Year Graduated: 2018
Mikayla Tuttle was born on March 29, 1996, and lived in Aurelia, IA for her entire childhood. She took art in middle school and showed a clear talent, but did not continue with it until the end of her high school career. She had never considered a career in the art world until her senior year of high school, when not only her family, but her high school art teacher encouraged her to continue and pursue an art degree. While in high school, Tuttle operated a small, personal photography business taking photographs of all kinds for family and friends. She began her pursuit of a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts specializing in Photography at the University of South Dakota in the Fall of 2014 and plans to graduate in May of 2018. During her time at school she has had several works selected to be shown in the juried student Stilwell art show on campus and has received both a Provost Purchase Award (2016) and an Honorable Mention (2018). She also had her work shown in a sculpture exhibition Elements (2017) at the Exposure Gallery in Sioux Falls, SD. Tuttle made the decision during her first year in undergrad to redirect her career path from operating her own photography studio to working commercially; producing images for advertising and stock photographs. She continues to take photographs for family and friends, but will focus primarily on her commercial photography after graduation, and will be producing fine art photography by commission.
All of my current work focuses on capturing the unseen beauty and detail found in everyday life and objects, particularly in decomposing iron pieces. The images are found composition studies based primarily in shape, form, and texture. I originally worked with pure process, digital photography, but since starting the program at USD, discovered a love for film and manual manipulation of the images. Currently, I am utilizing the historic photographic process Van Dyke Brown, combined with drawing in both graphite and colored pencil, to bring focus to certain details of the images. My interest in the Van Dyke Brown process is that it uses an iron based emulsion, which relates to my imagery of iron radiators. I originally was inspired to start this series when asked to really look at the world around me for another class. Furthermore, my experience in sculpture and interest in iron pours helps to inform the content for my work. My own drawing style also affects the final appearance of the photographs as the final product has been abstracted by the addition of hand drawing directly on top of the image. Due to this final step in the process, each finished piece is completely unique. While I do continue to be involved in the iron pour process and community, this series of images helps keep me tied to that interest, while allowing myself to explore it in a different way. I hope that my work influences people to stop and really observe the world around them, as I was encouraged to do.