Miki Baird

not clara's weft and warp...between earth and sky by Miki Baird

Miki Baird (American, b. 1949)

not clara's weft and warp…between earth and sky, 2012

Archival pigment prints

18 x 12 in

Kansas native Miki Baird began her career as an artist working with heavy metals such as iron, steel, and bronze. She moved on to use polyurethane and silicone rubbers and then to broken objects and paper. Looking, collecting, archiving, printing, deconstructing, and reconstructing characterize Baird’s practice. She is known for her three-dimensional works that she believes exist somewhere between sculpture and painting. Baird’s not clara's weft and warp…between earth and sky is part of a body of work that recontextualizes photographs taken on daily walks and during the artist’s commute to her Kansas City studio. To document the landscape and sky, the artist mounted a DSLR Canon Rebel camera with a telephoto lens to her car window and, with an external shutter release, took photos of movement and stopped traffic. Within these photographs, Baird searches for what she calls “jewels of color” that the naked eye cannot see.

Projecting slightly from the wall and spanning diagonally, the wide curving bands of Baird’s composition are formed from discrete sections of small repeated photographs. These images intersect and weave, almost like fabric or fiber — an influence the artist attributes to a family history of working with textiles. Not clara's weft and warp…between earth and sky reminds Baird of the hook rugs made by her grandmother, Clara, named in the work’s title. Baird added a “human touch” to the composition — two painted slivers of red peeking through small voids between the bands of photographs. The artist calls them “a little wink at the humanity I felt like should go into it.”


Miki Baird grew up in western Kansas. She received her BFA (1997) and MFA (2000) in sculpture from the University of Kansas. A resident of Kansas City since 1987, Baird has exhibited work locally, nationally, and internationally. From 2000 to 2007 Baird taught sculpture and interdisciplinary arts at the Kansas City Art Institute. Baird’s work is held in private, corporate, and museum collections, including those of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

— Aubrey Burgess, BFA student in design at the University of Kansas, April 2019

KU School of Business Art Collection