BiographyElizabeth Papenfuss was born in 1971 and graduated from Luther College with a BA in art in 1993. She earned her MFA in painting and drawing from Idaho State University in Pocatello in 1995, and during that time also served as a community education instructor through the Pocatello Schools for K-6th after-school and adult community art classes. She returned to Luther as a visiting assistant professor of art during spring semester 1997, and again during January and Spring terms 2000. From 2000-05 she was adjunct assistant professor in the art and design department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She also taught art for a year at Lake Superior College in Duluth.
Papenfuss has received significant recognition for her art. She is the recipient of both a Career Development Grant and an Artist Fellowship Grant from the McKnight Foundation and the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council. She has been selected to serve as an artist in residence at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Arts in Red Wing, MN; the Stonehouse Residency for Contemporary Arts in Miramonte, CA; the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT; and twice at the Jentel Artist Residency in Banner, WY. Her work has been exhibited in several regional and national shows, including the Northern National Art Competition at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, WI; the Great Plains National Annual Exhibition at the Moss Thorns Gallery at Fort Hayes University, KS; and the Fred Wells Annuals at Nebraska Wesleyan College in Lincoln, NB, to name just a few. She has been featured in one-person shows at the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls, WI; Hudson Hospital in conjunction with Phipps Galleries in Hudson, WI; and the Duluth Art Institute in Duluth, MN, among others. Collections with her work include Wagner Zaun Architecture in Duluth, MN; Hudson Memorial Community Hospital in Hudson, WI; and the Stonehouse for Contemporary Arts in Miramonte, CA; along with several individual collections.
Her painting, Red Wing, was completed when she was in residence at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Arts in 2005. Beneath it is another work, Waltzing Matilda, which served as an under-painting for Red Wing. Red Wing was included in “Celebrating Connections: Forty Years of Artistic Dialogue,” a 2008 exhibit at Luther College that featured the work of Douglas Eckheart and selected alumni artists on the occasion of Eckheart’s retirement from teaching at Luther.