Dee Durkee, Fiber Artist

Dee Durkee

Fiber Artist


I am best known for my fiber-collage vessel/containers, but embrace many ways to create with fiber and artist-made paper. The tactile qualities of my contemporary fiber-art vessels and art-for-the-wall are a humanizing complement to architectural interiors, and offer acoustical advantage to any environment they inhabit.

Fiber art allows people to touch, enjoy, and live with art in their daily lives. In the past, the vessel/basket has been considered primarily a functional container. I explore the form and sculptural aesthetics of a container, which overshadows any call for the vessels to be functional. The flexibility of fiber allows me to form configurations which might not be achievable in another medium. As an archetypal object suggesting a personal space or secret enclosure within, the forms are more related to sculpture than utilitarian object.

Creative legacies come from my architect father and seamstress mother and grandmother. Trained formally as a painter, I also explore weaving, photo-screening, papermaking, and many surface design techniques. After completing my undergraduate studies, I supported myself as a full-time artist, accepting awards at major artfairs and exhibitions across the country with my screen-printed sculpture. Large commissions have been accomplished for libraries, hospitals, offices and museums, and my artwork is included in private and public collections. During my “interim career,” I worked as a Management Consultant in healthcare. I show my artwork nationally in select galleries, invitational and competitive art exhibitions.

I work full-time in my studio adjacent to our mid-century modern home. I am influenced by the art of Isamu Noguchi, Sonia Delaunay, and Frank Stella. My current repertoire utilizes recycled materials, gathered over the years of my art career. Projects include sculptural and reversible vessels, wall-art, totems, jewelry, and journals. My gouache paintings, often inspired by the regional photographs of my husband, are on handmade paper and reproduced for the journal and photo album covers. A current, long-term project is creating many large totems, some as tall as 10 feet, with the intent of producing enough human-scale towers which can be walked among like in a forest.

Founder: Fiber Arts Sedona, 2010.
President: Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition (SVAC), 2008-2009.
Chair: SVAC Open Studios, 2009.
SVAC Website Coordinator, 2007.
City of Sedona Arts & Culture Commission Emerging Artist Grant, 2006.
President: Handmade Paper Guild; Kalamazoo, MI, 2002.
Pharmacia & Upjohn Foundation Community Arts Grant; Kalamazoo, MI, 1997.
Irving R. Gilmore Foundation Grant; Kalamazoo, MI, 1991.
Chair; Kalamazoo Institute of Art Annual Bronson Park Artfair; Kalamazoo, MI, 1987.
Artist-in-Residence: ArtPark; Lewiston, NY, 1982.
Michigan Artrain: Assistant Manager and Artist-in-Residence, Upper Midwest Tour, 1975.
Chair: West-East Bag, Detroit Chapter; national organization for women in the arts, 1974.
Bachelor of Fine Art: Painting; Wayne State University; Detroit, MI.
Studies in Italy: Art School of the Society of Arts & Crafts; Detroit, MI.

Selected Exhibitions:
City of Sedona Fiber Arts Sedona (FAS) exhibition: 2011.
Sonoran Spring, Sedona Arts Center, 2011.
Annual Recycled Art Exhibition; Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ; 2008.
Absolutely Abstract, Sedona Arts Center; 2008.
SVAC Open Studio exhibitor: 2006, 2007; 2008.
Sedona “Art in Public Places” exhibitor; 2007.
Sustainable Visions, Sedona Public Library; 2007.
SVAC exhibitions: Unbounded, 2008; Book Transformed & Book Transformed 2, 2007 & 2008; Music of the Earth, 2007; Random Acts of Art, 2006;
Behind Closed Doors, 2006; Home Is, 2005.
Fiber Showcase I, Gallery 107, Winslow, AZ; 2004.
Archi-Texture: Dee Durkee, Kingscott Associates Gallery; Kalamazoo, MI; 2001.
Illusion of Place – Fiber Works by Durkee, Borgess @ Woodbridge Hills; Portage, MI; 1999.
Contemporary Quilting by 14 Michigan Artists, Saginaw Art Museum, MI; 1985.
Travel Gameboards by Dee Durkee, Left Bank Gallery; Flint, MI; 1982.
Michigan Artists 80/81, S.W. Region, Kalamazoo Institute of Art; MI; 1980.
American Crafts 1980, Springfield Art Association Gallery; Springfield, IL,;1979.
National Stitchery Show, Pontiac Creative Art Center; MI,;1979.
Dee Durkee’s Foodstuffs, Soup to Nuts Gallery; Philadelphia, PA,;1978.
ArtPark Fibers Invitational, Lewiston, NY; 1976.

Dee Durkee
255 Madole Road
Sedona, AZ 86336-4426

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