Dulcee Boehm is an artist, organizer and an advocate for contemporary art in nonmetropolitan areas. Through the use of video, performance and sculptural works, she applies a critical academic lens to rural life. She has exhibited her artwork in a variety of contexts - ranging from the Krannert Art Museum in Champaign, Illinois to an old cattle barn in Grinnell, Iowa. Boehm has also co-organized several programs including Beyond Alternatives in 2018, a symposium on artist-run projects outside of large cities in the United States.
She worked for many years as a staff member at Ox-Bow School of Art & Artist Residency where she received a Fellowship in 2010, and later received her MFA at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, Boehm received funding from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts for her work with collaborator Ruth K. Burke. Boehm was a Visiting Professor at Grand Valley State University from 2018-21, and currently is the Curator of Visual Resources there in the Visual and Media Arts Department.
A Selection of Dulcee's recent work:
In Heaven, Love Comes First
In Heaven, Love Comes First focuses on the ways both human and non-human bodies are presented at county and state fairs. From people to pie, fairs have hosted competitions for over 100 years in the United States to hone agricultural productivity and promote shared farming methods. Simultaneously, fairs are intensely social, locally idiosyncratic and include traditions worth both celebration and critique. Through video, almost-familiar sculpture, and installation, fairs are looked at closely as rich and complicated cultural institutions.
Boehm and Burke work alongside theoretical contexts in animal studies, materials studies, and question the often-gendered preparations and presentations of bodies at fair. Both artists attend to fair culture with a sense of humor and a critical lens, from the perspective of having lived experiences in 4-H and showing horses in the Midwest. To reference the spectacular qualities of fair the artists acutely focus on materials and display tactics ordinary to the space of arenas, judging tables, and fairgrounds. The works reveal personal traditions and materials as peculiar, feminized, and flamboyant in presentation and application. Boehm and Burke are interested in the various forms of work and participation at the fair; by visitors and competitors, humans and animals alike.