Scott Wolniak is a multidisciplinary artist, teacher and occasional curator based in Chicago. Working in a variety of media including drawing, sculpture and animation, his work uses humor and phenomenology to present everyday life within a cosmic context. Wolniak utilizes the open-ended theoretical models of landscape and the artist’s studio to produce relational works, which range from opulent fields to cartoonish figuration. Immersion in the environment or the studio can be equally pleasurable and overwhelming, cathartic and laden with responsibility.
Wolniak began his teaching career at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Since then, he has taught across media, developing curriculum for classes such as Conceptual Drawing, Collage, and Experimental Animation: Exploring Manual Techniques. Wolniak won the Janel M. Mueller Award for Excellence in Pedagogy in 2014.
Wolniak launched Screen Share Video Gallery at the University of Chicago in 2016 as a platform for student work in Video, Animation and New Media. He founded and directed Suitable Gallery between 1999 and 2005. An alternative exhibition space located in Wolniak’s residential garage, Suitable provided important early exposure for many significant artists.
Scott Wolniak has exhibited or screened his work at the Elmhurst Art Museum; the Art Institute of Chicago; MCA Chicago; devening projects and editions, Chicago; White Columns, New York; Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee; the Chicago Underground Film Festival; and the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany, among others. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Art News, USArt, the Chicago Tribune, and New City, and is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, MCA Chicago, Video Data Bank, and the Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee WI.