Stacey Kalkowski is a multimedia artist from Los Angeles, California and currently lives in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates and teaches at UAE University as the Coordinator for the newly formed Visual Studies & Creative Industries dept. She earned her MFA from California State University, Los Angeles and Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Arts & Crafts.
Stacey's current work explores connections lost and made while existing in one's own safe place. This place is represented as a spiraling cocoon form with red thread as the means of connection.
The cocoon-like form is a place of solitude and transition, of moving from one state into another.
Formally, she uses spirals to represent life force. It was while co-teaching a Primitive Clay workshop in Costa Rica, that she was on a meditative solo hike through the jungle when she had visions of the life-force spiraling up and around her towards the canopy. This form continues to inspire her work today with the cocoon like forms.
Her work with Place and Space, came from her thesis work at CSULA. When we connect with a location that is familiar and mundane. For Stacey, the familiar, while it feels safe, also can feel a bit stifling. She often finds a yearning for the unknown 'spaces' beyond her comfort zone. It is this boundary between the comfort of Place and the excitement and dread of the unknown Space where her work is reflected and created.
Another layer of her work is the micro and macrocosm of our quantum universe. Since she was a child, Stacey has been fascinated with the Dr. Seuss story of Horton Hears a Who. Is our safe place, Earth, just a dust speck in the multiverse? Space exploration and astrophysics may hold the answer to what she explores in her art.
Stacey is especially inspired by surrealist and minimalist work in her paintings, sculptures and installations.
Stacey's photography and video installations tell stories of places that people interact with, including industrial, sacred, wild and intimate settings. Noticing the small impacts that human existence has on its familiar spaces
Stacey is an active leader within the United Arab Emirates art scene. She is a professor and department coordinator at UAE University's Visual Studies & Creative Industries Department. She is also the Project Manager of the newly formed UAEU Art Center in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, which she took from concept to completion.
Stacey has just been given a 4 year appointment as a member in the CAA (College Art Association) Women in the Arts Committee, the only representative for women in the MENA region. In 2020 she organized a Year of Tolerance Film Festival, and has been instrumental in the success of the arts in Al Ain.