Growing up in the rural quasi-south, around seamstresses, quilters, gardeners, and farmers, I learned to love nature, nurture, growing and making. This made me. Creative.
So now, when I create art, my aim is to reconstruct those experiences from life as a woman, or from the environment, and share that connection. I strive to recreate a conceptional experience whether it is the complexity of urban decay, the intensity of the sky, or the linear connection to cultivation, nature, and the horizon. The proportions and structure within my works strive to create some sense of balance.
My work investigates relationships and envisions a world where we are all giving and given respect. My work is about harmony. It is about those lines and those intersections or parallels, where good things happen. The interplay and juxtaposition of colors and that relationship is the subject of my art work. The art invites the viewer to interpret and find energy in a meaningful way. My hope is to create a joy and spread a message of acceptance and peace.
Over the years, my work has developed texturally and organically by using the visual elements and principles of color, line, texture, movement, and pattern. The resulting variants and contrasts reflect complexities and tension. My art has come to symbolize my inner strength as a woman and my connection with the world around me.
Born two hours north of Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in the small town of Malden, Missouri, Teresa Dirks spent much of her life in southeast Missouri, absorbing the essence of rural farm life and the relationship between life and nature, a theme she has captured in her photographs, poetry and paintings.
Dirks, graduated from Southeast in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Art, and obtained a master’s degree in education from William Woods University. She taught environmental education and then art education in public schools for many years, but her passion for painting inspired her lifelong career.
Today, the historical Kansas City Livestock Exchange Building is a perfect location for her 5th floor studio overlooking the city skyline, merging rivers, train tracks, and bluffs that separate those two worlds.
Her art deeply reflects her love of nature, its vibrancy, and the power of color and its effect on our lives. Dirks feels as society and technology merge, it is now more important than ever to connect with nature, humanity and art and bring those entities together.
Recently, Southeast Missouri State University selected Dirks as the first female recipient for the 2016 Alumni Merit Award for the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts.
Dirks is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2011 Missouri Arts Council Poster Award. Her work was featured in the 2012 MAC publications. Her work is held by private and corporate entities. She has served on the Art in Public Places Committee in Warrensburg, Missouri; organized Paint with Your Girls, a fundraiser for breast cancer research; and served on the advisory boards of Southeast Missouri State University-Malden and the Bootheel Youth Museum where she was also a volunteer programmer.
Currently, Dirks lives in Kansas City, MO, with her husband, Dave. They have two sons, four grandchildren, and one big, hairy granddog.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
- 2017 Recent Works, Studio Above, 2016 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO
- 2016 "More Than You," Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO
- 2016 "New Day," Art Source and Design Gallery, Overland Park, KS
- 2016 "Flow" Cafe Trio, Kansas City, MO
- 2015 “Back Home,” Margaret Harwell Art Museum, Poplar Bluff, MO
- 2013 “Slight Spectrum,” Old Drum Gallery, Warrensburg, MO
- 2013 “POV, “ Cafe Trio, Kansas City, MO
- 2012 “Thirty Four,” BICMedia, Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, MO
- 2011 “Recent Works,” University of Central Missouri Art Gallery, Warrensburg, MO
