May Tveit is an artist whose work has received national critical reviews in Art in America, Art Papers, National Public Radio, The Kansas City Star, and Review Magazine. She has received numerous honors and awards including an Andy Warhol Foundation Rocket Grant, Charlotte Street Foundation Fellowship, American Institute of Architects Allied Arts & Craftsmanship Award, two ArtsKC Inspiration Grants, University of Kansas Research Awards, Hall Center for the Humanities Creative Work Fellowship, Center for East Asian Studies Travel Fellowship to Mongolia and was selected to participate in the Studios Inc. and Art OMI International Artist Residency. Her work is represented in the corporate collections of Hallmark International, Fishnet Security, National Center for Drug Free Sport, Andrews McMeel Publishing and numerous private collections. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, studied in Rome with the RISD European Honors Program, and received her Masters Degree from the Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Kansas City Art Institute and currently teaches at the University of Kansas. Her studio is located in Kansas City, Missouri.
Large scale and formal succinctness are hallmarks of my sculptural installations. These works may exist for a few hours, a few days, or longer. They can be found in traditional art containers or in nontraditional settings. Picture plastic color coated hay bales neatly organized as a minimalist dotted line on a beach along the Atlantic Ocean, in a parking lot, or gently floating on white pedestals in a calm New England bay. Imagine thought made visible and visual as large cartoon-like dialogue bubbles in English and mandarin Chinese. The dialogue bubbles revealing and reminding us that entire economies, histories, cultures, and peoples are embedded in the conversations we have and the things we buy. Consider the life & death of an American factory, exemplified by the family- owned United Metal Spinning Company in Kansas City and imagine conceptually appropriating the building, its contents and the workers as an art object for 3 days. During that time, the public is welcomed inside to experience site-specific artworks exploring the concepts of closing, downsizing, outsourcing, capitalism, corporate globalization and what is lost and gained in the wake of progress. Imagine a gallery space turned into a pseudo-superstore complete with industrial shelving with red, white and blue jumbo balloons serving as ethereal product-surrogates. The immersive installation investigates a post 9/11 psychology of consumption and shopping as a patriotic act. These are some of the embedded ideas that drive and inspire me to make my work. Drawing from my formal training in Industrial Design, my work is conceptually driven and materially diverse as I typically employ ready-to-hand objects and structures in order to reveal latent meaning and visual dynamism. The visual playfulness in my work generally serves as a seductive entry to critical underpinnings. I strive to create art experiences that are thought provoking and critically relevant to our times.
May Tveit cv.pdf