Litchfield, MN native Dana Sikkila received her Master of Arts in Printmaking as well as her Non Profit Leadership Certificate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. At just 32 years old, Sikkila has been named as one of the most well-known creative leaders of Southern Minnesota, developing and executing numerous grassroots cultural project and programs throughout the state. Still based in Mankato, she concentrates on her studio practice as well as being Executive Director of the 410 Project Community Art Space, as well as holding studio art and education adjunct professor positions at Minnesota State University, Mankato. You can find Sikkila's name leading and directing independent projects such as Project Bikeand M.A.C. Public Access Program. Since 2014 Sikkila has served as a board member for the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, Minnesota Citizen's for the Arts, as well as a Grant Review Panelist, and Artistic Evaluator for the Minnesota State Arts Board.
First known as a visual artist, Sikkila's practice combines printmaking, sculpture, and site specific installations with an impressive sense of scale and playfulness that push new ideas of contemporary art. Her work has been viewed and discussed all over the state in places such as the Minnesota Museum of American Art Project Space, Macy's Department Store, Hennipen Theatre Trust, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Children's Museum, and Ridgewater Colleges in Hutchinson and Willmar Minnesota.
Over the past seven years of being Director of the 410 Project she's introduced numerous art programs and special events for both children and adults to help strike creativity, positive self esteem, and art awareness in all of Southern Minnesota. Besides these duties Sikkila has received numerous awards including 2017 Women's Center and President's Commission on the Status of Women's “ Women's Courage and Vision Award”, Mankato Free Press 2016 “Outstanding Woman in Business”, 2015-2016 Art Educators of Minnesota "Distinguished Service Outside the Field" Recognition, 2015 Mankato's YWCA Young Woman of Distinction, and featured artist on PBS's Off 90 in 2017, and Post Cards, Pioneer's PBS Art TV Program in 2016.
My work displays through visual repetition, the obsessive relationships between a woman and her best friends, whom she can not live without. Objects, insects, and animals provide her companionship, creating coves of comfort and ease. Her personal honesty motivate the work, depicting the absence of self control within the female mind. Animals and objects begin to take on human characteristics and interact in unconventional domestic situations built inside the white-walled gallery. Through printmaking and large scale installation the viewer is confronted with these obsessive natures. Repeating images move from wall to wall, showcasing a larger form deriving from one single shape. These installations overtake the vertical surface, turning atypical tendencies into a humorous, almost adorable mental mess; which represents the psyche, conjuring these problems onto thousands of pieces of paper and products.