About this Artist
Katie Wheat Pernu has spent most of her life teaching others about art. She holds a degree in Art Education from Northern Arizona University and achieved National Board Certification as an art teacher. For over 20 years, Katie was a full-time art teacher who also worked as an artist. In 2015, she embarked upon an important shift by becoming a full-time professional artist who also teaches.
Working predominantly in glass and mixed media mosaic, she has recently completed a series based on ordinary people who have faced adversity with grit and guts and done amazing things. All of us see what others do in tough situations and it inspires us to persevere. Life is hard but it is also beautiful and joyous. This contrast that runs through the lives of all people is her current inspiration.
In addition, Pernu has been focusing as much on the reflectivity of glass as on its transparency in her recent works. Artwork that contains mirror fragments and designs built within mirrors, bring you, the viewer, right into the picture. It is not an accident that so much of her work is created on vintage and antique surfaces. She is a product of a family who reused, repaired and passed down items touched by those who came before. These items have a sense of history that Pernu finds comforting. They bare scars as we all do but they are here, and they still work. Not one of us gets through life unscathed, but we persevere. We keep working.
A woman of extremes, Katie still visits her hometown of Phoenix in the summer (highest temperature experienced- 122 degrees) and has spent the last two Februaries at her cabin in Ely, MN (lowest temperature experienced – negative 39 degrees F).