Bio / Statement:
Hi, I’m Stacey Combs (AKA stace of spades), a freelance artist + illustrator living in South Minneapolis. I’m self-taught, but have had a little help here and there. I enjoy good food, music, travel, grungy ink line work, and walks (of any length) on the beach. 75% of the time I work while listening to classical renditions of video game soundtracks.
Much of the work that I do is portraiture. While I do make a fair amount of fan art, I often work with themes of environmental and social justice, drawing attention to unfairness and outdated social norms. Looking at my work, it might seem that I draw inspiration from the darkness in life. While that may be true, it all comes from a place of compassion and appreciation. I try to shine light on, and even make light of, that darkness when I can... which is really the best that any of us can do.
My gouache body positive portraits have been an ongoing project— paintings of real women, femme-identifying, trans, non-binary, and genderqueer people... works that contribute to the normalization of actual bodies. I hope that the more nipples, cellulite, and body hair we see, the less weird feelings we'll have around it all (on ourselves and others).
I enjoy making gouache and watercolor landscape paintings based on my travels. Curaga, however, makes up the bulk of my nature-themed work. This body of work has been built upon a foundation of scholarly research in an effort to draw connections between threatened species in the midwest. “Curaga” is a powerful cure-all spell in the Final Fantasy video game franchise. It restores a great amount of health to all members of the party. Humanity and nature are deeply intertwined, and in this sense every bit of life on Earth is of our “party.” At a time when it’s health is so critical, it falls squarely on our shoulders to be good stewards of the land and to protect and preserve what we are still fortunate enough to have. Since there is no cure-all spell, we must rise to this task. By beginning to cure ourselves within, and not exploit, nature, we just may be able to keep the world as we know it turning for a while longer.
The rest of the work you see here is just for fun. :) Thanks for reading!
Stacey / stace of spades
Featured photos © Kara Dupre Photography 2018.
for more information,
or submissions to mY body positive series:
2019 Art Heals: stace of spades, Wellness Minneapolis, Minneapolis MN
2019 stace of spades, Glam Doll Donuts, Minneapolis MN
2019 stace of spades, Pizza Lucé, Minneapolis MN
2018 Curaga, Farm Table Foundation, Amery WI
2018 stace of spades, Salon Ori, Saint Paul, MN
2017 The Art of stace of spades, Nighthawks Diner, Minneapolis MN
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2019 Spitting Image, Eagan Art House, Eagan MN
2019 Honestly, Tho, Prøve Gallery, Duluth MN
2019 Unicorn Art Show 5, Artspace Jackson Flats, Minneapolis MN. Hosted by
The Otherworldly Arts Collective.
2018 I Don’t Own This, The Show Gallery Lowertown, St. Paul MN. Featured Artist.
2017/18 Raging Art On, Gamut Gallery, Minneapolis MN
2017 Small Paintings, Red Wing Arts Association, Red Wing MN (juried by Sally Johnson of Groveland Gallery)
2017 Sq2 [Squared], Gamut Gallery, Minneapolis MN (curated by Cassie Garner, artist and gallery co-owner)
2017 Norseman Art Show, Norseman Distillery, Minneapolis MN
2017 WTF! A Feminist Art Exhibit, Studio 3 West & Prøve Gallery, Duluth MN
2019 Thorpe, Emily. “Meet Our #WCW Stacey Combs,” Do You Endo, February 20, 2019.
2018 “Meet a Creative: stace of spades,” Blackbird Revolt, 2018.
2017 Corey Atkins, “stace of spades,” Commune, June 29, 2017,
2019 Spot Illustration, Growler Magazine
2019 Aotearotica Vol. 6, ‘Zine. February 2019.
2017 Goopy Geezers, ‘Zine (curated and published by Alex Gitlin AKA Perineum Stew)
2019 Poster Illustration + Design, Jillian Rae
2018 Album Artwork, Fort Wilson Riot
2018 Poster Design, Blackbird Revolt
2018 Poster Design, Catbath
2018 Poster Design, Caydence Records & Coffee
2017 Merchandise Design, Carnage the Executioner
2017 Animated Illustration, Commune
2017 Logo and Merchandise Design, Private Oates
2018/19 Bizarre Bazaar, Betty Danger’s, Minneapolis MN
2018/19 Open Casket, Casket Arts, Minneapolis MN
2018/19 Powderhorn Art Fair, Minneapolis MN
2018 Craftstravaganza, Minneapolis MN
2017 No Coast Craft-O-Rama, Minneapolis MN
2017-20 Made By Hands, Bauhaus Brew Labs, Minneapolis MN
SELECTED PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
San Francisco CA