Mayme Kratz’s work is emblematic, standing at the intersection of her life and her artistic practice. Possessing a deep love of the natural world, she has hiked and camped in many of the wild places and National Parks of the Southwest. These desert walks renew her sense of awe in the face of the enormity of the landscapes, the ephemeral radiance of its harsh environment and the delicate calibrations of these fragile ecosystems. They also provide her with material: seedpods, insect wings, cactus roots, bleached animal bones, leaves, grasses and flowers. Carefully organizing these organic elements into shapes, patterns and compositions, she casts them in polymer resin.
Her work immortalizes and celebrates that which we all too often dismiss as detritus and reveals a luminous beauty in the ignored, overlooked and stepped-on. Her precise formal designs lead the viewer to contemplate the infinitely large, calling to mind the cosmos of stars and planets, as well as the impossibly small, alluding to cellular and crystalline structures. It is at once deeply personal and utterly universal.
Kratz apprenticed with artist James Hubbell in San Diego in her early twenties but is largely self-taught, having spent decades developing and perfecting her techniques. She was awarded the Arlene and Morton Scult Contemporary Forum Art Award by the Phoenix Art Museum in 2010. Selected collections include Phoenix Art Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art, and San Jose Museum of Art.