Aaron Packard, Phyllis Packard, Ahna Packard & Klaire Lockheart | 75% Packard 25% Lockheart

January 22 - May 30, 2021

Visual Arts Center | Jerstad Gallery 

Curator statement:
Being an artist is, in many ways, like living on an island. You find yourself isolated from the norms, the capitalist structure and idealized success supported by material aspiration. It is a unique existence in so many ways often characterized as being an outsider. The Packard/Lockheart family offers an extraordinary opportunity to look at the professional work of several family members working as professional artists. The works are related in the sense of familial relationship, yet still exemplify the true complexity of artistic pursuit by remaining entirely unique. Looking deeply into the practices of four artists seeing how they relate and how they differ creates a sounding board for collaboration and comparisons rarely presented by family.

Several of the pieces displayed in this gallery are available for purchase. For more information, please contact the Visual Arts Center at 605-731-2493 or visualartscenter@washingtonpavilion.org.

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Klaire A. Lockheart is a feisty artist who uses traditional oil painting techniques to critique historical injustices in the traditional western art world. She has lived in South Dakota since she earned her MFA from the University of South Dakota, and she is currently the Artist in Residence at the Vermillion Area Arts Council.

Lockheart enjoys using the human form as a vehicle to communicate the agency of her subjects with viewers, especially since women artists were historically prohibited from studying live models and making historic paintings. In addition to addressing femininity and feminism within her artwork, Lockheart incorporates humor to make serious subjects approachable.

She also celebrates the accomplishments of women, and she is the South Dakota artist for the national Her Flag collaborative artwork. Her recent solo exhibitions include Feminine Attempts at the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, IA; A is for Apron at the Ritz Gallery in Brookings, SD and Ladylike Representations at Gallery 120 in Inver Grove Heights, MN. www.klairelockheart.com

Aaron C. Packard has scuba-dived in the desert, been lost and found his way in Tokyo, lived on nothing but room service and airplane food, been a Navy squid, spent a summer playing a pirate, flipped burgers for the rich, famous and flamboyant, been a bike messenger and has habitually hung off the back of motorcycles facing the wrong direction.

Before earning his MFA, Aaron began his photographic career in the time of film, Polaroid and chemistry, moving with the industry into the digital world. He has been a working commercial and editorial photographer in Southeast South Dakota since 2002.

Previously, Aaron had been a photographer’s assistant, producer and photographer in the commercial market of San Francisco, CA for 10 years. As an assistant he learned the commercial photographic industry from some of the best in the business and became highly sought after in the region. Along with his production of fine art work, Aaron continues taking commercial and editorial commissions. www.aaronpackard.com

Ahna Packard has over 20 years of professional experience and teaching in the entertainment design field. Her titles include film and television set designer, theatrical scenic designer and entertainment scenic artist. She received her BFA from the University of South Dakota and her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

The next destination was Hollywood. As a set designer for television and film, Ahna has designed for Paramount, Universal, UPN, ABC television, NBC television and FOX. Her credits include Castle Rock, Sleepy Hollow, MONK, Star Trek; Enterprise and Star Trek: Nemesis. For all the Trekies, she can proudly call herself an enterprise engineer serving as a set designer on the Enterprise NXO1. She created drawings for the warp engine, engineering and transporter among other sets.

As a theatrical designer, Ahna has designed for Omaha Community Playhouse, Nebraska Repertory Theater, Black Hills Playhouse and Crane River Theatre. As a scenic artist Ahna has painted for Broadway designers as well as Disney Theme Parks. Currently she holds a faculty position at University of Nebraska at Kearney. www.ahna-design.com 

Nature has played an integral part in my life, art and weavings for 50 plus years. For 20 years I lived in the tree-covered mountains of New England where the arms of trees protected my life being, so moving in 1968 to the South Dakota prairie was beyond extremely frightening. Exposure to the elements of wind, rain, sun and snow, when little protection is provided, was an extreme shock to my system. Eventually, I became entranced by the soft yet harsh textures, subtitle yet dramatic color changes, quiet yet dramatic flow of the plains. I began weaving while studying for my BFA at Syracuse University. I became a weaver when in Seattle, WA I purchased, for $200, an entire studio from an older woman who was downsizing. Arriving in South Dakota I began teaching fiber arts at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD.

Many years of weaving, teaching and then becoming a senior environmental specialist in waste management has provided me with a deeper view of our earth and understanding of nature and combine this into my pieces. I have always viewed the weaving process as the construction of  both canvas and image providing texture, depth and color. The need to experiment and push boundaries has been a part of my fiber art since I began in the mid '60s. First it was fiber sculpture eventually high relief tapestry, for the past 30 years portraying landscape and now rich texture and color tapestries. Each thread is a brush stroke. My intent is that the viewer is provided a window to my world. Weaving techniques have been an integral part of the human existence since Stone Age and a perfect avenue to portray our world. www.pwpackardwarped.com