NCECA ANNUAL RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
H i story
Th e Burde ns of
The exhibition documented through this catalogue is produced by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in cooperation with Visual Arts Center of Richmond and Glave Kocen Gallery.
ÂŠ 2020 NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without prior permission of the publisher. Exhibitions produced by NCECA concurrently with its 54th annual conference are supported in part by a grant from the ArtWorks program of the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts is deeply grateful for this support and that of other donors. The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts advances creation, teaching and learning through clay in the contemporary world. Ceramic art connects us to physical and cognitive experiences that foster environments of cultural equity, diversity, access, and inclusion. Front cover photo: Nadia Myre, Untitled (Tobacco Barrel) Right: Elizabeth M. Webb, Cameo Ground (Children of Paradise), detail Catalogue Design: Candice Finn Projects Manager: Kate Vorhaus
VISUAL ARTS CENTER OF RICHMOND | MARCH 20 – MAY 31, 2020 GLAVE KOCEN GALLERY | MARCH 1 – 31, 2020
VISUAL ARTS CENTER OF RICHMOND Jennifer Ling Datchuk Woody De Othello Nicki Green Raven Halfmoon Issac Logsdon Elizabeth M. Webb GLAVE KOCEN GALLERY
CURATED BY ANNA WALKER
Elissa Armstrong Lisa Marie Barber Emily Bayless Jeremy Brooks Larry Buller Andréa Keys Connell Kelcy Chase Folsom Teri Frame Alina Hayes Dawn Holder Akiko Jackson Roxanne Jackson Peter Christian Johnson Qwist Joseph Lauren Kalman Varuni Kanagasundaram Wansoo Kim Nikki Lau Steven Young Lee Matthew Mitros Nadia Myre Adams Puryear Joann Quiñones Lauren Sandler Mike Stumbras Steven Thurston Mary Cale Wilson
Photo left: Roxanne Jackson Delft Punk (Right Paw), detail
The Burdens of History does not claim to represent every voice but instead seeks to broaden the narrative of ceramics history by featuring artists and artworks that both celebrate and critique the field. The origin story of American Studio Ceramics starts with the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill, signed into law in 1944, and the opportunities it afforded soldiers returning from World War II, many of whom went on to study and later teach ceramics in academia. The structure of the bill, much like other laws, disproportionately benefited white soldiers over soldiers of color and as women’s roles in the military were limited at that time, very few were eligible for the funding.1 Thus from its founding, the field was structured to benefit a white, patriarchal system. In 1961, Rose Slivka published “The New Ceramic Presence,” an article claiming ceramics as deserving of status alongside painting. Slivka structured her argument around a description of this moment in ceramics as being particularly American and from the “only nation in the history of the modern world to be formed out of an idea rather than geographic circumstance or racial motivations.”2 To modern ears this statement rings false, disregarding and eliding the colonial, slaveholding history of the country, and the attempted eradication of indigenous populations spurred by the idea of manifest destiny. Slivka describes the climate of beauty in America as “a climate which not only has been infused with the dynamics of machine technology, but with the action of men —ruggedly individual and vernacular men (the pioneer, the cowboy) with a genius for improvisation.”3 Tellingly, all but one work depicted in the article were pieces created by men. Today, more than 50 years removed from these early beginnings of studio ceramics, artists are reconsidering these origins and choosing to assert and affirm their voices as part of a wider discourse. Many approach ceramics history with a longer view, one that encompasses the material history of adobe, the practices of indigenous ancestors, or the economic and political implications of the ceramics trade from centuries before American Studio Craft’s post-war moment. Others question the gender implications of this era of ceramic art’s founding myths. Throughout, bricks play a prominent role. And not without reason -- they have a long precedence in the field, playing a critical role in establishing many of the programs that feed the field of studio ceramics. The Ohio State University and the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University both founded programs at the turn of the 20th century that included specializations in ceramic engineering and the material science of clay alongside ceramic art making. Much of the early coursework centered on brick making. That so many of the artists in The Burdens of History use bricks is fitting: they are building a new future for contemporary ceramics, by resetting the foundation brick by brick. Herbold, Hilary. “Never a Level Playing Field; Blacks and the GI Bill.” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 6 (Winter, 1994-1995). pp. 104-108. Herbold describes the inequity of the GI Bill largely due to its administration by individual states rather than by the federal government, thus widening the gap between whites and people of color who received these benefits especially in the Jim Crow South. Additionally, the segregationist principles of many institutions of higher education effectively disbarred a significant number of black veterans from earning a college degree as the GI Bill was in place prior to Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. 1
Slivka, Rose. “The New Ceramic Presence.” Craft Horizons, vol. 21, no. 4, July/August 1961, pp. 31.
In February of 2018, Nicki Green presented Dismantling the Patriarchy One Brick at a Time: Voulkos and the Changing Landscape of Ceramics at UC Berkeley – or – SOFT BRICK at the College Art Association conference in Los Angeles. She described wrapping felt around bricks from a kiln built by Peter Voulkos, an artist known for a culture of machismo in the classroom who after benefitting from the GI Bill, went on to teach in academia.4 Brick is also used as a term for a trans woman who doesn’t pass. As a trans woman herself, Green considers an alternative to the dominant studio ceramic history. She asks the bricks, “You were created to absorb all the heat and violence necessary to cultivate those artworks into permanence. You were just doing your job, but were you complicit in his legacy?”5 She stacks these dismantled bricks inside a wooden box, open on one side, a reference to the kiln they once built in SOFT BRICK. Resting on top is a vessel split in half to display the cast-off shards from Green’s own practice, piled together when wet to create a mass of folded forms, the soft bends in stark contrast to the edges of the bricks below. Issac Logsdon’s installation critiques material histories of the American Southwest by placing objects atop stacks of adobe bricks, sun-dried blocks made of earth native to the region. By stacking adobe bricks at varying heights, Logsdon creates a visual nod to the Pueblo architecture of his ancestors. A mestizo artist, his research into the pre-colonial trade routes of the Southwest inform the selection of objects displayed. These routes carried heavy consequences for the peoples living on those lands during colonization, as do the continued environmental effect of various extractive industries such as mining. Adobe history is clay history is social history. By situating these objects on adobe, he posits them as artifacts to consider outside of a Eurocentric focus. Artists working in ceramics understand the varied characteristics of each clay body. Porcelain, a type of clay that dates back to at least the 10th century in China, was revered for its translucency, pure white color, and rarity. Jennifer Ling Datchuk uses porcelain as a metaphor for Western standards of beauty based on whiteness. Patricia Williams, co-author of White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary Art explains that, “Whiteness is the site of privileged imagining, the invisible standard. It is whatever it wants to be.”6 Datchuk explores the pervasive effects of white privilege—societal, economic, and political advantages enjoyed by whites not afforded to people of color—through her use of porcelain as a metaphor by embedding her personal story in her art as an alternative to the dominant white narrative. Datchuk interviewed women in her home state of Texas and learned that many use bricks as protection, hiding them in purses in place of a gun as a form of concealed carry when walking alone at night. The porcelain bricks used in her work measure 3.5 x 2.25 x 7.625 inches, a slender version dubbed Queen. She makes these porcelain bricks by coating handkerchiefs, doilies —even t-shirts from old boyfriends—in clay that is fired to form each object. “Bricks are Queens,” she says. “Porcelain is powerful and women are resilient.”7
Sorkin, Jenni, et al. Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years. Edited by Glenn Adamson et al., Black Dog Publishing Limited, 2016.
Green, Nicki. “Dismantling the Patriarchy One Brick at a Time: Voulkos and the Changing landscape of Ceramics at UC Berkeley – OR – SOFT BRICK.” Voice of the Object – CAA Critical Craft Forum, 24 February 2018, LA Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Berger, Maurice, Wendy Ewald, David R. Roediger, and Patricia J. Williams. White: Whiteness and Race in Contemporary Art. (Baltimore: Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, UMBC,2004), 19.
Datchuk, Jennifer Ling. “Object Story.” Present Tense: 2019 Conference, 12 October 2019, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA.
Much like the work of others included in the invitational exhibition, Elizabeth M. Webb ties a material history of clay to that of personal narratives. Cameo Ground (Children of Paradise) is a series of thirteen porcelain sheets of text displayed in velvet light boxes. Drawn from an interview Webb conducted with her great-aunt Jane, the text describes the skin tone of each of Jane’s twelve siblings and categorizes each person based on his or her shade in relation to Jane’s own hue, the implication being that some could “pass” for white while others could not. Jane and her siblings were all children of Paradise, Webb’s great-grandmother who was known for her beauty but never allowed her picture to be taken. Encased in velvet, the material's preciousness mimics early forms of photography (daguerrotypes or tintypes), refused by Paradise. The title references the cameo, a style of object that was typically carved to create a raised image in contrasting color to the background. In order to depict a person or scene, a cameo relies on contrasting colors, dark and light. Cameos often depicted portraits but in Cameo Ground (Children of Paradise) there is no image of the individuals mentioned; it is up to the viewer to shape these words into imagery. Raven Halfmoon’s larger-than-life female busts and torsos confront the viewer with knowing stares and surfaces often covered in large, dripping, text. Family Names to Last through Generations has “Halfmoon” and “McCarty” on each side of the face, referencing the history of family names and how individuals carry multiple ancestors forward. A citizen of the matrilineal Caddo Nation, Halfmoon creates these works to represent both her Caddo people and her role as a woman in today’s society. Her figures, all women, are not portraits but rather a composite of many aspects of the figure. Through scale, presence, and bold imagery, Halfmoon’s unapologetic sculptures demand recognition and occupy the space that is so frequently denied women and people of color. Woody De Othello is a graduate of California College of Arts in San Francisco and is based in the Bay Area, the fertile ground for the origins of the funk art movement. When the exhibition Funk was mounted in 1967 at the University Art Museum at the University of California, Berkeley by Peter Selz, he defined it as an art form that “when you see it, you know it.” The term “funk” was borrowed from the musical style of the same name, a mixture of soul, jazz, and blues. Selz describes how the art drew on the “unsophisticated deep-down New Orleans blues played by the marching bands, the blues which give you that happy/sad feeling.”8 With origins drawn from a musical tradition based in African American roots, “funk music emerged out of a desire for a more confrontational approach to protest music.”9 De Othello channels the history of funk through his anthropomorphic domestic items, often combining human characteristics with inanimate objects, such as a hand acting as a hook for a melting wristwatch in To Give Time. While humor is often the first response to De Othello’s work, much like funk there are undercurrents of uneasiness or tension at play. Like bricks, these works are strong. And they demonstrate the collective strength of the ceramic field, a field that is expansive enough to hold multiple interpretations and mature enough to open the canon to reinterpretation, to build in new directions. To reorient its foundation. Individually and collectively, these works—and the artists who made them—offer new possibilities for the past and the future.
