Latent Emissions, Chakaia Booker
Kari Black is, first and foremost, an artist.
She said she believes that she has been an artist her whole life. When she describes what she means by this, she explains, “it is really a matter of how you think and see the world.”
It is this type of sensing, this artist’s perception, that has brought her to where she is now - an adjunct member of ceramics in the Art Department at Bethel College, as well as a teacher at the South Bend Museum of Art.
“Teaching, whether art or anything else, is really about helping students learn to recognize the questions to be answered, the challenges to be surmounted, and then developing strategies for doing that. Sometimes that means learning skills and techniques, but always it means developing the capacity for problem-solving,” said Kari when discussing her life as a teacher.
But she is a lifelong learner, too. Kari has recently been accepted to the Master’s of Fine Arts program at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Here she will focus predominantly on painting and drawing, as well as sculpture. Her excitement is evident when she talks about this program. “My MFA is an invitation to really crank up my thought processes to a higher plane, as well as my creative output,” she explained. “I've already got my plan in place and I am super excited to get started!” Kari will start developing her thesis work this coming summer.
Her passion for the arts also drove her to become engaged with the Snite Museum, first as a docent, and now as a member of the Board of Directors. In addition to being a Board Member at the Snite, Kari is President of Northern Indiana Artists, a signature member of the Hoosier Salon, and a member of Indiana Artists. Kari shared that she loves the Snite Museum, especially its robust outreach into the community through its family and school programming, including High School Day, lectures and artist talks, and receptions, which are free and open to the public and often include a musical offering as well. She said, “what a fantastic place to relax and contemplate, as well as a learning resource for all area and ND students, artists, and art aficionados!”
This relationship to Notre Dame is especially important to her. She explained that growing up in South Bend, Notre Dame was just a household word. Her father, Josh, was an ardent fan his entire adult life and was especially proud when Kari’s brother, Jeff Stieglitz, '81, graduated from ND. She shared, “my father always felt that Notre Dame brought honor to South Bend and that the two were locked in a partnership that greatly benefited the local community.” Sadly, Josh passed away just after Christmas this year. Kari, ever the artist, captured him in this portrait - where she was sure to include some Notre Dame colors - a few months before his death.
Joanne D. Fahey, Board of Directors