Lee Emma Running


Director of the Center for Prairie Studies

Lee Emma Running makes sculptures and drawings using roadkill animal bones, glass, paper, fabric, fur, raw pigments, and gold. Her training as a traditional papermaker allows her to manipulate materials and process as well as maintain the discipline of a fine craft. Her sculptures, installation and performance work are deeply connected to place.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, at the National Taiwan University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan, The Morris Graves Museum, Eureka, CA, The Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, IA, Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum, Cullowhee, North Carolina, The Front Gallery, New Orleans, LA, the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA, and The Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City, KS.

She has recently been an artist in residence at Ucross, The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, The Morgan Conservatory, Jentel, Penland School of Crafts, and the Santa Fe Art Institute.

In 2019 Running completed a temporary installation in the Governor’s Office of the Iowa State Capitol, and in 2018 a permanent installation at the Edgar Fine Arts Center at Upper Iowa University. She was a 2017 Iowa Arts Fellow, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since 2013 she has collaborated with Denise Bookwalter, the Founder and Director of Small Craft Advisory Press, to create artists books and installations that are held in numerous public and private collections. Their most recent book, Fashioning, was completed in 2019.

Her work is represented by Olsen Larson Galleries in Des Moines IA. Her BFA is from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY, MFA in sculpture from the University of Iowa, and was a papermaking apprentice to Tim Barrett at the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

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