Dawn Holder is a sculptor and installation artist who investigates various elements of landscape and their socio-cultural significance through ceramics, photography, and mixed media. Her work combines diverse influences, such as Minimalism, Eco-Feminism, the Necropastoral, and aerial photography, to create densely detailed work that is both visually striking and physically vulnerable.
Holder lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and is an Associate Professor of Studio Art in the Herron School of Art + Design, part of Indiana University Indianapolis (IUI). Holder teaches in the Ceramics area and currently serves as the Graduate Director of the MFA in Visual Art. Previous academic appointments include ten years as assistant and then associate professor at the University of the Ozarks in Arkansas and three years as ceramic technician and adjunct faculty at Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, in Connecticut.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Arkansas Arts Council 2015 Individual Artist Fellowship Grant for Sculpture and Installation, the Bagwell Outstanding Faculty Award in 2016 (University of the Ozarks), the Grand Prize at the 59th Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in 2017, and the Grand Prize at the 4x4 2018 Midwest Invitational Exhibition at the Springfield Art Museum. In 2019, she was awarded grants from the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program and the Arkansas Arts Council Sally A. Williams Fund. She has attended residencies at Red Lodge Clay Center, the Hambidge Center, Pentaculam at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, CRETA Rome, and Guldagergaard International Ceramics Research Center.
She has shown her work in galleries and museums internationally, including the National Museum for Women in the Arts (Washington, DC); Disjecta Contemporary Art Center (Portland, OR); the Zuckerman Museum of Art (Kennesaw, GA); the Zanesville Museum of Art (Zanesville, OH); and the Apple House Gallery at Guldagergaard (Skælskør, Denmark). Her work is included in the collections of the Historic Arkansas Museum and Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food. Holder’s work and her creative practice have been profiled in numerous publications, such as Arkansas Life and E-Squared Magazine, as well as in the book Women Make Arkansas: Conversations with 50 Creatives. From 2013-2017 and in 2023, Holder served as the Coordinator of Projects Space, a performative and installation-based exhibition of experimental ceramics at the annual National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts (NCECA) conference. She earned an MFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Georgia.