Alexandra Ackerman

Alexandra Ackerman

Iowa City, IA


Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1973, Alexandra grew up a keen observer of the natural world from a young age. She first learned to paint in the wet-on-wet watercolor style at the Waldorf School at age eight, and has continued her exploration until the present, maintaining a childlike freedom in her work. Focusing on the ethereal aspects of nature, her forms are evocative of leaves, seeds, eggs, sprouts, wind, and waves. She began her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and ultimately earned her BFA in painting and printmaking at Massachusetts College of Art, where she explored a variety of mediums, often incorporating fabric and found objects into her work. She was an active member of the Minneapolis art and music community for nearly a decade before moving to northern Wisconsin. For the past ten years she has lived with her partner and two children in Iowa City, working out of her studio downtown. She has participated in numerous group and solo shows across the country, and her work is in the permanent collections of UIHC and ICPL. Two of her paintings were recently on display at the Iowa State Capitol in the Governor’s office. She leads watercolor workshops locally, and her cards and prints can be found at Prairie Lights Bookstore.


Artist Statement

I have found beauty and inspiration in the places I have lived and worked, from the shores of the Great Lakes, New England vegetable farms and my own backyard garden. Art is the language I use to express the joy and curiosity I experience in connection with nature, in the simple wonder of watching things grow. My mission as an artist is to bring color, playfulness, and positive energy into homes and public spaces, and to encourage others to look at the world with fresh eyes. During the pandemic I shifted my focus away from watercolor and began cutting and gluing fabric and other materials onto wood and paper. It felt therapeutic and grounding to use tactile materials in combination with paint. My recent body of work documents an attempt to find calm and balance in a time of extreme uncertainty. These collages and mixed media paintings are inspired by folk art, aboriginal art, quilts, and abstract expressionism.

Alexandra Ackerman, Castle of Memories, 2023, Acrylic and mixed media on wood panel, 24" x 18" x 1"