Gail Katz-James lives in Minneapolis where she transforms steel and recycled objects from their familiar contexts into surfaces and structures. Inspired by traditional textiles, her work often looks lacy and feminine. She earned an MFA from UC Davis in Textile Arts in 1996. Gail was awarded a 2013/14 MRAC Next Step Grant and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in 2015. She is currently producing a bike rack for the City of Minneapolis.
Contact Gail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail is motivated to build community through art making. Community projects include: Peacock Screen, a steel screen on display in the garden of Steven Be Knitting in Minneapolis, which she designed and fabricated, covered with knitting by the public. Her design, Entwined, can be seen on the streets of Uptown, Minneapolis as part of Minneapolis Art Wraps, a project to fight graffiti by wrapping utility boxes with printed vinyl designs.
In the past, Gail has designed projects and taught workshops for the public to create temporary outdoor artworks including 49 Squares, a massive 21 by 21 foot outdoor quilt made from textile waste, Leaf Tunnel, a willow tunnel at the U of M Landscape Arboretum, and Fulton Favorites, a lawn sign project, which evolved into a similar project for the Fulton Farmers Market. This October, she and Jenny Hale will create Bubble Pub, a temporary piece involving illuminated, fabric-wrapped corncribs for the Farm/Art DTour at Fermentation Fest in Reedsburg, WI.
Recently, Gail has sought out healthcare settings for her sculptural works, to provide beauty and distraction to hospital visitors and staff. In 2014, she exhibited her work in the Arts and Healing program at Owatonna hospital. In 2015, she fabricated a three-part sculptural, movable wall piece for Children’s Hospital, St. Paul. In 2012, she permanently installed Found Treasures, an interactive wall sculpture, in Children’s Hospital, Minneapolis.
Permanent Public Art Commissions
Flour Sack Rack, City of Minneapolis, bike rack in progress. Expected installation by September, 2017. This bike rack will be a functional sculpture, including 2 enameled panels on either end, based on designs from historic flour sacks.
Playful Prisms,Children’s Hospital of MN, St. Paul Branch, 6th floor gathering space, 2015. Created a three-part interactive wall sculpture for installation.
Found Treasures, Children’s Hospital of MN, Minneapolis Branch, 2012 . 5 by 6 ft. wall mounted sculpture, inspired by a traditional quilt design, made of washers and found objects (mostly toys), installed in 8th floor elevator lobby.
Minneapolis Arts Wraps, CARAG neighborhood, city of Minneapolis, 2013 . Images from Entwined, layout by Sue Hartley, are printed and wrapped around two electrical boxes on 35th St. and an alley between Aldrich and Bryant. 12 artists selected citywide.
Collaborative Outdoor Public Art Commissions
Bubble Pub, a collaborative sculpture, made with artist Jenny Hale Farm/Art DTour, Fermentation Fest, Reedsburg, WI October 4-13, 2014
We will create a temporary outdoor work on the 50-mile Farm/Art DTour, a self-guided drive through scenic farmlands punctuated by temporary art installations, farm stands, roadside poetry, performances, field notes and more.
Peacock Screen, 2013
Arts on Chicago, organized by Pillsbury House,funded by the NEA, Designed and fabricated three part, 6 by 9 ft, welded, powdercoated steel folding screen for StevenBe Knitting, which was covered with knitting as a community art project.
Fulton Farmers Market Lawn Signs, Summer 2013, 2014
Created art activity for visitors to design and make their own lawn sign to take home and increase marketing for the Fulton Farmers Market by displaying on their lawn. Averaged 25 lawn signs produced each week for 9 weeks.
Fulton Favorites, Minneapolis, MN 2009
Worked with a neighborhood art committee, Minneapolis Park Staff, local merchant and one hundred volunteers from children to seniors to design, make, install and distribute 140 unique vinyl lawn signs.
Leaf Tunnel, Chanhassen, MN 2006
Worked with 20 volunteers and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Staff to design, plan, build and install an 18-foot long willow tunnel with 4 oversize all-weather leaf-shaped pillows outdoors.
49 Squares, Minnetonka, MN 2004-2005
Worked with 30 volunteers and Minnetonka Center for the Arts Staff to design, plan, build and install a 21 by 21 foot textile artwork on an outdoor concrete wall.
Solo Gallery Exhibitions
Nemeth Art Center, Park Rapids, MN, September 1- December 1, 2017.
Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, Featured Artist, Minneapolis, MN December 2014 – March 2015.
Phipps Center for the Arts, September 26, 2014- October 26, 2014.
Owatonna Healing Arts Exhibition, Owatonna Hospital, March 1 2013 – June 30, 2014.
Constructions, Jewish Community Center of St. Paul, MN 2008.
Order vs. Chaos: Surface in Sculpture, Lightbox Gallery, Kansas City, MO 2007.
Duality, Larson Art Gallery, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 2005.
Material Reality, Bloomington Art Center, Art in Public Places, MN 2002.
Of Moths and Maps, Bloomington, IN 1998.
On Mapping, M.F.A. Thesis Show, Davis, CA 1996.
