and an MFA in Ceramics from Tyler School of Art and Architecture of Temple University. Natalie is a member of Vox Populi, an artist run space in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited nationally, and she regularly hosts public workshops and skill shares.
Erik Jon Olson grew up on a hog farm in northwestern Iowa, where he discovered his talent for resourceful creativity. With a degree in advertising design from Iowa State University, he embarked on a 25-year career as a creative in the advertising industry in Minneapolis. Alongside his professional work, he explored various multimedia approaches to artistic expression.
After retiring, Olson lent his expertise to a friend’s business that repurposed single-use plastic waste into functional items. He embraced a challenge to utilize his design skills to create art from the discarded remnants of the manufacturing process. Using quilted plastic waste as his medium, he demonstrated its viability, earning recognition through numerous awards, local and national exhibitions, and art sales.
Olson Currently resides in Plymouth, Minnesota, where he operates from his home studio. There, he crafts large-scale artworks that merge his creative abilities with his commitment to sustainability, all through the transformation of plastic waste.
About the Venue
Anderson Center Galleries are free to the public and open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery One is on the lower level of the main building and is fully wheelchair accessible via an elevator. If you have questions about the accessibility of Anderson Center facilities or programs, please contact us!
This exhibit is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through an Operating Support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.