Cuplomacy.org is a vehicle of communication, documentation and an archive for all projects connected to the research for
Cuplomacy: Function, Form and Mediation;
an exhibition, residency and lecture by North Dakota artist Michael Strand at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT in May, 2011.
Michael’s practice over the past two years has focused on concepts of benevolence and mediation. His projects utilize functional hand-crafted ceramic ware, which through common and/or shared use, create actual physical social networks.
Michael straddles the line between journalist, social-scientist and activist potter. The work for Cuplomacy questions and seeks answer to issues of public and private accessibility, the relationships between religious and political factions, and the deployment of art and craft in culture through art delivery systems that create bridges of communication. He approaches all of these processes with the optimism that humanity has great potential to prevail over the destructive division that exists today.
After 20 years away, Michael returned to his nordic roots, and lives and works in Fargo, North Dakota with his wife Michelle, and their two young sons Malcolm and Ian. Strand returned home to accept a position as Department Head and Professor of Art at North Dakota State University.
Michael served as the first Education Director at the Lux Center for the Arts in Lincoln, NE, where he established the education program, the residency program, and founded the Art of Fine Craft conferences which continue today.
Recently Michael’s work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Nebraska Art which includes over forty works completed in 2010 at his NDSU studio. Michael also founded Artstimulus.org which houses documentation of his 2010 projects in Dwight, NE and Dwight, ND which gifted hand-made cups to underserved rural communities.
Michael’s work can be found in several private and public collections including: Hilton Hotels International, General Mills Corporation, New York, Kirov Ballet Company, Russia, Alleluia! Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fort Meyers, FL, St. Cloud State University, MN, University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the City of Omaha.