University of California, Berkeley. University Art Museum, and Peter Selz. Funk. 1967, pp. 3. Morant, Kesha M. “Language in Action: Funk Music as the Critical Voice of a Post—Civil Rights Movement Counterculture.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 42, no. 1, 2011, pp. 74.
BJ Kocen | Glave Kocen Gallery
Glave Kocen Gallery is truly honored to be a part of this historic collaboration with NCECA and our neighbors at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. The Burdens of History could not be mounted at a better time for Richmond as the recent nationally recognized installation of Kahinde Wiley’s, Rumors of War at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts also reconciles artifacts of the past while demanding progress and inclusion for today. Anna Walker’s curation is vital and again GK is thrilled to bolster her vision at the dawn of a new decade! Glave Kocen Gallery is consistently named one of Richmond’s favorites according to Virginia Living, Style Weekly, Richmond Magazine, The Richmond Times Dispatch, and also in multiple appearances on WTVR’s “Virginia This Morning.” The gallery has a heavy concentration of Richmond and Virginia artists alongside a mix of artists from around the nation we exhibit all year long. GK has long established relationships with many of these artists but also remains curious about discovering new local and regional artists all the time. In addition to representing 30+ artists through 15 exhibits a year, the gallery is very community minded. They host Health and Wellness events like Tuesday Morning Yoga with Kelly Trask and our Gallery Groove Concert Series has received great attendance for performers like Steve Bassett, Rosette, Erin McKeown, and Robbie Schaefer. Glave Kocen also works with many of the city's non-profit organizations that need an inviting space for a gala or simply an employee appreciation event. Our community partner program garnered deeper support for the likes of Milk River Arts, ChildSavers, Connor's Heroes, and FeastRVA. The heart and soul of the gallery is husband and wife team Jennifer Glave and BJ Kocen. Jennifer and BJ’s shared ability of spotting great talent is only equaled by their unassuming but knowledgeable manner as to which they connect with patrons. Glave Kocen’s passion for supporting artists' careers and encouraging art buyers at all levels has only grown as now they are proud owners of the annual CURRENT Art Fair which relaunched in October of 2019 to rave reviews.
Visual Arts Center of Richmond
Welcome to the True F. Luck Gallery, a space that is an integral part of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. At VisArts, our mission is to celebrate and support the creative life of all people through art-making, exhibitions, and community programs. We’ve helped adults and children explore their creativity and make art since 1963. Each year, our organization touches the lives of nearly 45,000 people through classes, exhibitions, community programs, camps, workshops, and special events. We believe the visual arts can change lives and we’re dedicated to helping people of all ages express themselves in a variety of art media. One of our primary goals is to reduce barriers and expand inclusive practices to ensure that our center is accessible to everyone in our community. We are actively working to maintain and improve our current facility and work toward a future in which the Visual Arts Center of Richmond is not a single building but an urban campus. Alongside the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, VisArts is honored to serve as co-host of MULTIVALENT: Clay, Mindfulness, and Memory, the 54th Annual NCECA Conference in Richmond. We are also honored to present the exhibition The Burdens of History in our gallery space. Curated by Anna Walker, this show “seeks to broaden the narrative of ceramic art's evolution, featuring artists and artworks that both celebrate and critique the history of the field.” The exhibition explores the long history of ceramics and the way that artists like Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Woody De Othello, Nicki Green, Raven Halfmoon, Issac Logsdon, and Elizabeth M. Webb are reinvigorating the field with bold new work. The clay program at VisArts has deep roots, but it is also constantly evolving and growing. When VisArts was founded in 1963 as the Hand Workshop, some of the first items installed in the original Church Hill facility included ceramics equipment. Almost 60 years later, clay remains at the heart of our programming and is our most popular medium in terms of class enrollment and open studio use. In fact, VisArts’ studios now host the largest ceramic studio education program in the state of Virginia. In recognition of the NCECA conference in Richmond, we’ve dedicated two, large exhibition spaces to ceramics: our True F. Luck Gallery and our Dominion Energy Community Room. We will present the aforementioned The Burdens of History in the True F. Luck Gallery and Critical Function 2, an exhibition organized by Melanie Shaw and Alex Kraft in our Dominion Energy Community Room. We will also host a series of special, pre-conference workshops in our clay studios with nationally recognized artists Jen Allen, Tom Bartel, Kathy King, Kevin Snipes, and James Watkins. These workshops will give students the chance to explore VisArts and connect with a community of ceramicists from all over the world. In addition to the two exhibitions, VisArts will also offer a marketplace highlighting the work of our clay community in our Jim Valentine Clay Studio. We want to give special thanks to NCECA as an organization and to the NCECA staff, who have been instrumental in bringing these stunning exhibitions to the Richmond community. We also want to thank our curator, Anna Walker and the talented, exhibiting artists whose work we are honored to display in our gallery. Exhibitions at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond are supported by grants from: Altria, the Margot and Allan Blank Foundation, The Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, CultureWorks, Wells Fargo Foundation, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Joshua Green, Executive Director | Brett Binford, Exhibitions Director
Anna Walker’s exhibition title, The Burdens of History, invites us to ruminate on the many ways that time’s passage compels the imagination to creative practice. With evocative organizing concepts, the exhibition’s call appealed to artists working with historical touchstones to reach innovative concepts and practices. Ceramic art is perhaps the most earthbound of all creative forms. The ground beneath our feet is a location we dig into to source materials as well as a repository for shards-filled strata embedded with signifiers, influences, and origins. In Richard Powers’ novel Generosity (2009), a creative nonfiction course is engaged in a classroom argument about whether there are a fixed number of stories in the world. The instructor reflects that he ought to advise his students that there are only two: “the future arrives to smack around the past, or the past reaches out to strangle the future.” Playful and pugilistic, this characterization of creative nonfiction applies well to the critical dialogs artists carry on with the past. Anna Walker, our curator for the 2020 NCECA Annual has exposed rich veins of cultural deposits where newly evocative problems are discoverable. Anna’s curiosity, intelligence, and rigor bring us closer to the core paradox that undergirds artistic vision: our capacity to invent evolves out of remembering… with critical perspective, the past. Our gratitude for Anna’s work and vision also extends to the highly collaborative teams at our exhibition host venues, Visual Arts Center of Richmond and Glave Kocen Gallery. NCECA’s exhibitions program is dependent on the creative energies of makers that shape our field. We are indebted to all of the the artists invited, juried, and those whose works were considered but not included in the exhibition. Projects Manager Kate Vorhaus and Communications Manager Candice Finn dedicated innumerable hours to making this exhibition and catalogue come to life. Our deepest appreciations go out for their efforts.
JENNIFER LING DATCHUK San Antonio | Texas
My work has always been an exploration of my layered identity—as a woman, a woman of color, as an “American,” as a third culture kid. I live at the intersection of being neither fully Chinese or Caucasian, a sense of being in-between, seen as an imposter on either side. The constant question about my appearance—So, what are you?—has driven a series of different answers in my work over time. I explore this conflict specifically through porcelain, a nod to my Chinese heritage, but also a representation of “pure” white, a desire reflected in both cultures. Porcelain allows me to speak in dualities, especially of fragility and resilience and ultimately the struggle between diversity and the flawless white body. I explore how Western beauty standards influenced the East, how the non-white body is commodified and sold, and how women’s— globally, girls’—work is still a major economic driver whose workers still struggle for equality. Americans are being confronted with their icons, their fetishes, their appropriations and have a constant desire for authenticity. Most of the objects we access are designed, produced, manufactured, sold, and consumed without conscious knowledge of the source. Working with porcelain, blue and white patterns, stereotypically Asian motifs, textiles, video, and photography allows me to examine what we see as our “dominant” material culture. Bound by these conditions, I stitch together my individual nature, unravel the pressures of conformity, and forever experience pain in search of perfection.
Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves, 2019 Photograph 18" x 24" and brick Purses: 3.125" x 2.75" x 9.625" each Photo credit: Lane Pittard * Representative image provided by the artist; new work premiers in the exhibition.
WOODY DE OTHELLO Oakland | California
Woody De Othello creates and mutates everyday recognizable objects as a way to address broad audiences. He depicts these objects in various psychological and emotional states to express ideas, often done so with a tone of humor. These objects, such as doorknobs, AC vents, lights, and TV sets, are rendered in an uncanny fashion with a sense of play, emotional intuition, and surrealism that provokes viewers to reimagine themselves and the way they view the world around them. De Othello uses a hand-building technique called slab construction. Building the sculptures up about six to eight inches at a time, he pushes the forms to a point where they near collapse. Working the clay to a point of precariousness adds to their psychological weight and creates a sense of movement and individual emotion. De Othelloâ€™s work interrogates the tension between animate and inanimate, energy and exhaustion, hospitality and hostility.
Time to Give, 2019 Ceramic and glaze 22" x 8" x 4" (Watch: 14" x 4" x 5" / Hand: 12" x 8" x 2") Photo credit: John Wilson White
NICKI GREEN San Francisco | California
SOFT BRICK is a body of work developed while in grad school at UC Berkeley, 2016-2018. Invited to the program with the promise of updated facilities, I realized upon arriving that the renovations included replacing a kiln built by Peter Voulkos when he developed and taught in the ceramics department between 1959 and 1985. Intercepting a pallet of kiln bricks from the dumpster, I began working with them in my studio, negotiating conflicting feelings while I balanced learning more about his contributions to the field with stories from former students of the macho, exclusionary atmosphere of his classroom. These kiln bricks came to represent both the witnesses of history while also functioning as the tool that brought his work into the world. I developed a text and performance lecture for the College Art Association conference in 2018, paralleling these ideas to my own life. SOFT BRICK is a linguistic and conceptual reference to queer vernacular, “soft butch,” a gender presentation of complicated or soft masculinity, and “brick” used derogatorily within trans women’s communities to describe those who are “failing” to pass as cisgender. Through this work, I consider the labor and violence done to those who receive marginalization in studios and out in the world as similar to the violence and alchemy occurring inside a kiln. I propose that the complicated nature of legacy is one that is rarely firm and entirely legible, and is worth engaging with as an open-ended practice.
