elaine buss


Elaine Buss grew up in rural Lively Grove, Illinois in a wide-open space populated by fields and gardens. She holds a BFA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University. Elaine has received many awards and grants, including the Global Gateway Grant from Ohio State University and an ArtistInc Fellowship from the Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, Missouri. She has completed many residencies, including Odyssey ClayWorks in Asheville, North Carolina and c.r.e.t.a.Rome in Rome, Italy. Her thesis exhibition, Wander | Wonder, was awarded Best in Show in the International MFA Exhibition hosted by University of Montana. She lives with her favorite human and two fluffy cats in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is currently a Career Resident at Belger Crane Yard Studios.

artist statement

"My work is in service of understanding the incorporeal aspects of my experience as a living body. I seek to understand these two registers of being separately but, also, together. I hope to grasp how the intangible and empirical can exist in the same space, giving respect and credence to each other, while still maintaining their autonomy.

My work resides in an in-between, ambiguous, indeterminate space. Ambiguity interests me for how it presents a slippery, indefinable quality. Inhabiting the in-between, ambiguity is both/and; it is also neither. The indeterminate often results in more questions than answers. It eludes parameters, like the depths of the ocean or the limitlessness of the cosmos. These spaces are sublimely vast, yet we know more concrete information about them than we do the condition of our own ontology.

I am interested in the "everything-ness" of simple forms. The circle is often the foundation of my formal choices. It represents wholeness and infinity through its form and geometric symbolism. I often contrast durable and impermanent materials in my installations and sculptures; one is everlasting and the other is temporary. Through my work, I find similarities between ambiguity and mystery to my own ineffable experience as a human."