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Elise Marie Martin is an inter-disciplinary artist based in Detroit, MI, USA. She seeks to make work which encourages engagement and interaction, while questioning our relationship with objects. Martin received her BFA from the College for Creative Studies, and her MFA from Wayne State University. Her studio practice is complemented by her work in art education and art-based community programs. 

Artist Statement

As a maker of objects, I have become very interested in the power of objects to influence behavior or mediate relationships. In my studio practice I try to create interactive sculptural works that tiptoe the line between passive object and active participant. I have for a long time been interested in the social behaviors that connect us, such as empathy, intimacy, comfort, loss and anxiety; I try to manifest connections between myself and others through the objects I create. Thinking about my work in this way has led me to many different materials and processes within my studio practice. I often gravitate towards tactile materials that seem to invite interaction and encourage engagement.  I am particularly drawn to the familiar domestic art and slow handicraft practices, materials and processes that inherently show a lot of care and attention. I then seek to push those processes beyond the conventional means of production, altering things just enough to create an uncanny experience and subvert the viewer's expectations of how an object should behave.

Awards and Residencies:

2021 Artistic Merit Scholarship, Wayne State University, Detroit MI

2021 Artist in Residence, Mission Street Arts Jemez

2021 Art in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic Mini Grant Recipient, Wayne State Department of Arts and Humanities, Detroit MI 

2020-2021 Wayne State University Graduate Research Assistantship, Detroit MI

2019-2020 Wayne State University Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Detroit MI 

2019 Touchstone Center for Arts and Crafts Scholarship Recipient, Farmington PA 

2019 Spoonflower Student Project Grant Recipient 

2018 Best in Show Award, 96th Annual All Media Exhibition, Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor MI 

2017-18 Teaching Artist Residency, ProjectArt and Detroit Public Libraries, Detroit MI 

2016 Teaching Artist Residency with Mt. Clemens Public HS and The Anton Art Center, Mt. Clemens MI 

2015-19 Artist in Residence at Fortress Studios, Detroit MI 

2012- Gastatelierprogramm Artist Fellowship and Residency at ATELIERFRANKFURT, Frankfurt a.M. Germany

Select Exhibitions:

2022- SHARING SPACE, A2AC Gallery, Ann Arbor MI

2022- An Observation of Comfort Objects, Collective Behaviors, Detroit MI

2022- INBODY/EMBODIED, WSU Art Department Gallery, Detroit, MI

2022- Don't Sleep on Detroit, site specific installation and clothing line launch, New York, NY

2022- Pineapples!  Public Pool Art Space, Hamtramck, MI

2021- Work From Home, The Scarab Club, Detroit, MI 

2020- RAW International MFA Exhibition, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 

2020- Excellence in Fibers, The Scarab Club, Detroit, MI 

2020- All Media Exhibition, Detroit Artist's Market, Detroit, MI 

2019- Durable/Flexible, Popps Packing, Hamtramck MI 

2019- First We Shape the Tools, Then the Tools Shape Us, Corktown Studios, Detroit MI 

2019- Michigan Glass Project, The Russel Industrial Center, Detroit MI 

2019- Annual All Media Exhibition, Detroit Artists Market, Detroit MI 

2019- Night of 1000 Cocks, Public Pool Art Space, Hamtramck MI 

2018- 96th Annual All Media Exhibition, Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor MI 

2018- Making Spaces Home, Black Box Gallery, Dearborn, MI 

2018- Lemons!, Public Pool Gallery, Hamtramck, MI 

2018- Contemporary Portraiture, Black Box Gallery, Dearborn, MI 

2018- The Residence, Holding House, Detroit, MI 

2018- Exhibitchin, Public Pool Gallery, Hamtramck, MI 

2018- Re/VEIW: A CCS Alumni Exhibition, Valade Family Gallery, Detroit, MI 

2017- Lounge of Saturn, Popps Packing, Hamtramck, MI

2017- Einfuhlung, Hatch Art/Cafe 1923, Hamtamck, MI

2017- Millennial Musings- Caroline Del Guidice and Elise Martin, Hatch Art, Hamtramck, MI

2017- Fortress Studios Residents' Exhibition, Cass Cafe, Detroit, MI

2017- Michigan Annual XLIV, Anton Art Center, Mt. Clemens, MI

2017- 8bit, Whitdell Arts, Hatch Art, Hamtramck, MI 

2017- Tunnel of Love; Into the Portal, Pikes Gallery, East Pointe, MI 

2017- Michigan Annual XLIV, Anton Art Center, Mt. Clemens, MI 

2016- Detroit Beinalle, MONA, Armada, MI 

2016- Women; an Art Exhibition, North End Studios, Detroit, MI

2016- Faculty Exhibition, Anton Art Center, Mt. Clemens, MI 

2016- CUPS, Detroit Artist Market, Detroit, MI 

2016- Re/VEIW: A CCS Alumni Exhibition, Valade Family Gallery, Detroit, MI 

2016- AND ONCE UPON A TIME: FAIRYTALES, FABLES, & MYTHS, Ellington-White Contemporary Gallery, Fayettville, NC 

2016- Women; an Art Exhibition, North End Studios, Detroit, MI 

2015- LOT (Lack of Tranmission Toronto), Lansdowne, Toronto, ON and North End Studios, Detroit, MI 

2015-The Selfie Show, Museum of New Media, Troy, MI 

2014-Dlectricity- Nighttime exhibition of Art + Light, Detroit, MI 

2013- Issues With Empathy, North End Studios, Detroit, MI

2012- Han(ds) Sel(f) (re)Gret All, Atelier Frankfurt, Frankfurt a. M, Germany

About the Artist: Bio


"Scarab Club opened a new show this week, Work from Home: Voices on Identity and the Domestic. Among the varied work are soft sculptures by Elise Martin, who created a series of vessels out of stiffened clothing. The way the material sags and flops, proving to be poor at their job of being a kettle or pitcher, is engaging. Like putting a toddler in formal wear, the effect is charming because we know it is destined for ruin. The richly colorful materials are in contrast to the materials we Michiganders wear, particularly in the winter, making these feel exotic or from another time period. They are satisfying in their absurdity. "

-Art Workers Local #7, January 2021

 Review by Chris Schnieder


Summer 2021

Learn More
About the Artist: Press
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