Soft Brick, 2019 Glaze on recycled stoneware with painted MDF and Voulkos kiln bricks 55" x 36" x 36"
RAVEN HALFMOON Helena | Montana
I produce work that is reflective of how I feel both as a woman and as a Native American living in the 21st Century. Each sculpture created is a reflection of my understanding and interpretation of Caddo culture and the fight to maintain a place for it in today’s world. With the election of our current U.S. President, climate change, and social oppression around the world, it is more important than ever before to have a unique voice and vision, to express it, and to make those creations seen and heard. In my work, I explore themes of “the other,” cultural appropriation, and history. I hope to create awareness and address issues that move people who share a similar story. Through my installations, I want to tell a story both of how one understands self and culture, but also what defines these ideals in America today. I feel it is my duty to continue this legacy of sharing information through craft and clay. It is necessary for me to continue a tradition of making, telling and sharing history.
Family Names to Last through the Generations, 2019 Stoneware and glaze 26" x 28" x 43" On loan courtesy of Leslie and Michael Weissman
ISSAC LOGSDON Santa Fe | New Mexico
My studio work and writing often look to historic events to better understand the value of cultural property, exchange, and material histories. I am also trying to get a better grasp on how we tell history. Through artificial museum display, selective archiving, and one-sided written accounts of yesterday, weâ€™re often left with an incomplete understanding of the past. My work in The Burdens of History draws from learning the traditional adobe construction techniques my ancestors have practiced for centuries and my research on the colonization of the so-called American West.
Are you People Hungry?, 2018 Found cardboard boxes, handmade cotton paper, sassafras ink, yarrow poultice (to heal wounds), reproduction of Land O Quakes 1973 painting by Norman Saunders (stolen from the Ox-Bow School of Art kitchen), handmade invasive European birch broom (to sweep that shit away), sunflower seedlings (to eat), mulberries (to snack), verdolagas, and yarrow, 48" x 48" x 48" * Representative image provided by the artist; new work premiers in the exhibition.
ELIZABETH M. WEBB Charlottesville | Virginia
My work is invested in the politics of representation; that is, the ways in which we position ourselves in relation to others, the ways we are positioned by others, and how these different positions are made visible (or invisible). To approach these themes I am drawn to Stuart Hall’s analysis of how we might conceive of identity in terms of “routes” rather than “roots.” Where “roots” statically connect identity to origin, “routes” envision identity as the continuous processes of coming to be. The lens of my own family history of migration and racial passing serves as an entry point in my work for exploring larger, systemic constructs and the renegotiation of their borders. Cameo Ground (Children of Paradise) is a series of 13 porcelain, text-based sculptures that engage the idea of legibility on multiple levels, including the social legibility of the passing subject. A guiding figure in my work has been that of my great-grandmother Paradise—a black woman who was known for her exquisite beauty, yet never allowed her picture to be taken. The text is borrowed from an interview with my great-aunt Jane (the youngest daughter of Paradise); in it, she describes which of her 12 siblings could pass as white and categorizes everyone based on their shade in relation to her own skin tone. Because we are not given an image of Jane, her words become relative to an unknown. I think of these pieces as cartographies and portraits.
Cameo Ground (Children of Paradise), 2019 13 porcelain panels, text, velvet, and light boxes 8.5" x 10.25" x 1.5" each panel Photo credit: Paul Hester
ELISSA ARMSTRONG North Chesterfield | Virginia
Ceramic history plays an influential role in my work: its forms, processes, and domestic and cultural evolution. Historic forms, like oyster plates and figurines, are revisited, revived, and recontextualized. My work alternates between creating ceramic objects for the home and making pieces that comment on the role these objects play in the domestic environment. While grounded in the history of the ceramic tabletop object, the work subverts idealizations commonly associated with the forms they reference. Two recent bodies of work have evolved out of living in Virginia, a place where oysters and confederate statues are prolific. In the figurines, confederate statuary mounts have new day-dreamed identities, captured in gestural, roughly-hewn architectural environments. Hopeful and yearning, the forms also reveal the artificiality and futility of their fantasy.
Greenbrier Morning, 2019 Clay, glaze, luster, glitter, resin, and tape 8" x 9" x 2"
LISA MARIE BARBER Kenosha | Wisconsin
My primary artistic influence is the Mexican folk and Mexican Catholic shrines of my heritage and upbringing. Both inform the majority of my compositional and aesthetic vocabulary and are evident in my submitted works. I believe my work is a continuation of a cultural aesthetic that is often marginalized if not forgotten in the canon of ceramic art. Happy Garden Tapestry evokes Mexican grave arrangements—and gardens—in that it has more of a rambling physicality. It is a shrine with no real centerpiece but clings to the same Mexican folk art aesthetic and shrine compositional strategy. I remember, when first entering ceramics in college, being told [the myth] that Peter Voulkos was the father of ceramic sculpture— as if it didn’t exist before him. That made no sense to me. I had seen ceramic sculpture my whole life, although it always had roots in Mexico. (I also knew that other regions of the world, not just Mexico/Central America, had rich ceramic sculpture histories.) Whether it’s pre-Columbian figurative or the traditional ceramic “Arbor de la Vida” [Tree of Life] sculptures, the ceramic heritage I cling to comes from Mexico and Central America and dates back centuries—well before Voulkos.
Happy Garden Tapestry, 2017 Recycled clay multi-fired with glazes, underglazes, and slips 55" x 102" x 83" Photo credit: Alyssa Nepper
EMILY BAYLESS Lancaster | Pennsylvania
Fake it till you make it. Challenge shapes me. I’ve had to fake it more often than I will admit to you. I embrace the faux, like imitation crab, it is the same, but different. Though, I must admit to you, I’ve never had imitation crab. Is it the same? The work utilizes historic decorative forms, via non-traditional content and use of materials, manifesting in a confrontation that mocks a hierarchy within art and the indulgent value placed on the ornamental that exists in western culture. Implementing paint as a finish over glaze questions which material is lending value to the other, or are they equals here? Pushing up against the history of ceramics and its place in contemporary culture, the work becomes its own act of dominance. Details contain sexualized forms camouflaged in a vaguely familiar patterning that is itself in flux and balancing the condition of being. Fake it till you make it. Toolipiere, subverts and mocks the history of a male dominated field by using a penis as a symbol, or tool, to create a joke out of a form that has been monumentally prevalent in the field. Additionally, the glaze and decorative application is not only the antithesis of a puritan technical approach seen in tin glazes on Dutch ceramic wares, therefore and negating what is considered “good work”, but also serve as visual metaphor, as the object is suspended in flux. The work questions how technical processes performed in ceramics serves concept, and how that performance can be challenged as part of concept.
Toolipiere, 2019 Clay 16" x 14" x 14"
JEREMY BROOKS Conway | South Carolina
There is a space that exists upon the tip-of-the-tongue, one characterized through a curious sense of elusive certainty. Taste aside, it is concerned with imminence and inaccessibility, language and memory. Sometimes the first word out of our mouth is hardly a word at all, but rather this inarticulate sound that is more closely related to what we would identify as gesture. Suspended, held at the cusp of verbalization, there is something there and you feel it strongly. It is a haunting moment; it is a structure of feeling. The investigation of such a quality, one that is (at times) more properly sensuous than cognitive in its scope and depth of inquiry, is one at the core of my work and studio practice. Hurry Down My Chimney Tonight, a plate from my â€œManscapesâ€? series aims to subvert heteronormative narratives and depict some semblance of a queer experience through collaging source material that is particular to (commercially available) ceramic decals. This piece depicts a male nude poised within a brick chimney.
Hurry Down My Chimney Tonight, 2018 Ceramics - decal collage, commercial porcelain plate, and wooden frame 15.75" x 15.75" x 2.50"
LARRY BULLER Lincoln | Nebraska
My work is about the intersection of the domestic ceramic craft object and the nature of gay sexuality. At first glance my ceramic work has the look of the highly decorative pieces inspired by the 18th century French Rococo or perhaps a tchotchke from a thrift store that mimics that look. These showy pieces have flowers, gold luster, and fake gemstones to pique the interest of the viewer. However, upon closer inspection one discovers a more sinister and subversive intention in which one is challenged to reconsider the first narrative. I use fetish objects such as butt plugs and/or suggestive phallic forms in my ceramic work to challenge the viewer's idea of what is considered in “good taste” for the domestic environment. I also seek to celebrate gay sexuality and to demystify it along with sexual fetish objects. I consider the public display of my art, either in a gallery or domestic setting, to be another manner in which I, as a gay man, come out of the closet and celebrate my sexuality. This piece appropriates a traditional form from art history, the flower brick, to express something less-innocent and subversive in nature. In the piece, I celebrate and elevate the use of a fetish object commonly used behind closed doors. I seek to demystify and deshame its sexual connotation while bringing sex toys “out of the closet” and proudly displaying them in a domestic setting therefore creating a dialogue around gay sexuality.
Flower Brick with Butt Plug Toys, 2019 Low-fire clay, decals, gold luster, and foil trim 8" x 11" x 4" Photo credit: Taylor Sijan
ANDRÉA KEYS CONNELL Boone | North Carolina
My grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, loved to be surrounded by beautiful things. She insisted on this all her life. The objects we have inherited from her are constant reminders of this. In Pecs, Hungary she was given a food rations box by the German forces after they invaded in 1944. The box was for her and her mother. Now it is in my mother’s house. The box was made of a cardboardlike material and is roughly 5 by 8 inches. She painted the box in a traditional Hungarian pattern, covering it in flowers. Another object we’ve inherited from that time is a scarf she made from fabrics she collected while in Auschwitz. She stitched her mother’s name “Lenke” into the lining of the fabric. When I reflect on these objects, I realize that my grandmother was attempting to impose dignity on them. In turn, they have become part of our family history and inform how we relate to all objects and art. I return to these memories in my new body of work. The figurines I have been making over the past year are a collection of objects, gathered from thrift stores, from eBay, and through donations. I view these figurines as once-loved objects, owned by various individuals; over time they’ve been lost to time. They are sentimental, they are kitschy; but as commemorative objects of mass production, they reflect deep and private desires, they were small vessels of meaning that, for various reasons, have left their homes forever. I carefully cover these objects with little blades of grass I’ve rolled with polymer clay. I am attempting to show the passage of time, to imbue a new narrative on these forgotten items. Like my grandmother, I am attempting to collaborate in the dignity of objects, to reach into and past the overt sentimentality, to direct the eye to a range of hidden stories that perhaps brought the original collector to that object.
