~~Dar Eckert is a recent graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, receiving a BFA in 2013 for sculpture. A lifelong interest in ceramics is evident in her current body of work that also reflects her love of nature with a political influence. Working in raku fired ceramic she creates installations and sculpture using hand-built forms and pieces using root-like pieces formed into natural objects and fabric. Some of Eckert's sculptures utilize hundreds of pieces created individually then assembled into earthy and politically charged work. Eckert has received awards from The Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, American Swedish Institute, and Savage Arts Council.
In 2010, the lure of ceramics won and I left my previous profession to return to college to study for a degree in the art field. Engineering drawings gave way to drawing classes and studying environmental rules were replaced by studying art history. I have never regretted taking this bold step. Now, through my work, I can can address environmental issues or political ones, giving me a voice that I never had before. Ceramics has always been a love of mine but after taking a 3D foundation design class, sculpture became my goal. In my current practice, I use both ceramic skills and sculpture skills to create politically charged sculptures and nature oriented ceramic vessels. I now use raku fired ceramics for both sculptures and vessels. Finding a way to use ceramics in sculpture has always been a challenge to me which is culminated in my recent work. Climate change,gun violence and habitat and species loss are all topics that I have addressed through sculpture. Regional flora and fauna is typically the inspiration for my ceramic vessels but through mountain hiking experiences I also been inspired to produce vessels depicting flowers of mountain meadows. In the future, I see myself continuing along the same trajectory producing both vessels and sculpture as I find that together they are a passion that fuels my creative fire.