Miss Art World North Dakota 

Klaire Lockheart

Photo by Aaron Packard

March is Women’s History Month, which makes it the perfect time to announce Miss Art World South Dakota. Vermillion artist Klaire A. Lockheart was crowned Miss Art World South Dakota, a title bestowed upon her by the original Miss Art World Katherine J. Cooksey.

The Miss Art World South Dakota coronation occurred in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre at the University of South Dakota on March 10th. Despite the importance of this event, the ceremony was closed to the public due to COVID 19 precautions. Lockheart was honored to receive her Miss Art World title on the campus where she earned her MFA in Painting.

“I am elated to represent our state as Miss Art World South Dakota,” Lockheart declared. She continued, “Women are vastly underrepresented in the art world, which is why I strive to create impactful artwork and share it publicly.” Lockheart is well known for creating representational oil on canvas portraits that address gender identity and feminism while incorporating her sense of humor. Her newest paintings are currently on display at the Washington Pavilion, in Sioux Falls, SD. She also creates fiber art to address the concepts of women’s art and women’s work.

For the coronation, Lockheart created her gown with gold fabric she printed by hand. To make the original printed pattern, she made props and costumes for plastic dinosaur toys so they appear to fulfill the traditional roles of artists and models. The wearable art features a raptor photographer and a spinosaurus painter. After photographing the scenes, she used the silkscreen process to transfer her design to the fabric. Lockheart will sometimes use dinosaurs in her artwork as an analogy for the perseverance of women because she said, “Women have been fighting for equal rights since the dawn of time.”  

The Miss Art World title originated from Katherine Cooksey, who is a conceptual artist from the

Los Angeles area. She specializes in performance art, and she’s the host of the Miss Art World Podcast. Cooksey stated, “Miss Art World is a lifelong performance piece which is voiced through a variety of artistic mediums.” She earned her MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. After becoming Miss Art World, Cooksey declared, “I use this title throughout my work to question the dominating ideologies of beauty fused with the disturbing and obsessive struggle to obtain it.” Her artwork blends femininity and feminism together, and her performance record includes: Art Basel Miami, Gallery 825 in LA, and DeKalb Gallery in NY.

While Lockheart and Cooksey create very different and distinct artwork, they’re both contemporary artists who work diligently to celebrate women and uplift other artists. Women are traditionally undervalued in the art world, which is why Lockheart is proud to become Miss Art World South Dakota during Women’s History Month.