Amy Rice’s studio is filled with light from her large windows, even on a cloudy December day. Her sixth floor windows reveal an amazing view of Northeast Minneapolis and the Lowry Bridge. She watched the bridge appear on the skyline, and admits that she was surprised and delighted the first time the Lowry Bridge lit up, tearing up with her intern in the moment.
Amy Rice works full time as an artist, and is represented by Groveland Gallery. She has taken advantage of being on the top floor of the California Building with its high ceilings by adding a storage loft, making it “The Tallest Studio in Northeast.” She works mornings and evenings in the studio, her schedule dictated by her dog Pumpkin.
She is truly a mixed media artist, utilizing printmaking, paint, ink, stencils, and collage. She showed us her collection of unique materials that felt like treasures. Among these were boxes of old handwritten love letters, a vintage 4-H scrapbook, and her Gocco printer— a miniature Japanese printmaking toy from the 70s that is no longer in production. She takes estate sale hunting seriously, as these sales are a huge resource for her creative process.
Her background in farm life is evident in the imagery of her paintings. She grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm, her love of drawing developing alongside a passion for rural life. After getting her degree in sociology, she started her own farm, meanwhile continuing to make drawings from her farm surroundings. She found that these drawings sold better than her vegetables at the farmer’s market, and decided to focus on her art.
These influences are clear in her colorful paintings, which often feature flowers, farm animals, and figures in pastoral settings. The binding thread throughout her work is a sense of whimsy and nostalgia, a personal aesthetic that is also reflected in the setup of her studio space.