Sunday, October 30, 2016

Press Release for 2016 Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Merit Award

Seven alumni and one faculty member will receive Merit Awards presented by the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association Nov. 4 at the Copper Dome Society/Merit Recognition Dinner during the University’s Homecoming celebration. The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Show Me Center.
Alumni Merit Awards have been presented annually since 1958 to Southeast alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and the University.
This year’s alumni recipients are: Teresa Mosley Dirks, ’98, of Kansas City, Missouri, award winning artist in the Kansas City area; Dr. Jerry D. Durham, ’68, of Waterloo, Iowa, chancellor of Allen College; Janet Perez Eckles, ’75, of Orlando, Florida, inspirational speaker and author; William T. (Bill) Gamewell, ’72, of Ballwin, Missouri, senior vice president with Commerce Bank in St. Louis, Missouri; Pamela Macke Johnson, ’77 and ’00, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, criminalist supervisor and forensic scientist with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop E Crime Laboratory in Cape Girardeau; Pamela McClune, ’72, of Denver, Colorado, retired compliance manager with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and retired attorney and U.S. Navy captain with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve; and Dr. Pernell Witherspoon of St. Louis, Missouri, and Huntington Beach, California, associate professor of criminal justice at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
Receiving the Faculty Merit Award will be Dr. Julie Ray, professor and chair of the Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education at Southeast. The Faculty Merit Award is presented for excellence in teaching.
Teresa Mosley Dirks
UCM-MeritAwards-Dirks
Teresa Mosley Dirks
Dirks, an artist, painter and former educator, graduated summa cum laude from Southeast in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in art. In 2005, she earned a master’s degree in education from William Woods University.
Born in Kennett, Missouri, and raised in Malden, Missouri, Dirks spent most 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.
She taught environmental education and then art education in public schools for several years, but her passion for painting inspired her lifelong career.
When creating her artwork, Dirks’ aim is to reconstruct those experiences from her life and environment, and to share that connection with others. She strives to recreate a conceptual 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 she portrays within her works come from her subconscious need to create with some sense of balance, and also with a tension that is derived from the power of her experiences, and the sense of her being a part of something bigger.
Over the years, her 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 the complexities and tension of her experiences. Her art has come to symbolize her inner strength and connection with her environment and the years spent watching the brilliance of the world around her.
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. Dirks lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, Dave. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Studio!

Crazy excited to announce that I have moved into a studio suite in the historic West Bottoms. This was a difficult decision to make for several reason including rent, convenience, but on the plus side, networking and having a public space to create and show art. The time felt right, so here we are . . .

I look forward to sharing more info soon.  Additionally, in the future I will be scheduling studio visits. In the meantime, please message me if you are interested.

Cheers,
Teresa





Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Preparing for an Art Show

Behind the scenes of an art show is documentation... or photographing your new work. This is a difficult task for me even after a great workshop last year at @kcartistscoalition with @jinanqi (who was a wealth of knowledge btw)  So with that said, I am still learning new tricks. And yes! These are the days an assistant would be divine! Frankly my dear, I'd rather be painting...        

 #artbasel #artistlifestyle #artistteresadirks #teresadirksart #instaartist #galleries #artist #selfemployment #largeabstract #abstractpainting #corporateart #teresadirksstudio #artstudio #moderndesign #modernart #paintingmarathon #commission #smallbiz #mixedmedia #kclove #goldenpaints #bekind #ratedmodernart #appreciateyoursupportandlove Follow me on Instagram  @artist.teresadirks, on Facebook  @ artistteresadirks and at 
teresadirks.com

My best,
Teresa Dirks 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Best of Houzz 2016!

Pretty excited about this!
Woohoo!


Houzz logo

You won Best of Houzz 2016!

Hi Teresa Dirks' Art and congratulations,
We're writing to let you know that you've been voted by the Houzz community as a winner of our Best of Houzz 2016 award! You can read the full press release here.
Your work won in the Design category, as your portfolio includes some of the most popular images on Houzz in 2015. We have already placed a "Best of Houzz 2016" winner badge on your Houzz profile page; visit your profile page (http://www.houzz.com/pro/teresadirksart) to see it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

From the Huffington Post: Art Isn't Just Good For The Mind, It's Good For The Body Too

Art Isn't Just Good For The Mind, It's Good For The Body Too

And the two are more interconnected than you think.

