Resume Link

Resume Link

Bio:

Alexa Wheeler is currently the Chair of the Business, Technology and Fine Arts Division at the University of New Mexico – Valencia Campus, where she also teaches at Lecturer III in Digital Media Arts. She has dedicated her career to teaching and being an artist. She moved to New Mexico from Brooklyn, where she studied at Pratt Institute, almost 20 years ago now to study lithography at The Tamarind Institute. Her Bachelor’s degree was in printmaking, and she was dedicated to following that path for her career. After finishing at Tamarind, she worked as the Master Printer at Pyramid Atlantic Press out in Maryland for a bit before moving back to New Mexico to earn her Master’s at UNM. In her graduate studies, she concentrated much more on the electronic arts than printmaking – she found a new passion. This new passion forged a new path in her own artwork and in her teaching career.

 

Artist Statement:

Material culture fascinates me. From the stuff we hoard as personal objects that later define our life’s memories, to the objects that endure as the markers for historical periods, material culture is sewn into the fabric of our lives. My pieces often begin by telling a story about relationships with objects – my relationship with the objects, the relationship other people in my life have with the objects, and, finally, my relationship with that particular observer, known or unknown. I am intrigued by the formal relationship between the object and its context with the structure of an overall piece – its story, its texture, its connection, and its accessibility to the viewer. The pieces then continue to invite viewers to recognize a sense of play and discovery and, ideally, continue that play either physically in a given space or mentally in any space.

“In studying play, I have come to believe that it affords the best and most profitable way of studying humankind itself….Play consists of what people do when they have food, shelter, and clothing, and are rested and free from worry, when the physical compulsions of life are removed temporarily and the spirit is free to search for it’s own satisfactions. Then [we] are at our best.” –Luther Halsey Gulick

In this statement, one can see the view of play from this early 20th century scholar. I am seeking to explore this idea of play and interactive art in all that I do. My work represents my studio practice and the belief that it is this play, this work/leisure time, will continue to evolve into a discussion of objects and concepts as they relate to audience participation in artwork, whether it be a gallery installation or an electronic application. I celebrate my life as an adult woman, artist, and mother and revisit my life as a child to rectify my future. I hope to convey a sense of my own personal play, the energy this creates, and a collective playground to explore, discover, and create artwork for myself and with the masses.