Feathers Fall, Grass Grows,â€‰(detail), 2019 Found ceramic objects, polymer clay, and plexiglass boxes 66" x 60" x 18" Photo credit: Andrew Caldwell
KELCY CHASE FOLSOM Richmond | Virginia
My romantic life, at once tender and desperate, is the substance of my work. More specifically, I am interested in the ways that I project and receive desire (as Roland Barthes said, “I am devoured by desire, the impulse to be happy”), and negotiate my own relative experiences within it. This endless exchange between lovers—the absences, the expectations, the gravities, the intimacies, the small catastrophes—is the realm into which I want to invite viewers. Sex, eating, and defecation are the most vulnerable moments in life. Hot Seat presents a shared space to sit while looking at a work of art—looking for yourself. It’s a queer suggestion, unabashedly confident in its pursuit for us to ponder taboos and what it means to accept necessities and desires. Additionally, it is made of solid maple wood and painted. I am interested in the egocentric presence of the ceramic material—its foreverness connected to the maker. What would life be like if ceramics were no longer possible and its presence only romanticized for the purpose of nostalgia… a postEarth existence?
Hot Seat, 2017 Maple plywood, filler, and automotive paint 33" x 60" x 21" Photo credit: Brian Olglesbee
TERI FRAME Milwaukee | Wisconsin
Whitewashing: Clay and Skin is a photographic, performance, and video series that explores both the notion of whiteness and the performance of whiteness within historical European and American ceramics. The concept that there is a race of people who are “white” emerged within the European imagination during the Renaissance, continued to develop throughout the colonial period, and is still pervasive within contemporary thought. This series traces whiteness as a social construct within the European and American canon of ceramics. In his nationally acclaimed book, Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates, hailed as the most preeminent writer on the current state of race relations within the United States, refers to a group of Dreamers who have painted themselves white. This statement can be interpreted both literally and figuratively. Upon unearthing marble statues of classical antiquity, Renaissance excavationists were intrigued with what they perceived as white statuary, despite evidence that it was once heavily covered in polychrome. Throughout the following centuries, marble and porcelain replicas were left entirely white, as were many contemporary figurative works. This centuries-long white-washing of representational art (painting included) was synonymous with skin lightening trends popularized within the Elizabethan Era and remaining prominent until the 1970s. As the concept of “purity” and its association with “whiteness” emerged during the Enlightenment, so did the race among European nations for the recipe for porcelain. The European aristocracy, along with the Madonna and Child, was painted white in life and in art in order to reveal their leisure class status and to justify colonialist activities.
Whitewashing: Clay and Skin I, 2019 Video (Screen Capture) Dimensions variable
ALINA HAYES West Hills | California
In my studio practice, the work moves between form and function as I think about fluidity of materials, process, and time. Drawing on parallels between ceramic process and my own life as an immigrant, woman, wife, mother, and educator. The obsession with succeeding, of becoming something of value, and the direct connection as I sit and shape small, clay objects. Fragile forms, resilient to time and change in hopes that the biomorphic exterior will prevent them from being thrown away; discarded as remnants of their maker. To combat this state of mind and the pressure to make â€œserious workâ€?, I simply walk into the studio and make. At the end of the day, these objects emerge. They are playful, loud, unapologetic; mine. Leading my work into a totally different direction; using and exploring materials I wouldnâ€™t have otherwise. I call them blooop or another word for mistake as I fumble through my daily chores and obligations, reminding myself that what I do is worthwhile. Blooop and mini Blooop abandon rigid studio pottery standards. Combining multiple building methods, using wheel thrown and hand-built parts, the work is reminiscent of the vessel, yet is closed to become an object all its own concealing the interior. Although the work is fired in a kiln, and is not glazed, but covered in a rubber coating, the colors are bright and vibrant.
Blooop and mini Blooop, 2019 Clay and rubber 15.5" x 12.5" x 5"
DAWN HOLDER Clarksville | Arkansas
As a resident of the rural South, I have spent the past year researching and making artwork in reaction to local confederate monumentsâ€”examining how these public spaces, structures, and sculptures have been utilized and aestheticized to promote racial segregation, reinforce social hierarchy, and define ethnic and political boundaries. My recent travels and creative projects in Europe have widened the scope of my research, allowing me to analyze the rich visual history of monuments, with a particular focus on Roman antiquities. My current sculptures, installations, and photographs reference the equestrian and obelisk imagery shared by both Roman and Confederate monuments, as well as their inscribed texts and relationship to the landscape. By deconstructing these iconic forms, my art endeavors to destabilize their messages through the lenses of fragmentation, decay, and rearrangement. All Monuments Must Fall, is a series of photographs shot in Rome and Denmark. Within the scenes, images of fragmented monuments are shown in both manmade and natural environments. The ceramic monument forms were directly modeled after my observations of equestrian monuments and Egyptian obelisks in Rome. Ancient Roman monuments, as well as more recent Confederate ones made in the same tradition, enforce a rigid visual and social hierarchy. To see images of famous monuments subsumed by time and nature is to be reminded that all monuments will eventually fall.
All Monuments Must Fall (photo series), 2019 Digital print 24" x 48" x 0"
AKIKO JACKSON Provincetown | Massachusetts
Itâ€™s often delicate and uncomfortable for many Americans to engage in a critical dialogue about race and culture. Akiko Jackson addresses cultural identity through sculptural installations, as a way to reconcile and understand intergenerational traumas embedded in the fabric of her ancestral ties. In so doing, this allows a platform to reconsider displacement, to celebrate placement, and to disrupt the unspoken narrative of who belongs. She works with artist communities in various parts of our nation, some of which are filled with violent histories that continue to exist in the contemporary. Jackson uses affordable and discarded material such as ceramics, metal, fabric, and synthetic hairâ€”specifically chosen to reference her cultural memory, time, place, and body. She incorporates signifiers of her marginalized body, such as objects from her family, a specific color palette, and the relational aesthetics of objects installed in an exhibition space. This is to address notions of otherness and the work acts as a catalyst for viewers to confront ideas of identity. The Urns are a response to loss, mourning, healing, presence, and absence. The ashes and dust contained within funerary urns may be viewed as fleeting debris or something more. Perhaps the energy of our ancestors past can hold space beyond what we see. The urns are exaggerated vessels to emphasize potential energy expansion. The work is about memory, commemoration, cultural identity, and mourning; simultaneously fitted to contain a dual and multivalent consideration towards struggle, injustice, friction, and release.
Urns, 2019 Ceramic and steel 36" x 120" x 120" (variable)
ROXANNE JACKSON Brooklyn | New York
Valuing macabre sensibilities, my work is inspired by pop/subculture, black-humor, the uncanny. I appropriate imagery from sci-fi/horror films, drawing from transformative images of aliens or beasts. This transgressive imagery creates ironic tension—especially when produced from ceramics, with its strong ties to comfort and beauty. Sculptures are reinforced by seductive glazes, achieved through multiple firings; a practice heavily influenced by ceramic processes mimicking geology—as clay morphs from a malleable material into a hard one. Sculptures are inspired by feminine beasts, such as mermaids and Sasquatch. And my monster paw series references manicure culture, a postmodern gesture that echoes what T. S. Eliot called the manipulation of a “continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity.” This provocative work juxtaposes old/new, real/fabled, kitsch/grotesque.
Delft Punk (Right Paw), 2019 Low-fire raku clay, glaze, luster, candle, and fur 16" x 16" x 11" Photo credit: JSP Photography
PETER CHRISTIAN JOHNSON Kent | Ohio
The Violent Bear it Away seeks to embody the feeling of weight, pressure, and the passing of time that is emblematic of our existence. It becomes a metaphor for the burdens of the human condition which I see as paradoxically full of both beauty and failure. It does this largely through abstraction but makes subtle references to cathedrals, monuments, trestle bridges, and other feats of engineering that are often seen as symbols of progress. The laborious nature of the pieces creates a poetic tension in the objects when they are collapsed and deconstructed in the kiln, exposing the Sisyphean nature of their construction and hopefully alluding to a similar contradiction within ourselves. This work also challenges the values prioritized by ceramicâ€™s long history, which often idolizes craftsmanship, champions a polite sense of beauty, and more often affirms the values of the culture in which it is made rather than critiquing it. We are at a very exciting time in the history of ceramics where the barriers and stereotypes of how clay can and should be used are slowly breaking down broadening its acceptance in the contemporary art world while building bridges into the field of design. It is my hope that my work can sit at this growing nexus of contemporary art, craft, and design drawing upon elements of each while being tethered to none.
The Violent Bear It Away, 2018 Porcelain, poplar, concrete, and laminate 65" x 27" x 23"
QWIST JOSEPH Riverside | California
My practice is an intuitive cycle of risk, failure, and reinvention. These missteps pull me into the present moment and foster greater authenticity in my work. I follow my gut to push against stylistic conventions in hopes of capturing the unwieldy nature of how a thought transitions into the physical world. Freezing these ephemeral moments in permanent materials allows me to create a concrete connection between the past, present, and future. This tested record sheds light on the inescapable effects of life, encouraging vulnerability and self-reflection. Slake, tryptic photographs representing opposite ends of a transitional period. Slake offering the antithesis, showing the moment of succumbing to a truth and making it a reality. The photographs allow for the work to highlight the weight of the idea, rather the physicality of the sculpture itself.
