Tami Zwicke

Author: Tami Zwicke

I direct, design, teach and create art. Creative ideas swirl inside my mind waiting to burst free. This influences every aspect of my life from; travel, gardening, writing, cooking to art. I often feel like I am in a race competing against time. I purposely work part time jobs so that if any art opportunity arises I don't miss it. I create not only because I want to but because I need to.

I am inspired by what is around me. In the last ten years I have been obsessed with using recycled and found materials. I create art out of what many people consider trash. For the last five years I have been working at non-profit organizations teaching art and mural painting. IMAP is a intergenerational program in which I taught art to elderly adults at a nursing home. "I never thought I would do something like this." was a quote from a 91 year old lady Mrs. Hamm. When I create I am influencing others. I have created over thirty large scale murals through-out Milwaukee. These murals in promote the "reduce, reuse, recycle."theme. My long term goal is to continue to work within the community creating art and inspiring others of all ages. I work in all mediums. I plan to create more public art and instillations continuing my interest in the idea of, "What is Art?" In the last ten years I have been creating art out of what others consider to be garbage. When does a object turn from trash to art? I once created a instillation called "The Picnic." This was contrived of two plastic rubbish men who were having a picnic in a British graveyard. The material and where I placed my piece gave it a different meaning then if I would have placed it somewhere else.

I choose my theme mainly by the materials I have and how accessible they are. Ideas then start to flow in my mind. Most of my projects have a political or environmental theme. Art is a tool and can be used to pass on messages. While doing my MA degree in the UK, I traveled for 5 years and was exposed to a liberal in my way of thinking. I am interested in the how the public interacts with my art. "Rubbish Man" was a plastic sculpture that was put in public places. He was even stolen and a ransom note was sent. I also co-ran a monthly event in the UK in which art was displayed, art happenings and music.

Back in the USA, my main focus has been on the environment, urban intercity gardening and public art and teaching mural painting with students of all ages. In April 2011 I created a instillation of plastic clothing made from what would be considered garbage and plastic bags. The dresses were featured in a three night dance performance at Danceworks, Milwaukee.

Even if not all my projects are successful I am learning everyday. I feel that I have reached a time in my life in which I have established myself as a educator and a artist. I work in all mediums and am creating every day. I also pursue my passion to share art and creativity with others. Especially children at schools. In the last 4 years I have worked with over 2,000 different students of all ages creating over 30 different large scale murals. I would like to continue to do this. I generally am commissioned by non-profit oraganizations. Recently their funding has been cut and I am now searching for other ways to fund the projects I have been doing at schools, COA's, afterschool programs and other places that do not have art programming.