Danielle Riede’s work is on view as part of UICA's ArtPrize Nine exhibition, Cultivate, a curated group show that uses food as a lens to examine cultural history, social equity, and the effects of globalization on communities.
Danielle Felice Riede grew up in the United States and Iceland. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University and also studied under Daniel Buren at the Kunstakademie Duesseldorf. As an undergraduate student, Danielle completed her Bachelor of Arts, with a major in art and a minor in art history, at the University of Virginia. Riede also lived in Italy for four years and studied figure drawing at Accademia di Belle Arte di Firenze. Since 2003, Danielle has been making site-specific installations out of recuperated materials. Her international exhibition record includes galleries and museums in Mexico City, Athens, Cologne, New York, and many other cities. Danielle Felice Riede is the recipient of numerous awards including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship and the Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at the Herron School of Art and Design - Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.
Tell us a little about the work that’s on display at UICA.
In the winter of 2013-2014 I created an installation called “Tears and Rain” out of screens from discarded televisions, computers and tablets. “Quench” is a new version of that installation, but this time I am playing with video projections of water on those screens. Water soothes and relaxes. The work has the elemental properties of our computers, televisions and tablets, but I am using them in a different way. I am hoping that the work connects the viewer to their senses.
Most of the videos were taken in beautiful national parks in the United States and Canada.
I’m grateful for the help of RecycleForce with this project. They pointed me to the material and helped me gather it. They are an Indianapolis-based non profit offering recycling services and providing job placement for formerly incarcerated individuals.
What drew you to participate in ArtPrize this year?
I’ve actually never participated in ArtPrize, but I’m very excited to participate this year. I love the openness of ArtPrize and the fact that it brings such a diverse group of artists and spectators from around the world. I’m excited to be participating and honored to be part of the “Cultivate” exhibition at UICA as the theme of the show aligns so closely with my values.
UICA’s exhibition is centered around food. Does your work use food as a theme or lens traditionally or is this new territory for you?
In some ways this is new territory for me in my art. I have been thinking about water, technology and biological systems, but hadn’t thought so specifically about the relationship of water to human life until talking to the curator of the show. However, I did do a project at an abandoned home called “Sustainable Growths” for which I used food and art to bring the neighbors together. The primary focus of the project was an installation composed of recycled domestic items on the house, but when I realized that the neighborhood residents had difficulty accessing healthy food and after school activities, I began giving workshops for the neighborhood kids and incorporating healthy snacks like fresh produce into them. The project culminated in a neighborhood cookout at the site and it was so much fun.
Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?
I love being an observer of the world and just being part of this amazing planet. I usually get inspiration and ideas for work when I’m not looking for them. For example, finding the material I’m using here is the result of working with RecycleForce on another project and many of the vidoes that are projected on the screens were taken with my cell phone because something beautiful surprised me when I wasn’t expecting it.
Where else have you exhibited your work? Is there a project or exhibition that stands out in your mind as your greatest accomplishment?
I have exhibited my work at galleries and museums in New York, Berlin, Cologne, Athens, Mexico City, and smaller cities in Scottland, France and Italy. I feel like the project on the abandoned home in Indianapolis may have been my biggest accomplishment though. It’s hard to say. I feel fortunate to be a working artist.
What new projects do you have on the horizon?
My “Wingspan” paintings are so much fun to make and I am working with Garvey Simon Art Access in New York and a curator in France to connect those works to the public.
I also want to continue working with non-profits in Indianapolis to help develop after school art programs in neighborhoods that need them. I am also working on developing my installation, “Unwound”, which is made of repurposed domestic items like wreaths.