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Emmett Ramstad

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HomeArtistsEmmett Ramstad

Emmett Ramstad is an arts educator and sculptor who works as a teaching artist with COMPAS and at the University of Minnesota. Emmett teaches soft sculpture, fiber arts, wood working, found object sculpture, performance, printmaking, collage, bookmaking and professional development. Emmett’s goal as a teacher is to nurture creativity and critical thinking in his students, he believes all students enter the classroom creative, intelligent, and curious and his role as a teacher is to provide them with the right learning environment, curriculum and encouragement to help them build upon their inherent intelligence and to challenge them to think critically, interdisciplinarily and intersectionally. Merging his background in arts education and arts integration with his sculptural art practice, Emmett has led arts workshops in community centers, schools, and outdoor settings.

“The activities were always tailored to both their interests and abilities, and the students were very engaged. On several occasions students asked teachers to repeat the activity another day.”
— University of Minnesota Center for Child Development
In his sculptures, Emmett re-uses ordinary objects such as: worn toothbrushes, socks with holes, bathtubs and soap. He displays them in unexpected locations and sizes, encouraging the viewer to have a new relationship to products they frequently ignore. Emmett has exhibited artworks nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Rochester Art Center. He is a recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including the Jerome foundation, Franconia Sculpture Park and Forecast Public Art. He has worked as a set and costume designer and performer in contemporary dance productions and his work is in collections at The Minnesota Museum of American Art, The Weisman Art Museum, University of Michigan Library and more.

More About the Artist

Program Offerings

Residency

Re-making the Ordinary: Making Sculptures Inspired by Objects in Our Lives

In this lesson, students create oddly proportioned domestic objects such as toothbrushes, sinks, backpacks and chairs from cardboard. They are asked to consider objects they use on a daily basis that have melted into the background. Do they notice the sink when they brush their teeth? What did the chair look like that they sat on this morning? Utilizing artist examples, we will discuss how making sculptures that distorts the size and media of an original object draws attention to something that has been overlooked. This lesson plan addresses elements and principles of math, design, as well as foundations of visual art.

Workshops

Wooden Worlds

Who doesn’t like to create fantasy worlds? Or new worlds where we would like to live? Children and adults alike love to imagine a world of their own making. Using scrap wood pieces, cardboard, tape, glue, nails and recycled elements students will make miniature worlds on a rigid base and share their wooden world with the class.

Soft Sculptures

Using wool, wire and/or fabric scraps, students will combine soft and firm materials to create free-standing colorful, realistic or abstract creations. Students will learn the basics of creating an armature and how to weave, sew and combine fabric elements.

COMPAS Logo

“The activities were always tailored to both their interests and abilities, and the students were very engaged. On several occasions students asked teachers to repeat the activity another day.”

University of Minnesota Center for Child Development

COMPAS Logo

COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

Minnesota State Arts Board LogoLegacy Amendment Logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.