Selected Group Exhibitions- Partial Listing
River City Sculptures on Parade, Mason City Iowa (downtown), May 9, 2017- May 2018.
Mankato CityArt Walk, (downtown) Mankato, MN 2016/17, 2017/18.
Contours of Spring: Society of Minnesota Sculptors 2017 Annual Exhibition, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Great Hall, April 12 – April 30, 2017.
A Common Thread, Members Show, Textile Center Jan-Feb 2015.
Dream Weavings: Interpretations through Collaborations, Sabes JCC, Mpls, MN
Jan. 10- Feb. 21, 2013.
Bellwether 2012: reGeneration, City of Bellevue, WA July 13-October 21, 2012.
Art on the Plains XI, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND 2012.
Uncommon Visions: Jewish Textile Artists, during Confluence SDA Conference, Sabes JCC, Mpls, MN 2011.
Minnetonka Center for the Arts Faculty Show 2011, 2010.
Foot in the Door, Minneapolis Institute of Art 2010.
Edina Art Center Faculty Show, Edina, MN 2010.
A Common Thread, Joan Mondale Gallery, Textile Center, MN 2010.
Minnetonka Center for the Arts Holiday Sale 2009.
Nothing New: Recycled Show, Joan Mondale Gallery, MN 2009.
2009 Int’l SDA Conference: Surface Matters, Kansas City, MO 2009.
Minnesota Biennial 3DII, Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, MN 2007.
Artwear in Motion, Art Fashion Show, Textile Center, St. Paul, MN 2007.
St. Paul Art Crawl, MN 2007.
Warmth in Winter, Franklin Bank, Minneapolis, MN 2006.
Pattern & Decoration, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL 2004.
Grants and Awards
Next Step Fund Grant, $5,000, Metro Regional Arts Council, funded by the McKnight Foundation 2013/2014
2009 Fulton Neighborhood Public Art Grant 2009
2008 Forecast University Ave. Public Affairs Project: Finalist 2008
2006/2007 Forecast Public Art Affairs R & D Grant 2006
American Iron Sculpture Contest: Hon. Mention, 2nd, 3rd Place 2002- 2007
UC Davis Humanities Research Grant 1995
USAA Grant for Teaching 1997
Chalk it up to Sacramento Grant for Teaching 1997
EducationUniversity of California, Davis: M.F.A. in Textile Arts and Costume Design 1996
School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Two years of BFA coursework 1992-1994
Yale University: B.A. in East Asian Studies (Japanese language, literature) 1991
Americans for the Arts 2010 to Present
Textile Center 1999 to Present
Surface Design Association 1996 to Present
CAFAC (Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center) 2010 to Present
Society of MN Sculptors 2017 –
Weaving Residency, Hillcrest Elementary, Bloomington, MN April-May 2015
Teaching Artist Residency, Caponi Art Park, Eagan, MN Winter 2014
Artist Residency, Eden Prairie Schools 2012
Artist Residency, Opportunity Partners, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, MN 2012
Guided special needs adults through mural design and painting.
Summer Arts Camp Fiber Instructor, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, MN 2011-12
Planned and taught several half-day week long classes to youth, such as Handmade Handbags, Awesome Accessories, Project Runway and Batik for Teens.
Adult Fiber Instructor, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, MN 2011
Planned and taught adult workshop: Printing Patterned Fabric for Yard & Garden
Artist Residency, Caring For Kids Initiative, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, MN 2011
Guided preschool artists and their parents through mural design and painting.
Artist Residency, Meadow Lake Elementary, Plymouth, MN 2010- 2011
Planned and taught six weeks of book arts projects to elementary school students.
Confluence Trunk Show Coordinator, SDA Confluence Planning Committee 2009-2011
Planned and managed members only trunk show during the international Surface Design Conference held in the Twin Cities, June 2011.
Art Instructor, Edina Art Center, MN 2011
Taught preschool art, family Chanukah workshop and Jackson Pollack Birthday party for elementary school children.
Surface Design Instructor, Textile Center of MN 2010
Taught adult classes: Hand painting with Thickened Dyes and other surface design classes using fiber-reactive dyes.
Art Instructor, Edina Art Center, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Weaver’s Guild of Minnesota, Bloomington Art Center, Minneapolis, MN 1999-2010
Taught silkscreen on fabric, surface design, sewing, printing, collage, drawing, painting, and papermaking workshops to kids and adults.
Art Adventure Volunteer, Minneapolis, MN 2007-2011
Presented art works from around the world held by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to elementary school students, often creating a visual arts project to accompany the art history lesson.
Prize Juror (In Person), Edina Art Fair, Edina, MN 2011-12
Juror, Edina Art Fair, Edina, MN 2006-2010
Juried large pool of applicants to select art fair participants.
Freelance Textile Designer, Minneapolis, MN 2001-2011
Designed and printed silk-screened scarves to sell. Produced computer textile designs for home furnishings and apparel.
Surface Design Newsletter cover/frontispiece, Spring 2007
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Home & Garden, photo with caption 2006
Fiberarts, magazine and web site, Nov./Dec. 2005
Surface Design, The journal of the Surface Design Association, Spring 2003