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Iris Kumar Professor
Visual and Performing Arts

Iris Kumar

Contact Iris Kumar

I am a Professor and Chair of the Department of Visual & Performing Arts. I have an MA in Art and an MFA in Printmaking with a minor in Ceramics from the School of Art and Art History at University of Iowa. My BFA is in Printmaking and Ceramics from the School of Art and Architecture at University of Michigan.

My area of expertise is in traditional intaglio and lithographic printmaking. I also love to explore new materials and techniques through combining printed imagery from both digital and traditional sources with painted imagery on canvas and carved wood. I am a member of Full Tilt Print Studio a professional print shop. I have exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally in Germany, Republic of Macedonia and Japan. 

In my current body of creative work, I strive towards communicating how natural cycles of the world correspond to life experiences. I take what I know, what I have learned from living with a chronic illness and translate it into a more universal language that steps outside of my experiences. The work focuses on capturing various stages of growth and renewal within an environment that exhibits elements of decomposition and decay. Ambiguous landscape serves as a metaphor for human experience – growth, the elusiveness of life, illness, death, and hope.

Gourds, leaves, hands, and flowers are dichotomous symbols of healing and the resiliency of life or of deterioration and the fragility of life. I am attracted to the aesthetic form of these objects because of the transformations they undergo in distinct stages of growth and deterioration. They can be awkward, elegant, and even grotesque. To check out my work you can visit my website at