Where Are You Now?

Tami Zwicke

Tami Zwicke

MA Fine Arts 2002

Originally from Winconsin (USA), Tami came to the University of Sunderland to pursue a master’s degree. She lived, travelled and created art in Europe for 5 years before coming back to her home country where she has established as an educator and artist in Milwaukee.

Tami has an extensive background in graphic design, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing, illustration and murals.

She says: “I consider myself a mixed media installation artist who loves to use recycled materials. For over 10 years my art has centered on the idea of the recycling, the environment and reusing materials.

“I like to use materials that would not traditionally be used to create art. Professionally I am a mural artist who works for non-profit organizations teaching art and mural painting.”

The 37-year-old has worked with boys and girls clubs, schools and churches teaching and directing a variety of programs, from photography, murals, art to wearable art shows and plays. She claims her biggest achievement has been working with over 5,000 adults, teens and children of all ages and abilities to create art.

Tami explains: “My favourite project so far has been working with ten schools to create mixed media recycled costumes for the 2013 and 2014 Latino Carnaval in Milwaukee. I love exposing students to creative ways to use recycled objects to create art.”

The Sunderland graduate has also worked in an intergenerational art and dance program.

“When a 99-year-old woman tells me she never thought she would create art like she did with me it is very fulfilling. Or someone with third stage dementia who doesn’t know where she is or who she is, wheels her wheel chair over to the art table and watercolour paints it feels wonderful,” she says.

Tami is quick to credit how the time she spent in Europe influenced her art.

“I fell in love with the way art is taught in the UK.  It opened up a whole new world to me.  This was where I first started creating mixed media recycled art in 1996. 

“I created huge paintings with 3D aspects and started to create sculptures.  When I decided to study my master’s degree at Sunderland I knew this was the place for me.

“I loved my time there and it will always be my second home.”

She adds: “Someday I would love to have a show with huge installations at the Baltic Newcastle.  I would also like to come back to Sunderland to visit my old roommates, many married with kids dotted all throughout the UK.”  

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