Steven Lemke was recently named associate director of The Saint John’s Pottery and Environmental Artist-in-Residence at Saint John’s University, beginning June 1. The announcement was made by Richard Ice, provost at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.
This leadership role is responsible for a wide array of administrative, educational and artistic duties ranging from studio management to program direction to grant writing, particularly to expand the Pottery Studio’s capacity to design, develop, administer and support environmental arts education. Through leadership and program development, this role proactively provides student-centered educational enrichment.
Lemke uses sculpture, installation art and digital fabrication to speak to themes of architectural production. Following curatorial work in London, Lemke apprenticed with artist Richard Bresnahan and oversaw The Saint John’s Pottery and Jerome Foundation Environmental Artist Fellowship, an artist residency program in partnership the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Lemke has received funding from the U.S. Department of State, College Art Association, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Central Minnesota Arts Board, the McKnight Foundation, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.
A 2008 Saint John’s graduate magna cum laude, Lemke received his Master of Fine Arts degree in 2019 from the University of Notre Dame, which accepts only one sculptor a year in its MFA program. He also received the Riley Prize in Art History and Criticism, Notre Dame’s highest award for arts writing.
In addition, Lemke served as an instructor at Notre Dame, and his teaching acumen was recognized with the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ Honorable Mention for Excellence in Teaching – a first for a Notre Dame educator.
While teaching, due to his proposal writing and award successes Lemke was recruited to work in Notre Dame’s Office of Grants and Fellowships, where he was part of a small interdisciplinary team that brought in over $4 million in student research funding annually.
Most recently, Lemke was awarded a 2019-20 U.S. Fulbright Research Fellowship in Sculpture, examining the relationship between folk architecture, modernist housing and identity in the former Czechoslovakia. He was the first graduate student at Notre Dame to receive a Fulbright in the visual arts.
Lemke is currently a visiting assistant professor of sculpture at Auburn University.