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  • Erik Maakestad
  • Split Image
  • 1998
  • Wood and brass
  • 73 x 33 x 25 inches
  • Windgate Museum of Art Collection

Erik Maakestad earned a bachelor’s degree in Ceramics from Central Washington University (CWU) in 1978. He earned an MA in Mixed Media Construction from the same university in 1981 and then graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1983 with an MFA in Ceramics.

After graduation, Maakestad held a variety of assistant professor positions, including at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Mount Serano College in Wisconsin, and Bradley University in Illinois. Maakestad joined the Hendrix faculty in 1998 after finding a job posting online. He wanted to teach in the Mid-South, and both the college and campus seemed like a perfect fit.

As a professor, he taught a variety of courses on three-dimensional art forms, including sculpture, art furniture, and both wheel thrown and handbuilt ceramics. Maakestad says his favorite part of teaching at Hendrix was the students, with whom he could work from their freshman to senior year.

Maakestad retired from Hendrix College at the end of 2019. He now lives on Petit Jean Mountain in Conway County, Arkansas, where he continues to practice sculpture, watercolor, ceramics, and furniture crafting. He recently built a shed for firewood and tools, in addition to starting a productive garden for the first time in a long time.

Maakestaad created Split Image while working through what would later become a divorce; the sculpture’s divergent ends mirror two lives moving in separate directions. He milled wood for Split Image with a homemade chainsaw mill, hoping to create a beautiful work from substandard or rejected wood. Maakestad milled the ash from a cull tree, which he cut down on the farm where he grew up in Minnesota. He milled the walnut from a tree destroyed by a tornado.