Emily Dzieweczynski combines two disciplines into her art


With bachelor’s degrees in studio art and psychological science from Gustavus Adolphus College, Emily Dzieweczynski offers a unique perspective to her profession.

She is self-described as a combination of a multimedia artist, creative researcher, teacher and designer. Dzieweczynski is also a studio intern at Second Shift Studio in East St. Paul, and works part-time as a barista at River Rock Coffee.

While her career focus is currently on her art, Dzieweczynski said her chosen studies of studio art and psychological science “inform each other in a reciprocal relationship.”

“My psychological studies actually build the framework for the conceptual purpose behind the art that I make,” she explained. “I think a lot of my work is — either explicitly or implicitly — based on a research being done in psychology. My studio art studies taught me to be critical but also free in a way I couldn't within psychology.”

Earlier in her training, Dzieweczynski began with drawing and printmaking, which led to experimenting with a variety of new media, such as sound, video, animation, virtual reality, code and installation.

“I'm trying to study and understand empathy through my work,” she said. “I am curious about what happens when art, science, and technology intersect at the concept of empathy. This pursuit involves trying to understand experience, how we share experience, bodily sensations, self/otherness, memory and connection. Visually, my work typically takes a minimalistic approach, sometimes with a linear or graphical quality. I really like organization. I often use quite a bit of text, symbols of knots and nets to talk about connection.”

Her work is often inspired by scientists, technologists and artists.

“I read a lot of philosophy and psychological studies that inspire my work, and then spend time in nature to process it,” Dzieweczynski said. “I'm thoroughly inspired by nature. Though, really, I'm inspired often by things as small as light passing through a room. Every experience is so rich and complex, it's profound to think about how all of our experiences are similar in ways but are likely vastly different.”

Dzieweczynski spends three to four days a week on projects, including one funded by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council.

“It's a virtual reality experience of light passing through spaces paired with spatial audio of different people's homes,” she said.

She is also working on a collaborative project with visual artist Betsy Byers and a team of scientists, funded by the National Science Foundation.

“It's a project that's been developing over a couple years that explores glacial recession in Cayambe, Ecuador and how art can transcribe those experiences,” Dzieweczynski said. “Right now, I'm working on a WebVR resource that shows the structure of the glacier alongside 360 degree footage that was collected on site.”

Like most artists, the exhibit of her work has been on hold due to COVID-19. Her last show was in collaboration with Byers at Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis.

Previously, her art has been shown at 410 Project, Target Gallery, Vine Arts Center, Gamut Gallery, American Swedish Institute, Gustavus Adolphus College and Children's Museum of Minnesota.

“My work has become more conceptually mature over the years, but I think it's still in its infancy, which is quite exciting,” she added. “Everyday, I'm learning more about where I want to take my work.”

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