Color Stories: Alexandra Ackerman
Paintings by Alexandra Ackerman
NIACC Art Gallery
February 4th - March 25th, 2022
Since childhood I have observed the natural world with eyes wide open. I have found beauty in the places I have lived and worked, from the shores of the Great Lakes, to vegetable farms of New England, and gardens of Minnesota. Inspired by the mystery and diversity of plants and living organisms, I use emotionally charged color and pattern to create internal (imaginary) landscapes and biomorphic abstractions. My paintings are meditations on my physical surroundings, expressions of the wonder I feel when I’m present and aware. Focusing on ethereal aspects of nature, my forms are often feminine- evocative of leaves, seeds, eggs, sprouts, rain, wind, and waves.
The fluid nature of watercolor allows me to paint freely and intuitively. The luminescent transparency of this medium lends itself to layering and creating strange worlds. My recent watercolors have a particular focus on rhythm and connection. In 2021, I also completed a series of twelve acrylic paintings on wood – Color Stories – which incorporate elements of collage- bits of fabric, buttons, and string that I have collected over the years. Each piece seeks to find both harmony and balance in color and composition. Vibrant and energetic oranges, blues, and pinks are my reaction to the more muted colors of the Iowa landscape during the winter months. I hope they bring a sense of playfulness, joy and positive energy to the viewer
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1973, Alexandra Ackerman grew up drawing, cutting, and sewing things from a very young age. She first learned to paint in the wet-on-wet watercolor style at the Waldorf School at age eight, and has continued her exploration until the present, maintaining a childlike freedom in her work. Alexandra earned a degree in painting and printmaking at Massachusetts College of Art, where she explored a variety of mediums, often incorporating fabric and found objects into her work. She was part of the Minneapolis art and music community for nearly a decade before moving to northern Wisconsin to start a family. Alexandra has participated in numerous group and solo shows across the US. She has work in public and private collections, and teaches watercolor workshops locally. She currently lives in Iowa City with her husband and two teenage children.