Carol Lee Hilgemann

Artist of the Black Hills member Carol Lee Hilgemann

Assemblages and collages have been noticeably practiced since the early 20th century. To me, these techniques are the perfect metaphor for the culture of our times. Hunting, gathering, stockpiling and sorting images, objects and ideas become major components of my creative expression as antique and common place objects are figuratively and symbolically pieced together in intimate, small-scale assemblages and collages. The fragments that make up the assemblages are similar to the moments that make up our daily lives. Each element has a history and a context. No fragment is important by itself, but taken all together, they assume a significance that is greater than the sum of the parts. I intend to have the pieces work at the visual level by the careful placement of objects as distinct but related forms, and at the emotional level by suggesting important cultural and spiritual content from the artifacts. I am interested in evoking memory and emotion from the debris of life, reinventing and redefining, mixing the mysterious with the popular, always alert to unexpected relationships. Using materials that have a previous history gives the work a multitude of meanings and ultimately, representations of the complexity of human exhistence.

Carol Lee Hilgemann was born in 1947 at Aberdeen, South Dakota. She received a B.S. in Art Education University at Aberdeen in 1969. That fall, Carol moved to Alaska teaching at Ben Eielson Junior/Senior HS, Eielson Air Force Base, retiring in July of 1997. Since 1989 Hilgemann's work has been featured in numerous national group exhibitions and is a Signature Member of the National Collage Society. Solo exhibitions include the Well Street Art Company, Fairbanks; International Gallery of Contemporary Art, Anchorage; Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage; the Alaska State Museum, Juneau; and the Fairbanks Arts Association Bear Gallery. Her work is in private and public collections including the Alaska State Museum, Juneau; Anchorage Museum of History and Art; University of Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks; and the Diamond High School 1% for Art, Anchorage, Alaska. She is featured in the books Found and Assembled in Alaska by Julie Decker, and COLLAGE in all dimensions by Gretchen Bierbaum and Patrina Gardner. Currently Hilgemann lives in Spearfish, SD.

You can see more of Carol's work at the Spearfish Arts Center Gallery, Spearfish, SD; Canyon View Amish Furniture & Gifts, Deadwood, SD; Exclusively Amish, Gillette, WY; and the 1875 Gallery, Sundance, WY.

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  tornadoes, rainbows, journeys
Assemblage, 15 1/2 in. x 13 1/2 in. x 1 1/2 in.
click on image to enlarge