- 2011 “Synthesis Series,” 2631 Gallery, Kansas City, MO
- 2011 Recent Works, Got Art Gallery, Lee's Summit, MO
- 2010 “Mixed Media Works,” MOD Gallery, Kansas City, MO
- 2008 “In One Hundred Years,” Tinnan Fine Art Center, Poplar Bluff, MO
- 2003 “Pulp Elements,” Cape Arts Council, Lorimier Art Gallery, Cape Girardeau, MO
- 1997 “Be Still,” Southeast Missouri State University Museum, Cape Girardeau, MO
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
- 2017, "Love in Summer," 2016 Main, Kansas City, MO
- 2016, "Everyone's In 3-D," The Alice, Seattle, WA
- 2013-17 “Public Hanging” Kansas City Artist Coalition, KC, MO
- 2013 ”Missouri Top 50,” Juried Exhibit, State Fair Fine Arts , Sedalia,MO
- 2012 "Missouri Top 50,” Juried Exhibit, State Fair Fine Arts, Sedalia, MO
- 2012 “Mannequin Memoirs,” MOD Gallery, Kansas City, MO
- 2011 Apex Art Space, Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, MO
- 2011"Missouri Top 50,” Juried Exhibit, State Fair Fine Arts, Sedalia, MO
- 2010 "Missouri Top 50" Juried Exhibition, State Fair Fine Arts Center, Sedalia, MO
- 2009 “Sew What Juried,” Womenʼs Juried Exhibit, Art Dimension's Flax Gallery, St. Louis, MO
- 2009 “On the Record Juried Exhibit,” Art Dimension's 3rd Floor Gallery, St. Louis, MO
- 2008 “Think Pink,” Juried Exhibit, Flax Gallery, St. Louis, MO
- 2008 “Harwell Mail-in Art Show,” Margaret Harwell Art Museum, Poplar Bluff, MO,
- 2008 “Mid-Missouri Artists Summer Exhibition,” University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO
- 2008 “Rusty Spring,” Juried Exhibit, Art Dimensions, St. Louis, MO 2006
- 2006 "Generations,” Tinnin Fine Arts Center, Poplar Bluff, MO
- 2004 “Small Works,” Tinnin Fine Arts Center, Poplar Bluff, MO
- 1999 “Memphisʼ 4th Annual Art Festival on the River,” Juried Exhibit, Memphis Art Council, Memphis, TN
- 2010 “Burg Dog,” Warrensburg, MO
- 2012 “Projector Project,” First Fridays, Warrensburg, MO
- 2016 Alumni Merit Award for the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts, SE MO State University, Cape Girardeau, MO
- Nelson Atkins Spencer Library, Artists' File Initiative, Kansas City, MO
- 2011 Missouri Arts Council Poster Award, Missouri Arts Council, St. Louis, MO
- 2009 “Sew What” Best of Show HM, Art Dimension's Flax Gallery, St. Louis, MO
- 2008 Poplar Bluff Artists’ Guild Regional Art Show,” 2nd Place Mixed Media, Margaret Harwell Art Museum, Poplar Bluff, MO
- 2007 Poplar Bluff Artists’ Guild First Place Mixed Media, Margaret Harwell Art Museum, Poplar Bluff, MO
- 1998 Photo ‘98, National Juried Exhibition, Gallery 100, Cape Girardeau, MO
- 2006-Present Visual Artist
- 2002-06 Arts Educator, Malden Public Schools
- 2006-07 Arts Educator, Gideon Public School
- 1998-02 Project Grant Director, Environmental Ed, BSWD
- 2012-13 Art in Public Places Committee Member, Warrensburg, MO
- 2010-11 Paint with Your Girls Organizer (Breast Cancer Fundraiser)
1998-09 Southeast Missouri State University at Malden Board Member
1998-02 Bootheel Youth Museum Board Member and Volunteer Programmer
- PNC Bank, The Tower at PNC Plaza, Pittsburgh, PA.
- Dr. Luis Alvarez, Private and Corporate, Collection, Boca Raton, FL
- Elizabeth Morehead, Actress, Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA
- Perry Dement, Private Collection, Memphis, TN
- Dr. Wells Askew, Private Collection, Rochester, MN
- Jon Hart, 90.9 The Bridge, V.P., and Leslie Swank Hart, Private Collection, KC, MO
- Catherine and Robert Morehead, Private Collection, Memphis TN
- Janie and Dan McLeod, Private Collection, Oxford, MS
- Sara Freeman, Private Collection, Kansas City, MO
- Dr. and Mrs. Carl Dirks, Private Collection, Prairie Village, KS
- Jim Demaree, Private Collection, Bentonville, AR
- Melanie Threlkeld, Private Collection, Waynesville, N.C.
- Bob Herzig and Associates, Kansas City, MO
- 909 Walnut, Kansas City, MO
- 2005 William Woods University, MA
- 1998 Southeast Missouri State University, BA