Mark A. Stemwedel
Currently the Studio Art Program Coordinator and a Lecturer in Painting and Foundations at South Dakota State University, Mark Stemwedel holds an MFA from the University of South Dakota in Painting. He regularly teaches courses in painting, drawing, color theory, art appreciation, and art education.
Mark, a native of South Dakota, was born in Watertown. He spent much of his childhood there with his four older siblings. After graduating from high school in Fort Dodge, Iowa, he returned to the state to attend college, studying with Mel Spinar and Jeff Freeman. With short stints elsewhere, most of his professional career has been spent in South Dakota.

The main focus of Mark’s studio practice is in the area of painting and drawing. His work oscillates between the observed and the invented, relying on a certain level of ambiguity to engage the viewer in their own act of discovery. Ideas of picture-making, narrative structure, and the construction and communication of meaning weave through his entire body of work.

Mark’s paintings develop through intuitive and spontaneous means, which offers the opportunity for unexpected outcomes. They document an evolutionary process of asserting, negating and reasserting my observations. The process acts as a method of investigation and discovery to create moments of revelation and reflection. Environments emerge from the surface, letting chance unveil obscured meanings and unconscious thoughts.

The visual vocabulary revolves around the symbolic and the metaphoric employed to create an atmosphere of associations. These connections and relationships stand as the foundation of the paintings’ language and work to elicit a psychological space lying deep within our emotional histories. Symbolic, metaphorical, poetic—it becomes a mystical alchemy.

Mark has exhibited his work extensively within the region and continues to extend his work to a wider audience.  His paintings have been included in exhibits at the Washington Pavilion, IPSO Gallery, and Exposure Gallery in Sioux Falls, SD as well as the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings, SD. He also had his work exhibited in numerous national juried exhibitions. As a past recipient of a South Dakota Arts Council Development Grant, Mark’s work continues to gain more attention. His current paintings can be seen at the Eppley Gallery at Morningside College in Sioux City, IA from August 21 through October 8 and also in the South Dakota Governor’s Biennial Art Exhibition.
Visit to see more of Mark’s work.