Dan Anderson's ties to the Midwest are represented in his architectural forms of rural America. He was born in Minnesota and attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Anderson’s studies and passion for both art education and ceramics led him to serve as the head of ceramics at Southern Illinois University, where he taught for thirty-two years (1970-2002). He remained in Illinois after his retirement and now works alongside wife and fellow artist Caroline Bottom Anderson at their studio in Edwardsville. Dan Anderson's studio work examines ceramics as a medium for contemporary sculpture, while often focusing on industrial tools and machines, such as water tanks, cooling towers, and oil cans.