Slake, 2019 Digital print and MDF 10" x 36" x .5"
LAUREN KALMAN Detroit | Michigan
Devices for Filling a Void combines forms reminiscent of jewelry, reconstructive surgical devices, ceramic medical implements, and amorphous growths. Rather than presenting or holding the body in an ideal position, they distort the body through actions that are sometimes grotesque or violent. They literally fill the voids of the body and are documented in photographs, but the title also implies a psychological filling of emotional or erotic voids. The work references ideas about women being incomplete or lacking, requiring augmentation by men, objects, dress, makeup, adornment, and medical intervention. Devices uses the vernacular of historic objects like gold jewelry, medical devices, and massproduced, functional sterile ceramics. This work is inspired by the history of medical devices and objects, and perceptions of health and beauty. In Western society there is a link between the feminine/ female body and contamination; and between the cleansing of the body and social/moral purity. This work is inspired by historic texts like the 19th century work “In Praise of Cosmetics” by Baudelaire which proposes that wearing makeup (or altering the body through external or artificial means) is a social obligation to hide the corporeal realities of the body. We see this in contemporary consumer beauty culture, where transformational objects signify to the rest of society that an individual, most commonly female, is striving for physical, social, and moral perfection. Later in the 19th century, the Social Hygiene Movement waged a campaign against the female body as the perceived source of disease spread through prostitution and promiscuity. Concurrent to this movement are the racist and sexist writings of Adolf Loos, where he proposes in his lecture, “Ornament and Crime”, that ornament is regressive, primitive and that, in (his) contemporary society, only criminals and degenerates are decorated (this includes women). The intellectual and physical restraint proposed by these movements and writings, have so impacted contemporary thinking. The objects reference this restraint, which is in conflict with the physical and emotional realties of the body in the images.
Device for Filling a Void (5), 2019 Earthenware and gold-plated electroformed copper 12" x 10" x 10"
VARUNI KANAGASUNDARAM Diamond Creek | Australia
My practice as a ceramic artist explores the expression of migrants from the Indian subcontinent. The precariousness of their journeys and how they move between cultural traditions in new lands is central to the art practice, translating the expression through cultural rituals. My practice that also incorporates performance and community participation addresses themes of identity, place, loss, confluence of cultural practices, and memory from the feminine perspective. Coloured pigments, thread, and gestural markings are used as symbolic representation of the East. Fragility and gradual abstraction convey the transformation of the traditional culture to re-emerge in a new form. We live in a global community where movement of people has brought a greater exposure to practices of many cultures. It is in this context that I address how South Asian cultures have used clay vessels to be disposable and also how symbolic markings can convey messages. The humble terra cotta Chai cup is an ancient tradition of India and remains a familiar sight along stations and market stalls. I translate its symbol, engaging with community in suburbs along a trainline in the making. The low-fired cups were used during a celebration to serve Chai tea to the public. After drinking the cups were smashed as it is practised in the subcontinent. In Something happened here_A Journey of 1000 Chai cups, the intact cups and shards form an installation as a memory of the gathering, albeit recent, resembling an archaeological site where evidence of an activity was apparent.
Something happened here_A Journey of 1000 Chai cups, 2018 Terra cotta, shards, and slip 3" x 73" x 34"
WANSOO KIM Clarksville | Tennessee
In my eyes, the world is composed of both revealed and hidden things. I interpret my surroundings based on this idea, seeking to realize my ignorance and awareness. The notion of inside and outside is one of my particular subjects. Upon observing an object or a structure, we see only its external reality. I aim to reveal the unobservable, often presenting the inner reality of things at the same time as I disclose the apparent outer reality. In this respect, my works can become a gate leading viewers to an invisible space, counteracting the conception that what we see is everything. Physical dichotomy exists in the works as a natural phenomenon. Masses and spaces are composed of visible and invisible parts, defined by where we stand and what we see. I am fully aware of this natural occurrence and apply my awareness of this physical dichotomy to my understanding of culture, society, and human behavior, correlating ignorance/awareness with hidden/visible. Blue White Vessel, relates its symbolic elements in pattern, form, and color. When looking at traditional ceramic vessels, I often see that patterns and decorations are found on their exterior surface as opposed to their interiors, which presents function and emptiness. I wanted to convert this idea and put more visual elements on the inside. To do this, I created floral patterns with blue-white glaze, which could be considered historical to many cultures.
Blue White Vessel, 2018 Porcelain 16" x 15.5" x 15.5"
West Palm Beach | Florida
Growing up in San Francisco California, my family lived adjacent to Chinatown. As a third-generation Asian American woman, I have always felt an invisible border between assimilating to American culture and yearning to be accepted as Chinese. â€œBananaâ€? a derogatory term to describe someone who is yellow on the outside and white on the inside, or rather Asian on the outside and White on the inside, was my childhood nickname. My work helps me create a place where I can belong, and unpack this hyphenated identity. Chinatowns were a way for new immigrants to define what it meant to be Asian within America. As I enter into the field of ceramics, I have seen a long history of European and Asian art. I, however, am still discovering what it means to be Asian American. I am one of the few people of color within institutions and amongst my peers. Much like the neon signs, I shine a light on Asian American identity in ceramics, to create a history that's been mostly left in the dark. Ceramics has been a safe haven for me. Much like the YMCAs that gave my family a community, ceramics has given me a polarizing community that I both feel a part of and on the outskirts of.
YMCA Neon, 2019 Stoneware, spray paint, wood, and epoxy 19" x 15" x .5" Photo credit: Chris Stone
STEVEN YOUNG LEE Helena | Montana
Growing up in the United States the son of immigrant Korean parents, I am often situated between cultures looking from one side into another. Living and working in metropolitan centers such as New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Seoul, and Vancouver, as well as the rural communities of Alfred, Jingdezhen, and Helena has raised questions of identity and assimilation. My work allows me to re-interpret and confront questions of place and belonging and investigate the sources and ownership of cultural influence. The objects I create collect elements of form, decoration, color, and material from different cultures while questioning failure, expectation, and intent. The objects I create celebrate the long and complex history of porcelain production by utilizing elements of form, decoration, color, and material from many cultures around the world. Through this I hope to re-interpret and confront questions of place and belonging to investigate the sources and ownership of cultural influence. This plate installation was made in response to a Korean folk painting in the collection of the Portland Art Museum. The genre of paintings known as â€œminwhaâ€? were painted by itinerant artists around the time of the Lunar New Year to bring good fortune to families. The tiger often represented the ruling class or aristocracy and the magpie depicted the common people. These paintings offer a glimpse into the relationship between the social classes in Korea at the time. In my interpretation of the work, I am replacing the tiger with Tony the Tiger from Frosted Flakes which I grew up eating every morning as a child. As a character, Tony represented health and strength in a way that has evolved very differently in today's food climate. The magpie was replaced with Heckle and Jeckle, rabble-rouser characters from from the Terrytoon cartoons of my youth, who introduced a sliver of anarchy to the system. I appreciate the power of characterization, the ability to communicate societal conditions, and the evolution of history through visual imagery.
Tiger and Magpies, 2019 Porcelain, cobalt inlay, glaze, epoxy, and gold leaf 150" x 100" x 1"
MATTHEW MITROS Carbondale | Illinois
My work in the studio focuses on the creation of illusory acts of tension between what appears organic in form and what is clearly machined. The organic, shaped by my hands, is illustrated in the rough surfaces and plant-like forms. The machined, characterized by the clean lines of the slip-cast objects and the plastic/clay 3D printed elements, is one step removed from my hands—formed by molds, CAD software, and modern print technology. While these sleek components appear to be the offspring of the digital age, they are simply human manipulations of natural materials and processes. The real difference between the organic and the machined lies in their inherent goals: one is predicated by a struggle for survival, while the other is predicated by a desire to achieve maximum efficiency. When the analogue and the digital are juxtaposed, tension fades away to a merger. The eye beholds a single piece in which the organic and the machined coexist; they are in their natural states. These pieces communicate—often with humor and a campy approach to aesthetics—a breakdown of how we expect a “mug” to appear and/or function. By all means these are sculptural objects, but I have found nesting the narrative in the historical subject of a drinking mug enables me to expand my interest in materials and composition. The mug by classical definition, has elemental parts that qualify it as a specific piece of pottery with a specific function: a vessel, to hold liquid, has a handle, etc... Relying on these object qualifiers as a source of joy, recomposing them with disjointed shapes and materials disrupts viewers' expectations. At the intersection of sentimentalism and kitsch, my small scale assemblages pay homage to the aesthetics of pop-culture, architecture, and nature. These arranged abstractions and collaged objects are informed by a desire to illustrate the sublime relationship between the natural and mechanized.
Mug Composition #31, 2019 Ceramic, PLA, glitter, and paint 8" x 7" x 4"
NADIA MYRE Montreal | Canada
Based on the form of barrels once used to ship tobacco between North America and Europe, Untitled (Tobacco Barrel) takes up transcultural social histories of both tobacco and ceramics and their roles in colonial economic and cultural exchange. This piece is constructed of hand-built and dyed ceramic beads whose forms mimic the stems of clay tobacco pipes, remnants of which still litter the banks of the River Thames in London, as well as archaeological sites in North America. These beads are woven into the form of a barrel using a modified version of a traditional Anishinaabe loombased bead weaving method, meshing ancestral and contemporary materials and techniques. Embedded in the remains of old clay pipes is a narrative of colonial trade, cultural appropriation, and economic, agricultural, and labor exploitation. As the smoking of tobaccoâ€”an important diplomatic and cultural practice of the Indigenous peoples of North Americaâ€” was adopted and appropriated by settlers and popularized in Europe and the Americaâ€™s, the mass production of clay pipes emerged. The lengthy process used to make the beads at once contrasts the manufacture of the original pipes, engages with material traditions surrounding tobacco, and recalls the textures of labor and craft within its trade history. Untitled (Tobacco Barrel) reclaims and re-appropriates Indigenous practices, remixing traditions of ceramics, fibres, and beading. Operating within the mechanisms of both contemporary art and traditional craft, recalling the stigmatized ethnographic treatment that has historically separated Indigenous art practices from the artistic canon, labeling them instead as anthropology or artifact. Addressing the entanglement of appropriation and othering of creative practices with colonial realities, this vessel uses material, historical, and cultural multivalence to speak to how (colonial) cultural exchange manifests in material history.
