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Andrew Schlotfeldt
Honors, Painting + Drawing

I am interested in how we interact with our immediate environment, and how the built environment impacts our natural environment, as well our bodies and psyches. My attention to my surroundings, at any point on the spectrum between the built and the natural, continues to be a driving force in my art practice. From the dramatic shifts in climate, light, and terrain that I experienced in my youth in the interior of Alaska, to the radical upheaval of Seattle’s recent construction boom, my surroundings are in constant flux. I am often surprised and fascinated by small scenes I encounter, and how those small moments can add up to a larger picture. My own memories and sense of place can change so much with my immediate context, and I am interested in capturing these moments of flux. I use a variety of 2-dimensional media and processes within my practice, including drawing with graphite and charcoal, etching, drypoint, monoprints, and painting in oil. While I rely on other processes to experiment and develop imagery, my primary focus is on developing my practice as an oil painter. I expect this development will last a lifetime. My studies have followed a course of traditional observation, building from drawn studies to finished printed or painted works. My work has been shifting toward finding abstraction within observed moments. Many artists have influenced my work, including Edwin Dickinson, Fairfield Porter, Peter Doig, Edouard Vuillard, Paul Cezanne, James McNeill Whistler, and Nancy Graves.

I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. My upbringing featured many flights by float plane and learning to navigate flat bottom boats over the Alaskan bush. The long hours spent observing the changing terrain and weather were fundamental to my development as an artist. Alaska’s expansive wilderness, especially seen from unusual perspectives, remain an important part of my memories and continue to influence how I experience my surroundings. I moved out of Alaska at the age of 18, living in a few west coast cities, finally settling in Seattle, Washington, in my mid-20s. I have enjoyed a career in Graphic Design, creating visual elements and layouts for a variety of printed materials, including packaging, catalogs, books and magazines. My art studies have grown and deepened from an early degree at the Art Institute of Seattle, and later studies at Seattle Central College and University of Washington. I have had the privilege to study under professors William Cummings, Tatianna Garmendia, Ann Gale, Ryan Weatherly, Zhi Lin, Curt Labitzke, Claire Cowie, David Brody, Helen O’Toole, and Philip Govedare. I look forward to the next chapter of personal experimentation and growth, building upon my studies at the UW.