Exploring a range of topics from place to motherhood to wanderlust, Renee Couture’s project-based and research-responsive practice moves fluidly between media. She employs everyday objects and imagery to make her work approachable and enable viewers to engage with the ideas being presented and connect them to their own lives.
Couture graduated from Buena Vista University (Storm Lake, IA) with a BA in Studio Art and Spanish. She spent the next four years rambling throughout the United States and South America working a wide range of jobs from camp counselor to wildland firefighter to gourmet goat cheese maker, international backpacker to a bank employee. She moved to Oregon in 2004 after completing Peace Corps service in Bolivia, South America. She earned her MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts (Montpelier, VT), and then taught Fine Art for over a decade at Umpqua Community College, where she is on an extended leave of absence. Couture currently works for the Oregon Arts Commission as a Visual Arts Coordinator with the Percent for Art Program.
Couture's work has exhibited nationally in group exhibitions and as a solo artist. She has exhibited as a solo artist at Lane Community College (Eugene, OR), Chemeketa Community College (Salem, OR), Eastern Oregon University (LaGrande, OR), Minot State University (Minot, NE), The Brink Gallery (Missoula, MT), and The Wood Gallery (Montpelier, VT). Group exhibitions include Disjecta (Portland, OR), Tiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Whatcom Museum (Bellingham, WA), Work Gallery (Detroit, MI), and WomanMade Gallery (Chicago, IL), to name a few. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship and two Career Opportunity Grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, and two Project Grants from the Douglas County Cultural Coalition. Couture was a featured artist on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat, and has been granted residencies at Ucross Foundation (Ucross, WY), Djerassi Residency Artist Program (Woodside, CA), Jentel (Banner, WY), Playa (Summer Lake, OR), Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts (Nebraska City, NE), and Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT).
Currently, Couture lives on seven acres in rural southern Oregon with her husband, toddler daughter, and two dogs. She works out of a retrofitted 20-foot camper-turned studio space located in her garden.
Photo credit: Collin Bell