Frankie Flood

Totem: Necklace and Water Medallion

Medium/Materials: Anodized aluminum, powder coated aluminum, Lexan, stainless steel, Lake Michigan water

Dimensions: 12 x 5 x 2 inches

Year: 2015

Artist Statement: 

The necklace and water medallion, Totem was commissioned by UWM Chancellor Mark Mone to commemorate his inauguration as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. The Ojibway meaning for the word Milwaukee is gathering place [by the water] and I sought to represent Milwaukee through the use of a water chamber [which contains water from Lake Michigan] that is machined from Lexan and then “set” or captured by a golden stylized starburst medallion form. The city of Milwaukee and the outlying region is depicted in a laser engraved map of Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee region on the backside of the medallion’s water chamber. Totem represents the people of UWM; alumini, current students, faculty, andstaff that are building and creating together.

Artist Biography:

Frankie Flood is an Associate Professor and area head of the Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design area at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Flood previously served as Director of the Digital Craft Research Lab at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and for eleven years served various roles in the Department of Art such as Director of Foundations, area head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing program, and Coordinator for the BA in Digital Fabrication and Design. Flood is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he received his Master of Fine Art degree in Metalsmithing.

Frankie Flood’s interest in machines and tools and the influence of his working class upbringing is a source of inspiration for the functional objects that he creates. Flood exhibits his work nationally and internationally and his work has received many awards and has been published widely. The potential that Craft has to serve local and global communities through design and fabrication has been the focus of Flood’s recent research as he continues to combine traditional craft practice with digital technology. His recent research regarding 3D printed prosthetics and one of a kind adaptive devices has spread worldwide and his creation of the Digital Craft Research Lab has created new areas of study for students interested in digital fabrication.

Within the last five years Frankie has been granted $135,000 in personal and educational grant funding by the National Endowment for the Arts, the UWM Digital Future Grant, The Mary Tingley Grant (Greater Milwaukee Foundation), The UWM Graduate School Research Committee, and The Peter S. Reed Foundation for his research in digital technology for the production of art. In addition, Frankie was recently awarded a UWM Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award to recognize excellence in teaching.