Born in 1953 in the suburbs of Chicago, Carla Stetson grew up in a house next to the railroad tracks on the outskirts of urban development. The Midwestern border ecology of urban encroachment on remnant prairie had a large impact on her childhood and continues to be reflected in her work.
She attended Kansas City Art Institute in the early 70s working in performance art and installation, documenting this work in photographs and video.
In 1987 Stetson moved to Minnesota, settling in Duluth for over 20 years. There she created three large-scale public sculptures for the City of Duluth along with many other artworks and installation projects. She is best known for creating the Clayton Jackson McGhee Memorial, (2003) the first large-scale memorial to victims of lynching in the United States.
In 2008, Stetson relocated to Ithaca, New York, to take a job as Professor of Art at Ithaca College. She currently works out of a large renovated barn studio/home on top of a hillside, where she lives with her partner David Hopkins.
Brief Resume of Exhibitions
Natural Histories, Anderson Center for the Arts, Red Wing, Minnesota. Solo
Aerial Reconnaissance, Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. Solo and collaborative work
Confluence/Confluencia, collaborative installations with Cecilia Ramon, and individual works. Duluth Art Institute, Minnesota
Ornithography, Gallery at Found, Ithaca, New York. Solo 2010 Cecilia Ramon and Carla Stetson: Flight, Concordia University St. Paul. Two-person show
Three Ways to Fly, Duluth Art Institute, Duluth, Minnesota. Solo
Other Witnesses; Great River Arts Gallery, Little Falls, Minnesota. Solo
Carla Stetson, New Work, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina. Solo
The Red Line, Downtown Rock Hill, South Carolina. Solo installation
Skins of Ice and Other Thin Layers, Wood Gallery, Vermont College, Montpelier, Vermont. Solo
The Red Line, North End Art Center, Superior Wisconsin. Exterior installation. Solo
A Bird in the Hand, Recent Work, J Pepper Art Gallery; Knife River, Minnesota. Solo 2003
The Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial: Public Art/Community Healing, Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, Minnesota. Solo
The Secret Pattern of Things, Duluth Art Institute, Minnesota. Solo
Sewing/Sowing Time, Intermedia Gallery, Minneapolis, Art-in-Space Program. Solo installation
Everywoman Heart Stand Up, Wall Street Gallery, St. Paul, Minnesota. Two-person show with Julie Lemon
Carla Stetson and Ann Finholt, Bethel College Gallery, St. Paul, Minnesota. Two-person show
Salad Extraordinaire, Jim Leedy Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri. Two-person show with Cathy Logan
National and International Juried Group Exhibitions
Wide Open, Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition, Brooklyn, New York. Juror: Carrie Springer, Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of Art
Mirror Images, Kreft Center for the Arts, Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jurors: Gloria Pritschet and Rocco DePietro, co-directors of Gallery Project, Ann Arbor
Fourteenth International Open Exhibition, Woman Made Art Gallery, Chicago, Illinois. Juror: Laura Anderson Barbata, Professor, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, México
The Horse, Kinlaw Library Gallery, Asbury University, Kentucky Juror: Dr. Linda Stratford, Associate Professor of Art, Asbury University
Mirando Al Sur, Woman Made Art Gallery, Chicago, Illinois Juror: Dolores Mercado, Associate Curator at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, Illinois
Quilts=Art=Quilts, Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, New York Jurors: Rosalie Dace, Durban, South Africa; Kerr Grabowski, Sussex, New Jersey; Margo Mensing, Saratoga Springs, New York
Collage and Assemblage, Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, New York Juror: Director of Schweinfurth Art Center.
National Photography Exhibition, Main Street Gallery, Groton, New York Juror: Andrea Inselmann, curator at the Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York
Artists-in-Residence Exhibition, McColl Center for Visual Art, Charlotte, North Carolina. Curator: Ce Scott
The Political Woman, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois. Juried by Carrie Secrist, Carrie Secrist Gallery and Christy Hefner, Playboy Enterprises.
Regional and State Juried Group Exhibitions
Made in New York, Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, New York. Jurors: Richard Kegler, founder and lead designer at P22 type foundry, and Western New York Book Arts Center; and Sydney L. Waller, Independent Arts Consultant and Curator, and past executive director of Sculpture Space in Utica, New York
Inspiring Thousands, Roberson Museum, Binghamton, New York. Jurors: Kathryn Niles, Professor of Art, Binghamton University and George Dugan, Professor Emeritus, SUNY Cortland
Southern Tier Biennial, Olean, New York. Jurors: Marie Via, Director of Exhibitions of the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY and Gerald Meade, independent curator and arts writer, Buffalo State College
MAC Picks, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Minnesota. Juried by Robert Bowman, education director of the center
Arrowhead Biennial, Duluth Art Institute, Minnesota. Juror: Laurel Reuter, Director of the North Dakota Museum of Art
Arrowhead Biennial, Duluth Art Institute, Minnesota. Juror: Christi Atkinson, Associate Director of Education, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Annual Juried Exhibition, MacRostie Art Center, Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Arrowhead Biennial, Duluth Art Institute, Minnesota, Juried show.
Annual Juried Exhibition, MacRostie Art Center; Grand Rapids, Minnesota Juror: Peter Spooner, Curator, Tweed Museum of Art
Art in a Cold Climate, Tweed Museum of Art; Duluth, Minnesota. Jurors: Patricia Canelake, artist, and Valerie Jenson, Professor of Art, College of Visual Arts
Minnesota Women ’80, Warm Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota Juried by Professor Susan Lucey, University of Minnesota
Women Artists ’77, University of Missouri, Kansas City. Juried by artist, Miriam Shapiro.