2022 Merit Scholarship Recipient: Angela St. Vrain | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

2022 Merit Scholarship Recipient: Angela St. Vrain

June 02, 2022
Angela with her installation Eggshell Candied Yams, featuring a bed frame and dresser

Master of Fine Arts
Master of Fine Arts Merit Award $2,000
Online Portfolio
Louisville, Kentucky

Describe the work you submitted for merits.

I displayed two works that are to-scale recreations of my bedroom and my bathroom from my apartment. The bedroom piece is an installation titled Eggshell Candied Yams in which I painted the gallery walls, used my own bedroom furniture, and incorporated carpet to display my 9 ft cube of a bedroom in a public gallery context.

My bathroom piece is a 3-panel room divider made of pinewood and stitched linoleum tile, using the architectural floor plan of my bathroom as the 2D imagery of the panels. This work is currently being expanded upon to become an 11-panel room divider consisting of multiple bathrooms, which references the multiplicity of (not-so) private spaces in an apartment building. I displayed a quarter-scale moquette as a plan for the work alongside my 3-panel room divider. This larger work will provide a dynamic and interactive gallery experience for the viewer as they walk through and around it. 

Installation featuring a bed frame and dresser

What made you choose to come to MCAD for your MFA?

I chose the city of Minneapolis before I chose MCAD. I moved here four years ago to be part of the the arts community in the Twin Cities area and to benefit from the amazing funding for the arts in Minnesota. I decided to go to a school in the city and state where I wanted to pursue my artistic career. Compared to my undergraduate experience at a large university, I’m happy to be part of a small school with no sports teams and such great facilities.

Favorite thing about the program or the community (so far)?

The 3D Shop at MCAD has incredible equipment! I’m a total sculpture nerd. I love to weld, work with wood, use non-traditional materials, and I’m enjoying learning new processes in the digital lab in the 3D Shop.

Do you have a favorite piece you've made?

I made a sculpture in 2014 called Homemade House which was a half-scale recreation of a closet in the apartment that I lived in at the time. I made hundreds of half-scale ceramic bricks to make the chimney that went through this closet space. It’s my still my favorite piece to this day because it was the beginning of concept and a body of work that I’m still pursuing, which is lovingly recreating the tiny, awkward spaces in my home. 

Installation featuring a bed frame and dresser

Anything you're obsessed with at the moment?

I'm obsessed with brownstone apartments in Minneapolis! I’m beginning to make work that is research-based, so I’m combining the autobiographical nature of my work with research of my building, neighborhood, and architecture in the city.

I live in a neighborhood called Stevens Square, which is just a couple blocks north of MCAD’s campus and almost exclusively consists of these three-and-a-half-story brick brownstone apartment buildings. It’s a historic district, so I’m doing a lot of research about the neighborhood as I attempt to combine my experience as an apartment dweller with the common experience of renting and this apartment district’s history.

What artists inspire you?

The theme of home is a rich subject in visual art. I look to artists such as Do Ho Suh, Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, Gordon Matta Clark, Andrea Zittel, Doris Salcedo, and Mona Hatoum.