Untitled (Tobacco Barrel), 2019 Ceramic, oxides, and stainless steel thread 24" x 21" x 10"
ADAMS PURYEAR Brooklyn | New York
I explore the Internet’s convoluted information and how it can be represented by tactile materials. Obsessively grazing over electronic documentation of history and culture, I’ve come to understand the Internet’s growth as one slowly unfolding in a nonlinear and ultimately muddled formlessness. Experimenting with palpable translations of the Internet’s anti-filter, I continue to return to the material of clay to create historically sedimented, sculptural elements contrasting contemporary electronic displays and/or audio. Reveling in digital-analogue, historic-new, formal-experiential dichotomies, another contradiction emerges: an amorphous and colored polymer slowly moving in-real-time in front of the viewer on an art object. Paradoxically, it is this material that lasts for a few days before becoming brittle and destroyed that slows down a viewing. Allowing for critical reflection, the pace of this movement is the antithesis to the franticness of our work-globalized-internet life. The Paint Huffer Series celebrates the debauched party mentality of the American ceramic community. American Studio Ceramics (ASC) has long been a multi-faceted but inclusive group that is accepting of almost anyone’s eccentricities. Wild stories about our ASC grandparents proliferate, as well as the stories from all of us about past NCECA conferences. Even with this wild side, ASC has always balanced it with an intensive approach to the quality and craft of clay and a progressive respect of ceramics history. This series of sculpture has this same sense of wild anarchy, but is itself balanced with well-made sculpture and serious thoughts of abstract functional ceramics. The Paint Huffer sculptures are all part hand-built dynamic sculpture, part utterer, and part utilitarian vessel. Embedded in the mouth, each sculpture has a speaker connected to an amplifier. As a group they project a 20 minute audio loop of a layered and disorientating mixtape celebrating the wild side of ASC. Tall Guy Paint Huffer and Short Guy Paint Huffer both have small tweeters in their mouths that vociferates the right and left channels. Big Guy Paint Huffer has a large subwoofer in its mouth that acts as the rumbling bass of the Paint Huffer Sound System (PHSS).This series is also part utilitarian vessel and dynamic sculpture that slowly bleeds out of each eyehole a pink polymer in front of the viewer.
Short Guy Paint Huffer (from Paint Huffer Series), 2019 Earthenware, polymer, and audio hardware 19" x 9" x 9"
~ JOANN QUINONES Richmond | Indiana
When I was a child I used to take the heads off Barbie dolls and line them up neatly in a row on my dresser. At the time, I had no rationale for this behavior, except the deep-down pleasure it gave me. What I couldn’t articulate at the time was that dolls did not represent me— my desires, my aspirations, or even my looks—and yet I knew I was supposed to be shaped, molded, and influenced by their presence. Dolls in my family were toys, offerings for ancestors, vessels for spirits, and comforts during times of trauma. The idea for this body of work started with my fascination with dolls and a question: how could the doll form represent a queer, Afro-Latinx identity? Each figure alludes to a body in conflict, to contradictions unresolved and gaps, like missing memories that cannot be recovered. Toussaint of Ward Avenue is a composite figure made of one person’s face, another’s legs, and 25 slip cast, terra cotta doll arms. The garments are made of Osnaburg, coffee stained cotton, indigo dyed linen, and Dutch wax prints, all fabrics associated with African trade. The digitally printed organza features newspaper articles of events that shaped my childhood understanding of race, class, gender, and sexual identity.
Toussaint of Ward Avenue, 2019 Sculpture 84" x 40" x 40" Photo credit: Morgan Stephenson
LAUREN SANDLER Philadelphia | Pennsylvania
Centuripe Series, lidded vessels that conjoin cultures, deconstruct mythologies through personal and historic chronicles. Informed by Lekanis pots of Centuripe, Sicily, the region where my mother’s family lives, produced from 300 to 200 BC, the artifacts mark life transitions and signify sacred and mundane. This work examines my Jewish and Italian cultures to discuss historic narratives of power. The pieces amplify the multiculturalism of Ancient Rome, and refute the lie that antiquity was a homogenous time and place. My work interrogates institutional ceramics that normalizes a canon with Eurocentric and Orientalist bias. Such codified inequity prioritizes specific aesthetics and erases or misrepresents many who work with clay. Ancient Rome did not construct difference through the language of race, biology, and skin color. The notions that Romans are the foundation of a “white,” or “western civilization” are false constructions perpetuated in our classrooms and museums. These pieces interrogate art history built on racist misappropriation of earlier eras. They embody migrations and diasporas, domesticity and ritual, trade and commodity, function and adornment, illustrating myths and reality. The repeated objects attached to the forms create a combined vessel and evoke my multiple cultures, different forces, ideologies meeting. One piece depicts salt, a material across geography and culture, source of exchange, currency, protest, preservation, and healing. Another features ancient Jewish oil lamps as well as flax and weaving combs used to create textiles. Also evident are barley and wheat, staples among ancient Jews, that were taxed, controlled and sold in Roman colonies. Also evident are barley and wheat, crops taxed, controlled and sold in Roman colonies and staples among ancient Jews. The hanging pomegranate seeds are Jewish and Roman symbols of life and death. The hooks, weights, bobbers, and knots represent the sea, water, and the movement of goods and people. Works in this series express lives present in absence, stories told when myths are dismantled by cultural content in historic context.
Centuripe Series: Oil Lamps, 2019 Earthenware, glaze, and gold luster 16" x 10" x 10"
MIKE STUMBRAS Riverside | Missouri
My work explores the beauty and horror of our existential uncertainties as creatures seeking meaning. The work addresses design elements from 18th and 19th century European slip cast porcelain. The historical work that inspires me presents a criterion for beauty that often seems empty in regards to contemporary considerations regarding the human condition. Although much of the work I am inspired by involves the use of production techniques, my pieces are created with the immediacy and individuality attributed to hand processes and alternative firing methods. I place an emphasis on making ceremonial pieces that speak to the passage of time and embrace the propensity for ceramic vessels to be heirloom objects. The work bears witness to the ebb and flow of civilizations, ideas, and people. Heart Burial Urn refers to the historical process of interring the heart separately from the body. This ritual was most popular in medieval and early post-medieval Central Europe. Frederic Chopinâ€™s heart burial monument has the inscription: â€œFor where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.â€? Wheel thrown, with a slip cast base altered from a historical mold, this urn highlights the burden of the knowledge of our own demise. Alternatively, it celebrates the autonomy of personal ideology, both in life and in death.
Heart Burial Urn, 2019 English grolleg porcelain, celadon glaze, and gold luster 13.5" x 6" x 6"
STEVEN THURSTON Columbus | Ohio
I am fascinated with historyâ€”in particular, my work has been informed by the ideas and principles from the age of the BeauxArts architecture. Equally, I am interested in alchemic pursuits like those of of Johann Friedrich BĂśttger who is credited with developing European porcelain while being imprisoned by August the Strong of Saxony. His experiments were obviously in response to the influence Chinese porcelain has had on the many cultures along the Silk Trade routes and their desire to possess that pure white material. I am captivated by how cultures pursue material desires from misplaced translations that are never fully understood. How a need to possess a material can create innovative facsimiles that go on to become influential in their own right. Lost in Translation - Lincoln has to do with material exploration and translational misunderstandings. The work seeks to explore how desires enable deception and how deception promotes misunderstanding. My current body of work is purposely layered with historical references and, while one layer may seem political or topical, another is grounded within the emotional pursuits of material exploration. All the busts are porcelain in origin but the formulas have been altered or infused with an industrial refractory castable. The reduction atmosphere pushes the materials to their structural limits and transforms the raw clay into dense brick-like ceramics. The ceramic forms are fired multiple times to achieve the desired level of transformation. The wooden pillows are individually carved from large slabs of reclaimed wood and are designed to perfectly nest each head. Digital technologies are utilized throughout the process to either generate or visualize form.
Lost in Translation - Lincoln, 2019 Porcelain, high iron clay, industrial refractory castable, and Black Elm wood 6" x 12" x 8"
MARY CALE WILSON San Diego | California
Through an interdisciplinary approach to ceramics, my work plays with my identity and heritage as a woman from the American South. Exploring familial and social history through non-linear storytelling, I express the many layers and dualities of culture and identity. Personal intuition and play are driving forces in the act of making, and I rely on rebellion, humor, memory, and nostalgia as fuel. As I excavate the many layers of my cultural identity, I attempt to reconcile my history, memory, and identity. Deeply rooted in the language of objects, materials, and vessels, I am interested in creating work that playfully questions notions of history, heritage, domesticity, gender, and class. High Cotton explores the burden of history associated with my identity as a woman from the American South. The heirloom vessel, appearing weathered and worn, appears next to cotton in an attempt to express my feelings about the history and the roots of my privilege. Referencing historical ceramics, I represent the complexities of Southern identity more honestly. The phrase â€˜High Cottonâ€™ means that times are good, or expresses that someone is wealthy because the cotton is high in the fields. The processes used in this work include handbuilding, hand-painting with underglazes, and incorporate found cotton.
High Cotton, 2019 Earthenware and dried cotton 36" x 21" x 18" Photo credit: Tim Demuth
JENNIFER LING DATCHUK jenniferlingdatchuk.com
WOODY DE OTHELLO woodyothello.com
Jennifer Ling Datchuk is an artist born in Warren, Ohio and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Trained in ceramics, she works with porcelain and other materials often associated with traditional women’s work, such as textiles and hair, to discuss fragility, beauty, femininity, intersectionality, identity, and personal history. She earned her MFA in artisanry from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and a BFA in crafts from Kent State University. She has received grants from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, Artpace, and the Linda Lighton International Artist Exchange Program to research the global migrations of porcelain and blue and white pattern decoration. She was awarded a residency through the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany and has participated in residencies at the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, Vermont Studio Center, European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands, and Artpace in San Antonio, Texas.
Woody De Othello creates and mutates everyday recognizable objects as a way to address broad audiences. He depicts these objects in various psychological and emotional states to express ideas, often with a tone of humor. These objects, such as doorknobs, AC vents, lights, and TV sets, are rendered in an uncanny fashion with a sense of play, emotional intuition, and surrealism that provokes viewers to reimagine themselves and the way they view the world around them. De Othello uses a hand-building technique called slab construction. Building the sculptures up about six to eight inches at a time, he pushes the forms to a point where they near collapse. Working the clay to a point of precariousness adds to their psychological weight and creates a sense of movement and individual emotion. De Othello’s work interrogates the tension between animate and inanimate, energy and exhaustion, hospitality and hostility.
