My creative practice is situated at the intersection of these seemingly oppositional terms:
Public • Private
Art • Craft
Political • Personal
Mass Produced • Handmade
I employ repetitive – sometimes obsessive – processes such as piercing, punching, and folding to create pattern-based work using planar materials (plexi, vinyl, paper, fabric). Patterns appeal to the human desire to find order, yet, when made by hand they highlight the tension between repetition and error. I build patterns by developing a basic action/gesture which becomes automatic to the body over time. Monotonous processes allow me the ability to start and stop. As such, my studio travels home with me to be worked on while participating in day-to-day domestic activities, not unlike quilting or knitting. I consider the home a generative space in which important labor, skill and dialogue take place, but often remain unseen and undervalued. My creative practice is rooted in the act of manual labor and daily practice, functioning as a parallel to the work that happens at home. As Lucy Lippard observes “What is popularly seen as ‘repetitive,’ ‘obsessive,’ and ‘compulsive’ in women’s art is in fact a necessity for those whose time comes in small squares.” (32) I frequently address themes related to the domestic, reflecting on the duality of my identity as mother and artist.
Another aspect of my studio practice is public art, often in educational spaces for young people. I’ve created public-facing work throughout the United States and abroad. My motivation for working in this realm comes from my desire to reach an expanded audience and to situate contemporary art within the spaces we collectively inhabit on a daily basis.
Lippard, Lucy. “Up, Down, and Across: A New Frame for New Quilts.” The Artist and the Quilt. Ed. Charlotte Robinson. New York: Knopf, 1983.
Diana Baumbach is an artist and educator based in Laramie, WY. Originally from Oak Park, IL, Diana Baumbach earned her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis (2003) and her MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (2007). In addition to numerous juried and invitational group shows, she has had solo exhibitions at Box13, Washington State University, Dynamo Expo and University of South Carolina, among others. Baumbach has undertaken public-facing projects at the South Bend Museum of Art, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, the Children’s Learning Center in Pinedale and the Hudson Museum, to name a few. She received a Visual Art Fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council in 2015 after receiving Honorable Mention three times (2011, 2013 and 2014). Baumbach is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming where she lives on the prairie with her husband and sons.