Ries Niemi is an Industrial Artist.
He was born in Spokane Wa. in 1955, and has lived in Seattle,Halifax, Los Angeles, and now in Edison Wa. And Buenos Aires Argentina.
He maintains a studio capable of making just about anything.
He has always made stuff, and not been too concerned about what category it falls into. Lasagna, a hat, or a 20 foot tall sculpture. Art, craft, or dinner, its all the same to him.
Ries has been showing humorous, ironic and pointed sculptures, prints, and unclassifiable objects in art galleries since the early 70's. He has a long history of solo and group shows, and is collected widely.
His mother taught him to sew in about 1968, and he has been making things from cloth and yarn and thread ever since, some you can wear, some you cant. He was a member of the notorious wearable art group, friends of the rag, for many years.
In 2005, he bought a computerized embroidery machine, and learned to create his own designs on it. He has been embroidering on paper, plastic, cloth, and anything else that will fit in it ever since, showing his embroidery work in museums and galleries around the country.
Starting in 1978, he has been involved in all scales of public art, working with governmental bodies, non profits, developers, architects, businesses, and private individuals.
Budgets have ranged from zero to $400,000.
Notable projects have included the Seattle Mariners Baseball Stadium, the Downtown Los Angeles Public Library, and Del Mar Station, a light rail stop on the Gold Line in Pasadena California.
He has always made functional things, from halloween costumes to door handles. Although he has produced everything from candlesticks to sideboards, he is most well known for his chairs. Over the years he has made literally hundreds of chairs, in dozens of different designs.
He is married to artist Sheila Klein, and has two sons, Torque and Rebar.
Although he attended college several times, it didnt take.
Schools attended include The Evergreen State College, The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Los Angeles Trade Tech.
– Ries Niemi