NICKI GREEN nickigreen.org
RAVEN HALFMOON ravenhalfmoon.com
Nicki Green is a transdisciplinary artist working primarily in clay. Originally from New England, she completed her BFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009 and her MFA in art practice from University of California, Berkeley in 2018. Her sculptures, ritual objects and various flat works explore topics of history preservation, conceptual ornamentation and aesthetics of otherness. Green has exhibited her work internationally, notably at the New Museum, New York; The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Rockelmann & Partner Gallery, Berlin, Germany. She has contributed texts to numerous publications including Duke University Press’ Transgender Studies Quarterly and Fermenting Feminism, Copenhagen. In 2019, Green was a finalist for the SFMOMA SECA Award and awarded an Arts/Industry Residency from the John Michael Kohler Art Center, among other awards. Green lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Raven Halfmoon (Caddo Nation) is from Norman, Oklahoma. She attended the University of Arkansas where she earned a double Bachelor’s Degree in ceramics/painting and cultural anthropology. Her work has been featured in multiple exhibitions throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. Raven is currently based in Helena, Montana where she is an artist in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts. She is represented by Gallery FRITZ in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
ELIZABETH M. WEBB elizabethmwebb.com
Issac Logsdon is a mestizo artist, writer, cook, and adobero living in Northern New Mexico. In addition to a studio practice, he restores historic adobe structures throughout the greater Southwest using traditional earthen building practices and gardens along the Santa Fe River, just a couple of blocks from where his great-grandmotherâ€™s garden once flourished.
Elizabeth M. Webb is an artist and filmmaker from Charlottesville, Virginia. Her work is invested in issues surrounding race and identity, often using the lens of her own family history of migration and racial passing to explore larger, systemic constructs. She has screened and exhibited in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Ecuador, Singapore, Switzerland, Mexico, Austria, and Germany and was a recipient of the inaugural Allan Sekula Social Documentary Award in 2014. Elizabeth holds a dual MFA in film/ video and photography/media from California Institute of the Arts and is an alumna of the Whitney Independent Study Program in Studio Art, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
ELISSA ARMSTRONG earmst1.otherpeoplespixels.com/home.html
LISA MARIE BARBER lisamariebarber.com
Elissa Armstrong is on the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts, where she has been the Director of the Art Foundation Program since 2009. Her ceramic work has been featured in numerous venues, including: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, Fuller Craft Museum, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and The Clay Studio. Elissa received her MFA from Alfred University; BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; BA from Queenâ€™s University; and her BED from the University of Western Ontario.
Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Lisa Marie earned her BS in sociology/art minor at Northern Arizona University (1992) and MFA from the University of Texas at Austin (1998). She is currently a full professor in the Art and Design Department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. In addition to exhibiting nationally (with over 30 solo/two-person exhibitions to her credit), Lisa has held visiting artist and residency positions at City University of New York, Hunter College; Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis; Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, Maine; Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City, Nebraska; University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; and Mendocino Art Center, California. She will be a Community Artistin-Resident at The Clay Studio of Missoula in Montana in May 2020.
EMILY BAYLESS emilybaylessstudio.com
JEREMY BROOKS klai-body.com
Emily Bayless (b. 1988) completed a BFA in ceramics at Arizona State University before moving to Long Beach, California to continue her practice at California State University, Long Beach. After two rigorous years of exploration Bayless was accepted as a MFA candidate in ceramics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and received her degree in December 2015. Post MFA Bayless went abroad, basing herself in London, UK, and traveled the rest of Europe. She returned the United States to accept a position as an Instructor of Art & Design at Millersville University. Her work has been on view in museums and galleries such as the Susquehanna Art Museum, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, the Diego Rivera Gallery in San Francisco, and the Gildar Gallery in Denver. She currently lives and works in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Jeremy R. Brooks was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1979. He received his BFA from Grand Valley State University and his MFA from Alfred University. Jeremy has balanced his career between working as an artist and teaching. Some of his honors include receiving one of the 2011 Emerging Artists Awards from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), being selected as a guest of honor at the XXIst International Biennial of Vallauris, France, and being selected as a finalist for the 2017 Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize. Jeremy is currently an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Coastal Carolina University and resides in Conway, South Carolina.
LARRY BULLER larrybullerceramics.com
ANDRÉA KEYS CONNELL andreakeys.com
Larry earned his MFA in ceramics from the Hixson-Leid College of Fine/Performing Arts from the University of Nebraska. Prior to earning his MFA, he taught ceramics in public school settings. As an openly gay man Larry's art subverts traditional domestic ceramic forms in order to celebrate gay sexually and fetish objects. Viewers of these objects may at first be attracted to the highly decorative showy surface treatments of these pieces. However, upon closer inspection they might observe a decidedly more subversive message around gay sexuality and fetish objects. In his work, Larry seeks to blur the boundaries what is considered to be in "good taste" for the domestic setting as well as encourage dialogue around topics not normally discussed in "polite" society. Larry recently completed a 10-week residency at the Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colorado. Currently he is Adjunct Faculty at the UNL Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Art in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Andréa Keys Connell is an Associate Professor of Ceramics in the Department of Art at Appalachian State University. She is a former Fountainhead Fellow and served as the Head of the Clay Area in the Department of Craft/Material Studies at VCU from 2010-17. Andréa’s work has been featured in a number of national and international publications and she has widely exhibited her work. She has had 14 solo exhibitions in various galleries and museums since 2009, including the Florida Holocaust Museum and the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Andréa also works on largescale public art commissions such as the See Also endowment commission with the Cleveland Public Library. Along with exhibiting her work and teaching at Appalachian State University, Andréa has taught workshops on figure sculpting at various craft schools across the country including Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.
KELCY CHASE FOLSOM kelcychasefolsom.com
TERI FRAME teriframe.com
Kelcy Chase Folsom received his MFA in ceramics from University of Colorado, Boulder and his BFA from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a resident artist at numerous residencies including the Center for Ceramics in Berlin, Germany, The Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia, and The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has taught at the George Washington University, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Maryland Institute College of Art, University of the Arts, and New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University as the Robert C. Turner Teaching Fellow in ceramic art. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of craft/material studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.
Teri Frame earned her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA from Pennsylvania State University. Although she was trained as a ceramist, performance, video, and photography have entered her practice and she continues to move among these genres. Frame has exhibited, lectured, and taught internationally and throughout the United States. She has completed artist residencies at the Interlochen Arts Academy, The MacDowell Colony, PlatteForum, Emmanuel College, the Australian National University, and the Shangyu Celadon Modern International Ceramics Center in Shaoxing, China. Her work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Monthly Ceramic Art Korea, and the Journal of Australian Ceramics. Frame is currently Associate Professor of Ceramics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
ALINA HAYES alinahayes.com
DAWN HOLDER dawnholder.com
Born into a family of various trades, Alina embraces her relations' ancestry with her work in clay. The daughter of a jeweler and musician; granddaughter of a potter and surgeon, hands were an important and essential part of her familyâ€™s everyday lives in connection to others. In much of the same way, they have come to shape her perception of the world and her love for the handmade. Alina is a Los Angeles based artist. She grew up in New York and began her education at School of Visual Arts where she studied illustration and painting. Upon relocating to Los Angeles in 2005, Alina continued her education at California State University, Northridge where she received her BA in art and a MFA in art with an emphasis in ceramics. Presently Alina is an Adjunct Professor at Ventura Community College and California State University, Northridge.
Dawn Holder is a sculptor and installation artist who investigates various elements of landscape and their socio-cultural significance through ceramics and mixed media. Her densely detailed work combines diverse influences such as Minimalism, Eco-Feminism, and the Necropastoral. An Associate Professor of Art, Holder teaches ceramics, sculpture, and art history at the University of the Ozarks, in Clarksville, Arkansas. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Grand Prize at both the 2017 Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum and the 4x4 2018 Midwest Invitational Exhibition at the Springfield Art Museum, as well as a 2019 Lighton International Artist Exchange Program Grant. Holder has shown her work at galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad, including the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. She earned her MFA in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BFA in ceramics from the University of Georgia.
AKIKO JACKSON akikojackson.com
ROXANNE JACKSON roxannejackson.com
Akiko Jackson is from Kahuku, a rural North Shore community on the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i. Jackson earned her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts and her MA from California State University, Northridge, the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communications. Jackson has been awarded residencies and fellowships at the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, Kansas; Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, Maine; Pottery Northwest, Seattle, Washington; and was a Louise Bourgeois Endowed Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She was recently a Visual Artist at the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont and the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, RAiR Foundation, Roswell, New Mexico. Akiko Jackson has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.
Writing about Roxanne Jackson's work appears in the New York Times, Whitehot Magazine, Beautiful Decay, Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Gothamist, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Ireland, and New Ceramics, among others. She is the recipient of residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Socrates Sculpture Park, Wassaic Project, Watershed Center, Ceramic Center of Berlin, funded by a Jerome Grant, and Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. She has an upcoming show at DUVE Berlin, followed by residencies at PLOP in London (UK) and at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan. She has exhibited widely, with recent exhibitions at The Hole (New York), Cob Gallery (London), Anonymous Gallery (Mexico City), Garis & Hahn (Los Angeles), Kunstraum Niederösterreich (Vienna), Mathilde Hatzenberger Gallery (Brussels), and Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, Denny Gallery, Regina Rex, and SPRING/BREAK Art Fair in New York. She is the co-founder of NASTY WOMEN, a global art and fundraising exhibition.
PETER CHRISTIAN JOHNSON peterchristianjohnson.com
QWIST JOSEPH qwistjoseph.com
Peter Christian Johnson is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Kent State University after serving more than decade as the Head of the Ceramics Department at Eastern Oregon University. He earned his MFA from Pennsylvania State University and his BS in environmental science at Wheaton College. Peter has been a Visiting Artist at Alberta College of Art and Design, Australian National University, the University of Florida, Harvard, and numerous other institutions. He received the Oregon Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship, the Ohio Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship, and was a Matsutani Fellow at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts. He was awarded first place in the 2018 Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics, and an Honorable mention at the 9th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale. His work has been exhibited in Canada, Australia, China, Korea, and throughout the United States.
