Catherine Reinhart, an Osceola native, was awarded an Iowa Artist Fellowship by the Iowa Arts Council. This award on a normal year includes $10,000, professional development, artist talks around the state, professional head shots and workshops to advance art careers. Like most things this year, though, the award has to be a little different than normal.
This year the Iowa Iowa Arts Council is opening up their social media to Fellowships winners to use as a platform to share their work online. Reinhart took over the Iowa Arts Council’s Instagram page Feb. 12.
“So, I, as an Iowa artist and an Iowa Artist Fellow this year get this as one of the perks,” said Reinhart.
Reinhart has received some Arts Project Grants from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Education Association, her first in 2016 and another in 2019.
“I call myself an interdisciplinary artist and I work mainly with textiles doing fiber art,” said Reinhart. “And then I do what’s called social practice or socially engaged art. It’s sort of community engaged projects that get people involved. It’s art interactive.”
Reinhart uses discarded textiles and domestic textiles to make art. She uses a lot of old quilts or other fabrics and turns them into fine art that can be hung on the wall or sculpture work. She also does some photography and videography.
“The three main topics that I am centered on right now are domestic labor, connection and care,” said Reinhart. “Those are the three themes that I’ve been doing work most of my work about in the last 10 years.”
After graduating from Clarke, Reinhart went to Iowa State University majoring in studio art studying textiles and print making. She then went on to Kansas University earning her Mastor of Fine Arts degree in 2012.
“I consider myself a full time professional working studio artist but I don’t do 40 hours, it looks different being a mom.” said Reinhart. “I don’t get to work on my art full time but my kids will be starting school in the fall so I’m hoping to work in my studio more then.”
For the last eight years Reinhart has been a full time working artist and able to stay with her children so she had to work extra hard to find a balance.
While Reinhart is currently located in Ames she came home to Osceola and brought her community engagement art project with her a year ago with a Collective Mending Session called Care for Clothe and Community. She hosted a group session at the Osceola Public Library in February 2020 where a group of community members gathered to learn basic mending skills and build community through the shared task of stitching. An interactive resource library of instructional books and materials comes with the project.