Tracy Ostmann Haschke– b.1969 773-805-1368
As a native of rural Missouri, Tracy’s artistic roots grew from a family of craftsmen and artisans—wood workers, clock makers, furniture builders, pottery makers and painters. After receiving her B.F.A. from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1992, and Best in Show in her senior exhibition, Tracy received a grant and merit scholarship from The Art Institute of Chicago to attend the Post Baccalaureate certificate program. In Chicago she completed her first private, public art project for the St. Louis Metro Link station which she completed in 1993. During this time she exhibited her work in several small venue galleries including Red Trike Gallery, owned and run by Brian Bonebrake. Curator and artist Michael Hernandez de Luna included her work in several group exhibits including Sum ten Fishy, The Creature Show, The Velvet Show, and The Red Show. All which were exhibited at the Donnelly Building’s Caffe Baci restaurant. Tracy participated in The Art Institute of Chicago’s annual fundraiser Barewalls from 1997-2007. She contributed two floating sculptures to Flo-Tilla in 1995 and 1997 curated by Dennis Callahan, Luke Dohner. In 1998 she began exhibiting with Eastwick Gallery in Chicago. She continued working on 3D projects Including an 8ft. Piranha for The John G. Shedd Aquarium’s lake taxi, A portrait of Martin Luther King made out of Jelly Belly candy for The University of Pennsylvania, several Jelly Belly mosaics for Jelly Belly Candy Co. and Warner Brothers, and a mosaic constructed out of nuts for Harvest Manor Nut Co. in Ohio. In 2013 Tracy create and installed a 5’ by 30’ wall of legumes for the new Art and Soul Restaurant in Washington, D.C. Throughout her painting career Tracy ran a decorative painting business from 1998 until 2008 called Studi-O. In 2008 Tracy was the first artist to exhibit twice in the history of the University Club of Chicago. She has received a CAAP grant award and 1st place at the Wells Street art fair in 2016. Recent shows include Women Made Gallery, Edra Soto’s The Franklin and Marlene Krygowski’s GAG Tracy currently lives and works in Chicago’s E. Garfield park neighborhood in the Carroll Avenue Arts District with her husband and two children.
I have worked to combine and consolidate the most distinctive and positive aspects of my work thus far in my career. My resulting body of work is emotional, visceral, and abstract. Moved by the rewards and challenges that characterize my own experience as an urban mother, informed by my observations of others navigating the contours of city life, my work reflects activities that might go unnoticed. Each painting is a “snapshot” of these fragments in time. Considered together, the series blooms into a narrative of our modern family experience, a moment between mother and child, and husband and wife, or a bike ride on the street, a walk to the park. I manipulate images I see coming through the paint. I am working from rough composition sketches, the paint becomes more in control than I. The painting process then becomes more spontaneous and intuitive.
I work in oils, acrylics, and drawing materials such as charcoal and graphite. I work my canvas with many layers of thin color, building the surface. I utilize the oily attribute of the medium to my advantage by manipulating it with various solvents. This allows me to keep certain areas of my paintings, and layer over others, working the layers back and forth.
My subjects are inspired by characters in my life or a passing stranger with whom I’ve only glanced at. Sometimes my subjects are presented in groups, In the painting I titled The Difference Between Wanting it all and Having it all, The leader is positioned in the front, she directs, while the middle figure is often the assistant, lastly the third figure represents the support, the “optomist” side of things. Representing roles women play.
Artists who have influenced me throughout my career include Pierre Bonnard, Alice Neel, Max Beckmann, Elmer Bischoff, Joan Mitchell, Gerhard Richter, Isabelle Bishop, and Marlene Dumas.