Tamara Brantmeier
Tamara Brantmeier loves to garden
and go on long bike rides with her husband.


What's new in your field?

The ongoing conversation around painting really seems to center around how the methods of “making” are freely pursued, crossing paths with sculpture, poetry, film, music, performance, design, publishing, craft and fashion. Thus painting becomes a conduit — a way to make contact beyond the traditional frame of formal invention. The conversation with my painting students centers as much on the "how" as it does on the "why" of painting in contemporary art.

Why do you love teaching, especially at UW-Stout?

Teaching at UW-Stout lends itself — obviously — to hands-on learning. However, working hands-on in and of itself is not enough and why I love teaching at UW-Stout is that my art and design students have a wealth of liberal arts, technology and other courses from which to choose (general education) to become extraordinary and engaged citizens and lifelong learners. I impress upon my students that “doing” is only part of becoming well-rounded  — that learning theory, reading, embracing cross-disciplinary influences and grappling with difficult question/problems is integral to becoming a collaborative and passionate creative professional. I am incredibly proud to work among such a dynamic faculty across campus.

What’s your favorite teaching memory, moment or student?

I've got many, many stories to tell. As a "mama-bear" who loves her students and shows it, I have many ongoing mentor-mentee relationships with past graduates. Recently, a student I had as a freshman was accepted into graduate school at Hunter School of Art and Design in New York. Pang Vang, a first-generation college student and McNair Scholar, was on my radar from the first time I met her in Drawing I. She is fierce in her commitment to learning, her high expectations of self and others and her love of engaged, creative problem-solving as well as the dialog that surrounds creative research and practice. She has taught me much and is realizing more and more how significant she is in the world.

What’s interesting about you that your students might not know? 

They might be surprised by the fact that I miss working in restaurants and waiting on tables. I was really great at it and loved working high-end dining, learning about people, food, cooking and wine. I've also been to see more live bands than many people have in a lifetime. I spent most of my 20’s seeing live music four to five nights a week.

If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?

I'd love to interview Anselm Kiefer, a German painter/artist. His work poetically addresses the worst in humanity in a tacit, tactile, vivid manner. His work expresses much about Germany's brutal past and celebrates the simplicity and beauty of fields of wild flowers.


Five Questions

About Tamara

» Faculty Profile

Title: Associate professor; director of School of Art and Design

Teaching focus, expertise: Painting and drawing

Background: A native of River Falls, Wis., she was a first-generation college graduate. In 1991 she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and fibers from UW-River Falls. She lived and worked for five years as an artist in Minneapolis and then earned a Master of Fine Arts in 2000 in painting from the University of Minnesota, with the goal of teaching in higher education. She taught part time for two years at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul and received various grants, fellowships and artist residencies. She began working at UW-Stout in 2003. In 2010 she was appointed program director for the B.F.A. in art and was integral in the development of the five B.F.A. programs now offered by the School of Art and Design. She was awarded a sabbatical in spring 2013 and produced a new group of large oil paintings.

Family, hobbies: She is married to Michael Dayton and they have a son, Ruben. Mike is a classical oboist who is principle with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. He also plays with Vocal Essence and other Minnesota choral and orchestra groups. Ruben, 8, is planning on becoming a "scientist-geologist." He collects rocks and other natural items and loves to bike and run. Brantmeier is an active gardener who is slowly turning most of their lawn into perennial and vegetable gardens. Distance cycling also is a big hobby for her and her husband, and she has taught spinning classes over the years, most recently as part of the UW-Stout cross country team's cross-training.

September 2014