Many of our esteemed faculty members at the Academy also have exciting art careers outside of the classroom. Michele Stutts, a Fundamentals instructor at the American Academy of Art College, has several upcoming shows during the month of October; including group show at Ceres Gallery in New York called Internal Perspectives, a traveling show titled Tapestry of Voices that includes works she created alongside a published poet that begins at Prairie State College before moving on to the Downing Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and finally another group show at Artists Residences of Chicago (ARC Gallery) in celebration of all the women who founded the nonprofit organization 50 years ago and all the women who were and are now current members. She also has five pieces included in the Faculty Show in the Bill Parks Gallery faculty show here at the Academy.
“When I was a young girl, my life was very sheltered. When I wasn’t at school I spent most days in the house. Art was something that I could do by myself. It gave me color and a sense of creativity in my life, “ Stutts explains. “I became interested in teaching when I went to Chicago State University in the 1980s. It has always felt good to help people and to combine that with art education, to me that was my happy medium.”
On the faculty of the Academy since 1990, Stutts offers this advice to young, aspiring professional artists: “Become a professional in your chosen field. Do your best to let nothing stand in the way of your creativity and your need to graduate. Always be willing to learn new things and adapt to the ever-changing technology.”
Stutts received her Associates of Art from the American Academy of Art College, BFA from Chicago State University, and MFA from Columbia College Chicago. Since 1990, Stutts has taught at the American Academy of Art College and been a member of ARC Gallery & Educational Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in group shows in New York, Rhode Island, Indiana, Ohio, Washington, and Minnesota; her international exhibitions include Australia, Germany, Bulgaria, and Canada. She completed a month-long artist’s residency in Paris in October 2005.
Originally born in Liverpool, UK, Stutts now resides in Chicago. She utilizes painting, drawings, collage, installations, and video as her media of choice. Recently her work has been exclusively in assemblage. Her works are often related to socio-political ethics, mental health, beauty, and sexuality.