After years working alongside his dad at the family bronze foundry, Qwist received his BFA from Colorado State University and his MFA from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. In 2016, he was selected as an emerging artist by Ceramics Monthly and awarded a summer residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. He currently lives in Southern California where he teaches sculpture and ceramics at the University of Redlands and Chaffey College. Qwist has shown nationally and internationally, and last year was commissioned to create private and public works for the Davidson Sculpture Garden in Riverside, California and the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. He most recently was on a year long grant at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program and was a 2019 NCECA Emerging Artist.
LAUREN KALMAN laurenkalman.com
VARUNI KANAGASUNDARAM varunik.com
Lauren Kalman is a visual artist based in Detroit, Michigan whose practice explores the history of adornment, and craft through objects, video, photography, and performance. In her work she investigates beauty, body image, and the built environment through forceful performances using the female body. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, Mint Museum, World Art Museum Beijing, How Art Museum in Shanghai, and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Smithsonian Museum of American Art; Detroit Institute of Art; and Museum of Arts and Design.
Varuni Kanagasundaram's practice as a ceramic artist explores the expression of migrants from South Asia, the expression of their journeys, and how they move between cultural traditions in new lands. Her work incorporates performance and community participation to addresses themes of identity, place, loss, confluence of cultural practices, and memory from the feminine perspective. Following the completion of her Bachelor of Arts and Honours (1st class) in ceramics (2013), she was awarded a grant in 2014 to develop her practice exploring cultural hybridity. Currently undertaking postgraduate studies in fine arts, Kanagasundaram has presented at international conferences and is the recipient of US art residencies, awards in major sculpture/fine art exhibitions, scholarships, and the NCECA Multicultural Fellowship.
WANSOO KIM wansookim.com
NIKKI LAU nikkilauart.com
Wansoo Kim was born and raised in South Korea where he received his BFA in ceramics from Seoul National University of Science and Technology. He participated in the 2015 International Art Workshop in Turkey as one of six Korean ceramic artists. In 2015, he was accepted to the graduate program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and earned his master`s degree in 2018. Since moving to the United States, Wansoo has continued to push his career forward, showing regularly in national exhibitions. Recently, he was featured in the 2018 April issue of Monthly Ceramic Art in South Korea and finished the Red Star Residency program at Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City.
Nikki Lau was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She was a 2010-2011 Alumni of AmeriCorps/Public Allies, and her work shifted to themes of social justice and identity politics. Lau received her BA in interdisciplinary visual arts at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington (2008), received her MFA with a concentration in ceramics at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania (2016) where she was awarded the Bunton Waller Assistantship. After graduating Nikki moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She joined the all woman’s art collective This Many Boyfriends Club. She’s exhibited her work across the US. She has collaborated and worked with several non-profits in Philadelphia including Spiral Q, The Clay Studio, Sankofa Farms, The Horticulture Center, PAWS, and Fleisher Art Memorial. She loves cooking for her friends. She's a current resident at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York and future resident at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
STEVEN YOUNG LEE stevenyounglee.com
MATTHEW MITROS mattmitros.com
Steven Young Lee has been the Resident Artist Director of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana since 2006. 2016 he was one of four artists featured as part of the Renwick Invitational at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. In March 2013 he participated on a panel, Americans in the Porcelain City, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in 2013, he was one of several international artists invited to participate in New Blue and White, an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA that featured contemporary artists working in the blue-and-white tradition of ceramic production. From February to August 2019, he had a solo exhibition on display at the Portland Art Museum. Lee received his BFA and MFA in ceramics from Alfred University. Originally from Chicago, he lives in Helena with his wife, Lisa and their two children Gavin and Florence.
Matt Mitros was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his BFA (2001) at Pennsylvania State University, completed a postbaccalaureate degree at the University of Illinois, and earned his MFA from the University of Washington. Mitros has been an ArtistIn-Residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, and Red Lodge Clay Center. In 2008 Mitros was an Artist Trust GAP (Grant for Artist Projects) recipient funded by the City of Seattle. Mitros was selected as a 2013 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly. His work has been featured in Art in America, Art LTD, Clay Times, Ceramics Monthly, Maake Magazine, and City Arts Magazine, as well as the book 500 Figures in Clay. Mitros’ work is in the permanent public collections of the National Museum of Slovenia, Bemidji State University, the Spartanburg Art Museum, the de Young Museum, The Hudgens Center for the Arts, Fine Arts Museum of Florida State University, and others.
NADIA MYRE nadiamyre.net
ADAMS PURYEAR adamspuryear.net
Nadia Myre is an artist from Montreal and an Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. A graduate of Camosun College (1995), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (1997), and Concordia University (MFA 2002), Myre is a recipient the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec (2019), the Banff Centre Walter Phillips Gallery Indigenous Commission Award (2016), and the Sobey Art Award (2014). Recent solo exhibitions include Balancing Acts (Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto, 2019), Code Switching (Art Mur Montreal/Berlin 2019/2018 and Glasgow International, 2018), and Scattered Remains (Montreal Museum of Fine Art, 2017). Myre is currently the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts Practice at Concordia University where she supports, through the Kìnawind Lab, scholarly and creative work around Indigenous Practice.
Adams Puryear (Brooklyn, New York) and Joey Watson (Kansas City, Missouri) have been collaborating on work together for the past year. Both artists are brought together over a shared background in ceramics and shared interest in sound. Thus, this ongoing collaborative energy concentrates on this intersection of audio and clay and acts as the basis to develop new ideas. Continuing research and experimentation that stretch the relationship of clay with sound, Puryear and Watson continue to form new dynamic sculptures.
JOANN QUIÑONES joannquinones.com
LAUREN SANDLER laurensandlerstudio.com
Joann Quiñones is an Associate Professor of English at Earlham College, and in 2019 earned her MFA from the Indiana University, Bloomington.
Lauren Sandler deconstructs mythologies and investigates cultural narratives of power and perspective through writing, teaching, service, and studio practice. Through fragmented forms, allegoric vessels, and mundane assemblages, Sandler highlights the overlooked, amplifies interdependence, and implicates our assumptions of normal and worth. Born in New York, Sandler's felt sense developed through the contrast of the city’s exterior, to the small space of the family’s apartment. Sandler's work is exhibited nationally with past residencies at The Clay Studio of Missoula and Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, where Sandler received the Kiln God Award. Sandler earned a MFA in ceramics from Pennsylvania State University, and undergraduate degrees in anthropology and ceramics from Ithaca College and SUNY New Paltz. Sandler is currently an Assistant Professor of Instruction in ceramics at Tyler School of Art.
MIKE STUMBRAS mikestumbras.com
STEVEN THURSTON art.osu.edu/people/thurston.14
Stumbras was born in Chicago, Illinois. He studied at St. Olaf College, where he received his BFA in studio arts and BS in biology in 2007. Stumbras received his MFA in ceramics from Louisiana State University in 2017. Stumbras has completed residencies across the country including 323 Clay in Kansas City, Missouri; the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York; and the Carbondale Clay Center in Carbondale, Colorado. Formerly a Visiting Professor of Ceramics at the College of William and Mary, Stumbras maintains an active studio and research practice that involves professional publication as well as frequent participation in national and international exhibitions. Stumbras is recently a lecturer at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.
Steven Thurston received his BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 1994 he joined the faculty at The Ohio State University and currently has the rank of Associate Professor. Professor Thurston has held several Artist-in-Residence positions, most notably, The Alternative Works Site at Bemis in Omaha, Nebraska; the Europees Keramic Werk Centrum in Den Bosch, The Netherlands; The Keramick Werkcentrum, Berlin; and Resident Artist at the Sächsische Porzellan-Manufaktur. From 2015-2018 he traveled to China where he held several long term Artist in residencies- most notably at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen; Jingdezhen Ceramic Warehouse; and Shanghai Institute of the Visual Arts; Shanghai Exhibition of Art and Technology Innovation. Steven has received numerous awards for his research and has exhibited and lectured nationally and internationally on his work and on the integration of new technologies within a studio setting.
MARY CALE WILSON marycale.com Mary Cale Wilson was born in Fairhope, Alabama, and grew up in a rural community outside of Savannah, Georgia. Through the format of sculpture, ceramics, and painting, Wilson weaves together loose narratives that play with experiences as a woman from the American South. Wilson received a MFA in ceramics from San Diego State University in 2017 after earning a BFA in both studio art/ceramics and art education at the University of Georgia in 2007. Wilson has been been a lecturer in ceramics at San Diego State University School of Art + Design since 2017 and has taught in both California and Georgia. In addition to exhibiting across the United States, Mary Cale Wilson has completed residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation in 2019 and Penland School of Crafts in 2016.
CURATOR & EXHIBITIONS DIRECTOR
ANNA WALKER CURATOR
BRETT BINFORD NCECA EXHIBITIONS DIRECTOR
Anna Walker, curator of the 2020 NCECA Annual, is Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) where she is responsible for exhibition, research and publication, the proposal of acquisitions, and development of long-term collections strategy. She has lectured widely and contributed essays for Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft Inquiry, and the 2016 Renwick Invitational: Visions and Revisions catalogue. Recent projects at the MFAH include In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950-1970, In Conversation: 18th Century Influences on Contemporary Craft, and Materials and Meaning in Dutch Jewelry from the Museum’s Collection. She presented “The Personal is Political: Exploring Constructions of Identity in the Work of Jennifer Ling-Datchuk” at the Textile Society of America’s 16th Biennial symposium. She is co-curating the forthcoming retrospective of Olga de Amaral with Cranbrook Art Museum opening in 2020.
Brett Binford is an artist and entrepreneur residing in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-owner of Mudshark Studios, Eutectic Gallery, Kept Goods, Clay Street, and The Portland Growler Company. Brett currently oversees production at Mudshark Studios as their CEO and Operations Manager as well as operates Eutectic Gallery as the Gallery Director. Brett first served on NCECA's board as an Onsite Conference Liaison for the 51st annual conference held in Portland, Oregon in 2017 and is currently serving as the Exhibitions Director.
Right: Joann Quiñones, Toussaint of Ward Avenue, detail