I am a multi-passionate artist working primarily with salvaged (recycled materials) to bring awareness to the environment and encourage others to make small changes to create a positive impact.
I create tactile artwork.
I could give you the cliche’, “My art is inspired by nature.” And it is. What truly inspires me is looking into the eyes of animals and wondering what they’re thinking and if they are as amazed by me as I am of them. I’m also inspired in the garden looking at all of the amazing colors and textures, and pulling weeds and transplanting to create a new space that will hopefully create a new and improved home for butterflies, birds, bunnies or bumblebees.
When I head into the studio, I think about these friends in nature. And like reaching out to the bunny, or planting seeds, my hands are fully engaged in the art materials. Sure, I use tools, paint brushes instead of spades, blades instead of rakes, but my hands hold and shape the clay that becomes the subject of a cast glass piece. Or I dip my fingers or hands in the paint and mush it around on the canvas (or glass panel). I may even use my nails to scratch subtle marks, or push pieces of powdered glass back into place.
So please, go ahead and touch my artwork. Experience it the way I do, with your eyes and hands.
Dori Settles is a child of the 70’s. Some of her fondest memories involve scented markers. Her undergraduate studies in Sign Language Interpreting, Communications and Linguistics also included several elective art courses. After working as an interpreter, and later a software test engineer, she “retired” to motherhood, and began to pursue creative endeavors as her two children became more independent. Settles’ love of arts & craft led her to renting a studio in the Hot Shops, and eventually she opened and managed an art space with a boutique gallery for three years.
Since closing the art space, Settles’ is continuously advancing her skills and techniques. She has taken workshops with several internationally recognized glass artists and painters and approaches much of her glass work scientifically, asking “what if”, and recording results. She pushes the known boundaries in hopes of discovering new ways to work with a very ancient material.
Settles is also known for her highly textural and colorful fiber art, which includes dyeing, painting and threadwork. Most recently, she has been working as a silversmith’s assistant and creates her own line of jewelry featuring glass, salvaged metal and often, with a focus on nature.
Her favorite animal is the elephant; they are highly intelligent, sentient beings with deep concern for others. Her garden is full of Nebraska-native perennials, and although it is full of Milkweed, she and her family rarely see Monarchs. Settles and her husband Jim, a blacksmith, collect vintage Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang memorabilia.
In late 2013, I was invited to reinterpret the sculpture in the center of Village Pointe in a temporary public art installation (see press release). That led to a second installation in 2015.
Forward a couple of years to 2017, I installed the Untitled Public Weaving Project as part of the Nebraska Surface Design Association Show at the Hot Shops. I collected recycled materials, purchased, but unused yarns and other miscellaneous fibers and doo-dads and left them out with the loom for the public to get involved in creating the piece. The piece roamed to the Apollon a couple months later allowing more members of the community to participate.
Omaha Girl Scout, Abbey Dyer, working on her Gold Project invited me to be part of her team to enhance the children’s area of a local food pantry. My role was to pull together a mural to cover roughly a 10×10 cubicle (on both sides as needed). I encouraged the scout to gather recycled paint and she secured donations of drop cloths, which I prepared for her and her friends to paint.
Later that year, the staff at Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy in Gretna asked me to create a “selfie wall” for their stable. Inspired by their horses and working with folks with different abilities, I chose to use one of their mini-horses, Shorty as my model.
Public Art takes a lot of energy and engineering, but I have found it is one of the most rewarding endeavors I can engage in as an artist.