SKU: Works by Joe Schaeffer

SKU: Works by Joe Schaeffer

Now – January 4, 2025

Visual Arts Center | Jerstad Gallery

Schaeffer’s work is deeply rooted in his background in graphic design. He intuitively employs ink, oil, acrylic and various other media to create pieces that evoke elements of calligraphy, typography and graffiti. A distinctive feature of his visual language is the use of black ink in his painting compositions, which lends a unique character to his work. 

The exhibition "SKU" delves into the concept of "stock keeping unit," a term commonly used by vendors to track inventory. This show explores the intricate relationship between the visual language of Schaeffer’s painting practice and his graphic design work within a commercial context. Drawing on his extensive industry experience, this body of work examines the intersections between commercialism and art, and its impact on the way art is perceived. 

Through traditional media, digital formats and environmental installations, "SKU" offers a thought-provoking exploration of the boundaries between art as an accessible medium and art as a product. Schaeffer’s work challenges the viewer to consider how commercial influences shape the experience of art, presenting a dynamic interplay between artistic expression and market-driven aesthetics.

Joe Schaeffer (b. 1990) is a distinguished graphic designer, artist and educator based in Sioux Falls. Born in Santa Barbara, Calif., Schaeffer’s artistic journey began early, influenced by the vibrant Californian art scene. Raised in Sioux Falls, he has deeply rooted his creative practice in the local community. 

Schaeffer holds a pivotal role at the University of Sioux Falls, where he serves as the Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Gallery Director. In these capacities, he not only imparts his extensive knowledge to aspiring designers but also curates thought-provoking exhibitions that highlight contemporary graphic design trends and innovations. 

In addition to his academic and curatorial duties, Schaeffer maintains a dynamic art and design practice, exploring the intersection of digital and traditional media. His work often reflects a blend of meticulous craftsmanship and innovative techniques, earning him recognition in both regional and national art circles. 

Committed to fostering a vibrant arts culture, Schaeffer actively engages with the Sioux Falls community through workshops, lectures and collaborative projects, aiming to inspire and mentor the next generation of creatives. 

 SD Arts Council   

South Dakota Arts Council support is provided with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.