 01/04/2016 08:29 am ET | Updated Jan 06, 2016
PRISCILLA FRANK
My dad was the one who had just had brain surgery, but I also needed to heal.
While he recovered in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center I found myself roaming the halls which, luckily for me, were adorned with a museum-quality art collection, including the work of Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Rauschenberg.
I was particularly glued to a corridor lined with Ellsworth Kelly drawings, simple black-and-white lined depictions of plants. They floated in the white space ever so lightly, like pressed flowers whose insides had faded away. In a time characterized by fatigue, chronic nausea and depression, those fragile black shapes provided me space to breathe. The hospital smells and sounds faded away in their presence as if by magic. 
I was not the sick one, but was nonetheless overwhelmed with gratitude for those humble monochromatic forms, and in awe of their power. To members of the art therapy community, this ostensible miracle is more like science. The effects of art viewing are not just emotional, but physical as well. 
"I have shown art reproductions to very ill patients, even in intensive care," art therapist Irene David, director of therapeutic arts at Bellevue Hospital Center, told The Huffington Post, "and observed calmer states and pleasure elicited -- a kind of life-enhancing lift to neutralize the clinical experience and ambiance of hospitalization."
I reached out to David after reading about a February 2015 study in which researchers from UC Berkeley determined that experiencing wonder during activities like viewing powerful art may lower the levels of certain chemicals, particularly those that cause inflammation and can eventually lead to diabetes, heart attacks and other illnesses. 
In the experiment, 200 young adults detailed how much they experienced wonder and amazement in a given day. Researchers then obtained samples of gum and cheek tissue (oral mucosal transudate), finding that those who claimed to have experienced greater levels of wonder and amazement had the lowest levels of cytokine interleukin 6 -- a marker of inflammation. Cytokine is necessary to the body for fighting infection, but in large quantities, it can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and even Alzheimer's.
How much wonder a person experiences in a given day isn't exactly a measurable quota (and art isn't the only way to experience such an emotion -- being in nature is also cited in the report). But the findings roughly demonstrate that "positive emotions are associated with the markers of good health," Dr. Jennifer Stellar, of University of Toronto, explained. 
"Rather than seeing a walk through the park or a trip to the museum as an indulgence, we hope people will view these kind of experiences as important ways to promote a healthy body in addition to a healthy mind," Stellar continued. "Folding these kinds of positive experiences into your daily routine may be more important for health than we previously realized."
RANKEN JORDAN PEDIATRIC BRIDGE HOSPITAL/FLICKR
Donna Betts, president of the American Art Therapy Association, was far from shocked by the findings.
"Stellar and her team’s results do not surprise me in the least," she wrote to HuffPost. "I’m thrilled to learn of some good research on the benefits of viewing artwork. I would love to see some robust research on the benefits of art making and art therapy in increasing immune system functioning."
While Betts was unfamiliar with other studies involving levels of cytokine interleukin, she mentioned an ongoing study with Drexel University's Girija Kaimal researching the effects of art-making classes on family caregivers of patients with cancer. Specifically, Kaimal is looking at art's ability to lower cortisol levels, which are associated with stress and anxiety. 
Through my previous conversations with art therapists, I'd been made aware of art's ability to bolster mental and emotional health. But the physical aspect was new to me. Betts referenced a slew of studies chronicling art's ability to reduce pain, counter fatigue and promote general physical wellness. 
Most of all, Betts stressed the fluidity of the boundary separating the physical from mental. "There is increasing awareness on a global scale of the mind-body connection and the implications for psychological and physical health," she said. "It’s the idea that the mind and the body are interconnected, the health of one affecting the other."
David also commented on the ability of physical health to bleed into mental health, and vice versa. "Physical illness invariably brings a host of emotion -- typically anxiety and/or depression. Hence, there is particular therapeutic gain in externalizing or dissipating these states through artistic expression. Ultimately, this externalization can help people cope with prognoses, treatment and overall adaption."
Both David and Betts also agreed that, while viewing art is beneficial, the effects of making art are even stronger. As David put it: "I think there is a particular sensation in the actual creation of art, especially the tactile use of materials -- using one’s hands and implements in relation to inner thoughts, feelings and perceptions brings forth all at once a spectrum of reward. Even in the case of disability necessitating adaptive items, there is [a] direct and immediate giving of oneself. Making art is giving to oneself in both the process and the validating product."
Whether or not you're an aspiring artist, this kind of encouragement is vital. If you have a day off, why not head to a museum, where a motionless image made in another time and place could in some way speak to you, make you smile or gasp? Why not test out the way clay feels expanding inside your grip? According to art therapy, seeing art isn't just a luxury, a social outing or fodder for your next Instagram upload. It's medicine for the eyes, the mind, the heart and possibly even the body. And it's so much more pleasurable than swallowing a pill. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! No resolutions here, but wishes for a new year filled with more love, more understanding, more peace, more joy and more kindness. 
For the past year, I have spent many nights awake, wondering how I can make my art and my world correspond and create a better world a better place for us all. With that said aloud, I have not figured that out yet, but I will. I encourage you to share if you have ideas. I would love to collaborate and make a difference. 
In the meantime, keep thinking those good thoughts!
Sending my best,
Teresa Dirks