Thought I would reintroduce myself in honor of Women’s History Month. Yes, I am Teresa Dirks and I am an artist, poet, and painter . . .
Formerly, I was environmental educator and art educator, originally from rural SE Missouri 2 hours north of Memphis TN. Small town gal.
Had some serious challenges early in life, tough but they gave me my strength. BTW I didn’t have anyone around who was an artist. So art as a profession was a foreign concept to me. Somedays it still is honestly. :)
Luckily, I did have music along the way. Piano, percussion and guitar. And again, luckily I grew up around seamstresses, quilters, gardeners, and farmers, I learned to love nature, nurture, growing and making. This made me creative. Later as an adult, I found art and painting. Again lucky.
One moment in particular as an adult, on a trip to the STL Museum, I saw my first Morris Louis. I fell in love with art. I can’t really put to words what I felt. The sensation was life altering. Monumental moment.
Dave and I lived in a geodesic dome we built. We raised a beautiful family . . . for 30 plus years on a farm only 30 minutes from the Mississippi River. The delta and horizon helped to define my work along with other things. The horizon is something we all share. This joins us together. More about that later.
As an adult and mother, I went back to school and studied English and Art. I have a BA in Creative Writing emphasis in Poetry and a Minor in Art. Later I went back for my Masters to teach Art.
In 2010, we had the opportunity to move close to KC and my first granddaughter. We jumped on it. We were in Warrensburg and this sparked opportunities. The prestigious MO50 and the MAC award. Things started to get easier. Five years ago, we moved to KC and two years ago I moved into my first “out of the home” studio. My work and life has grown because of the vibrant and giving artist community here in KC. I am so grateful! KC changed my experience entirely. Thank you.
Now about my art and that process . . .
No matter who you are or where you live, you have a horizon, a sunset, a connection to humanity that each individual has experienced. This is a string or connection that ties us together. My work is an abstraction of that concept and connection. We are all interwoven in humanity. Interconnected. I feel as we merge into this new realm of technology and political unrest it is vital to make those connections. It is a desire for unity and sense of community.
As I said I fell in love with the Morris Louis’, Alpha Tau, and the colorfield movement. It profoundly directed my work. So why am I drawn to Louis’ work? As I mentioned, I am also a poet. I studied Walden and transcendentalism. I love the brevity and contemplation of modern poetry. The succinctness! This is what my art is about. It is at its simple core. I love the ability to break something down to its essence, whether that is a painting of a moment or a poem of a single experience. It is the essence! It is humanity. And I want to share that essence of unity with my audience.
Thanks for listening!