Associate Director, School of Art
220 Design Building
BFA University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MFA Alfred University
Michaelene “Mikey” Walsh is an Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana State University. She received her BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her MFA from N.Y.S.C.C. at Alfred, NY. Mikey has held teaching positions at Massachusetts College of Art, the University of Georgia, the University of Washington, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of California-Davis in addition to instructing at numerous alternative-learning venues such as Haystack School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Arrowmont, and Santa Fe Clay. Her sculptural ceramic work is exhibited internationally and is also featured in the publication The Figure in Clay by Lark Books.
To best give an overview of my work, I would say that the impetus for it comes from my experience of reading poetry. I am interested in how poets arrive at compelling poems. A good poet can take an ordinary word or image and put it together with another somewhat ordinary word or image to create a surprising feeling – a sensation in the gut that is unusual, striking, fresh and memorable. My goal as an artist is to try to do this visually – to bring seemingly disparate, ordinary, or unremarkable images together to form something memorable.
I think of my best work as creating an opening or clearing a path for what is heartfelt and poetic in the ordinary to come through. Yet, I know too that latent within the ordinary are bittersweet and paradoxical feelings that betray these simple sentiments. Sweetness and pleasure felt in seeing or recalling certain objects or experiences often intermingle with feelings of sadness, loss and regret.