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310 Riverside Drive NE
ST. Cloud, MN 56304

(320) 259-9240




Claire Witt Artist's Biography

Claire Witt PortaritClaire Witt grew up in Syracuse, Nebraska. She had a unique beginning in a class of twelve farm children who attended a one room schoolhouse that had a storm cellar and no electricity or running water. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1979, with a Visual Arts Degree specializing in sculpture. She worked as a furniture repair person, taught in the Michigan Migrant Program, and at an alternative high school.

In 1988, Witt quit her job as a program coordinator at the City of St. Cloud, cleaned out a corner of her basement and started the Children’s Art Studio. Still in operation, this teaching studio continues to provide superior art education to children and adults.

Working with the Minnesota Dept. of Education’s Rural Minnesota Art Expansion Program in 1989, she wrote one of the first multi-disciplinary projects in the state, ?Landscape Tradition: Drawings in the Dirt?, which used art to teach local history and ecology. Witt implemented the program as an artist-in-residence in twenty-three rural Minnesota schools. It was also adopted in Novosibirsk, Siberia (Russia) School 103. While on sabbatical in 2001, Witt studied religious folk art and portrait painting in Vera Cruz, Mexico. She traveled to Barcelona, Spain in 2003 to study the work of master architect, Antonia Gaudi. That same year Witt traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to visit anti-apartheid memorial sites and better understand the leadership of Nelson Mandela and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. She recently worked in Ravenna Italy studying traditional mosaics from the fourth century.

After 9/11, Witt created The Blue Sky Project: Public Made-Public Art. Her first project, “El Portal de los Milagros: Doorway Into Hope? helped young children talk about loss and resolution. Over 1500 people have contributed to eight different Blue Sky projects.

Currently, Witt and her two sons, Larry and Karl Brink, are working on a community-based project called Sweetspot Bike Racks. Their goal is to make new bike racks from cast-off bikes providing a “sustainable way to re-use your ride?.

© 2011 Claire Witt. All rights reserved.