Photo by Daniel Dinsmore Photography.
Amanda Wirig is a visual artist and musician, as well as an educator and nonprofit administrator. Her paintings and mixed media work utilize pop culture and humor to address social and political issues in a meaningful and forthright manner. Born in Mankato, MN, Wirig received a BFA in Art and a BA in Music from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and later received a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the same university. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the Midwest, including the Emy Frentz Gallery in Mankato, the Evelyn Matthies Gallery in Brainerd, MN and the David Leonardis Gallery and 33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago, IL. She is also the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, the McKnight Foundation, and the Split Rock Arts Program.
I create acrylic paintings, mixed media pieces, and screen prints that incorporate pops of vivid color that leap off the surface, and a dark nostalgia for decades past that were not as glorious as they appear to be in hindsight. Whether I am addressing social issues or channeling the other half of myself that survives on guitars and record shops, a strong undercurrent of feminism is threaded through my work. My love of text and dark sense of humor allow me to present difficult subjects in a palatable manner, sparking conversation and bringing a sense of lightness to the exhibition space. I am particularly drawn to the plastic quality and bright hues of acrylic paint, and I find there is nothing more cathartic than the creation of a smooth, flat surface that lacks the visible brush strokes normally seen in other types of painting.