Monica is a clay artist who works primarily with porcelain. She is well-known for her playful, wheel-thrown functional wares as well as her large-scale, abstract wall installations. Born in 1961 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she started working with clay as a young child, and is the daughter of artists: her mother was an architect and her father a painter. Rudquist attended Macalester College in St. Paul where she worked with notable ceramicists Gail Kristensen and Ron Gallas.
She continued her studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art where she earned her MFA while working with Jun Kaneko. After her graduate studies and upon her return to the Twin Cities, Monica joined the Women’s Artist Registry of Minnesota (W.A.R.M.) where she exhibited her first large-scale wall installation. Since then, she has exhibited widely across the country in group and solo exhibitions as well as at regional art fairs. Her work has been featured in several publications including Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Art and Perception and the Room and Board catalog. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections, including the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota History Center and Life Source of Minnesota, which has the largest permanent installation of Rudquist’s work on display at their headquarters in Minneapolis.
Rudquist is active in the local art scene as co-president of Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists (MNWCA), and a founding member of Northern Clay Center. She has taught at various institutions in the Midwest and is currently Assistant Professor of Ceramics and Sculpture at St. Catherine University.
As an artist and maker, thrown objects (such as bowls and cylinders) are my starting point—they ground me in the tradition of functional wheel work. Through the process of throwing, altering and abstracting these familiar forms, I reimagine and reinvent the shapes and the spaces they inhabit. Working on the wall I can change the way they are interpreted. The composition of Spiral Sunflower grew organically, inspired by my garden flowers and their individual patterns. In both my functional and sculptural work I seek to create opportunities for slowing down, looking closely, and finding the space and time for reflection.