AK Garski was born in Minnesota and was raised in the rural town of Hastings. They combined their passion for art and feminist theory by double majoring in studio art and women’s studies at St. Catherine University (SCU) where they earned their Bachelor of Arts, graduating magna cum laude. During Garski’s time at SCU they received a number of awards recognizing their achievement in the studio art program and the women’s studies department including two Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women awards, the Peter Lupori Studio Art Scholarship, as well as The Catherine G. Murphy Friends of the Gallery Award, among others.
Garski was accepted into San Francisco Art Institute’s Dual Degree program in 2013. That same year they were awarded the Helen B. Lemmer Memorial Award by SCU, which recognizes outstanding students who intend to pursue a professorial position on the college level. Garski obtained their MFA in painting in 2015 and was one of only two Dual Degree students who obtained their MA in history and theory of contemporary art in 2016. Garski has had an active role in The Women’s Art Institute, a summer intensive studio course held at SCU, and became co-instructor of the program in 2016. In 2019 Garski was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. They are currently working towards their solo exhibition at The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery in 2021.
Garski’s artistic practice and academic research focuses on gendered looking relations, the symbology of ‘the mirror’ in Western visual culture, and queer theory. In May of 2018 Garski publically came out as non-binary. They remain in solidarity with women and continue to have close ties to women’s institutions.
“I do not identify as a woman. I identify with women because I lived as one for many years and, as someone who is now openly non-binary, I continue to share an experience of patriarchal oppression alongside women.”