Profile picture of Teresa Faris

Humans inhale and exhale approximately 22,000 times a day. The hummingbird averages 250 breaths per minute.
Through process, material and design, my work explores the notion of advantage and disadvantage that, adjacently, resides within all beings. Privilege comes in many forms ranging from skin/eye color, physical and mental ability to class, status and power. The most obvious, and seemingly basic, privilege one could possess is the ability to forget that air is entering and exiting the body. To perform this one critical natural act without any mental consideration frees the mind to explore endless arenas of fantasy, invention and day-to-day tasks.
When displaced from what is intended/natural and stripped of privilege one must find ways of soothing the mind. A caged non-human may pace or repeatedly chew wood, and a dis-eased human may pace or saw metal. Rhythmic and repetitive movements encourage introspective or creative thinking. As a maker I have adopted this practice and find that it eases the mind when the body is testing and acting as a reminder of impermanence. I am drawn to the simplest technique of sawing/piercing as I find that I am able to forget about the process in the same way that some individuals may forget about the breath. 

Teresa Faris is Associate Professor and Area Head of the Metals program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she recently received the Women in Leadership Award. Former teaching appointments include San Diego State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Teresa is co-author of the Women of Metal Exhibition and Oral History Project, and is the recipient of numerous awards including: National Endowment for the Arts 2008 Grant Award: Access to Artistic Excellence - Visual Arts, in support of the Women of Metal project. Teresa participated in the Artist in Residence program at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, WI (1999). And, she exhibits extensively in Europe and the US. Recent exhibitions include: Point of View, Taboo Studio Contemporary Jewelry, One from Wisconsin-Teresa Faris, Museum of Wisconsin Art, Between Wood and Rock, Pôle Bijou, Lorraine, France, TRE FOKUS, Telemark kunstnersenter, Skein, Norway, Animal Nature, Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI, Teresa F Faris - a collaboration with a bird, Silke Gallery, Antwerp Belgium, Touching Warms The Art, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR, Metalsmiths and Mentors, Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI. Wisconsin Teapots, West Bend Art Museum, West Bend, WI. Selected Publications include: Jewelbook 12|13, Stichting Kunstboek Publishers, Belgium. Clowes, Jody. Metalsmiths and Mentors. Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Making Metal Beads, 500 Necklaces, 500 Bracelets, and 500 Plastic Jewelry. Lark Books/Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. Current gallery representation: Charon Kransen Arts, NY

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