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Ellen Mueller

Director of Programs

Pronouns: she/her


[email protected]

Headshot of a smiling person of light skin tone with brown hair pulled back, wearing small circular earrings and a green turtle neck sweater.
Photo Credit: Katie Howie

Ellen Mueller (she/her/hers) has been working at Arts Midwest since 2022 and is the Director of Programs. Before that, she was the director of various programs at both public and private institutions of higher education. 

At Arts Midwest, Ellen spends her days directing and implementing a portfolio of regional arts programs in collaboration with a stellar team of program managers. These programs include World Fest, We the Many, Ideas Hub, National Leaders of Color, Jazz Road, and other programs in development. She works with Communications and Development to collaborate on promotional campaigns and reports for all programs. She does this by using communication and assessment skills that she has gained in her time leading departments at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Ellen has also published three textbooks: Elements and Principles of 4D Art and Design (2016, Oxford University Press), Remixing and Drawing: Sources, Influences, Styles (2018, Routledge Focus), and Some Social Practice (2020, Creative Commons). Currently, she is under contract with SUNY Press for a forthcoming book, Walking as Artistic Practice (expected 2023). She also founded the CAA Conversations Podcast in 2017 and works as a freelance artist-career coach. Ellen’s contributions to Arts Midwest include helping facilitate the creation of the Programs team.

A little more about Ellen:

Ellen’s favorite thing Arts Midwest does is the Ideas Hub because it is a treasure trove of incredibly useful well-researched information for both organizations and individuals. 

Ellen’s favorite Midwestern artist is Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota) whose work was recently featured in the 2022 Whitney Biennial. She is creatively energized by walking and biking outdoors, especially near bodies of water.

When Ellen isn’t working, she can be found in her art studio developing new bodies of work. Ellen ​​has exhibited nationally and internationally as an interdisciplinary artist exploring issues related to the environment, hyperactive news media, and corporate management systems. She creates experiences that engage with social and political issues through drawing, collage, sculpture, video, zines, and other socially engaged works. Mueller has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and Puffin Foundation. Artist residencies include Ucross Foundation, Santa Fe Art Institute, NES Artist Residency in Iceland, Ox-Bow, Signal Culture, Playa Fellowship Artist Residency, and Künstlerhaus Lukas in Germany (full scholarship).

You can connect with her on LinkedIn, or on her website.