Ceramics Now has the pleasure to invite you to the launch of Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue 2, March 29, from 6 PM, at The Paintbrush Factory (First Floor), Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Issue Two introduces the work of over 35 international artists, beginning with Ken Eastman, Kimberly Cook, Patricia Sannit, Marianne McGrath, Annie Woodford, Suzanne Stumpf or Ruth Power, and continuing with a special feature on Romanian ceramic artists, and a preview feature for Copenhagen Ceramics gallery. The issue also inaugurates the magazines’ new review category.
Ceramics Now’s goal is to make contemporary ceramics a more visible art field through editing publications and organizing exhibitions, workshops and lectures. The online platform and the magazine unites artists from different communities and facilitates idea exchange between them and the public.
The magazine is distributed in a network of libraries, galleries and institutions all over the world and can be bought online for $15. Ceramics Now is a non-profit organization created by a team of artists and students in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Although the number of contemporary ceramic artists is relatively small, the capacity of ceramics to encompass a broad range of concepts, techniques, and materials in comparison with other arts is surprisingly big. In this issue, as well as in our first, we present artists who work with different materials and techniques, but more importantly, each of them displays a distinct idea, a little hint of what he and his passion are made of. Through the interviews and articles we have included, we want at least a part of the artists’ ideas to be ridden, passed along, and to contribute to the advancement of contemporary ceramics.
While being creative in a field as diverse as contemporary art, it is almost impossible not to draw parallels between your work and someone else’s which was probably created in a media different from the one you use. This happens inevitably, and in my opinion, it always has a purpose – either predefined or not. Even if a parallel is found, each artistic endeavor has its own origin and, at least for the creator, a unique purpose. A new level is reached when the uniqueness of the artistic initiative is recognized and supported by an entire community.
Over the past year, Ceramics Now has become the largest online art platform dedicated to contemporary ceramics, and recently we have opened promotion to artists and galleries worldwide by application. This effort resulted from the wish to offer artists a platform to express themselves, but also from the desire to establish an accessible resource for everyone wanting to research and be inspired by contemporary ceramics. Since the launch of the first issue, we have been cited as a reference by numerous universities and colleges in the United States and Europe. This step was incredibly important for us because it has proven the value of the project and has kept us working hard. Although the current issue was published later than originally planned, what is important is that all the resources we gathered through this process have already traveled the internet in the meantime, creating a powerful community around us.
Our next goal is to become even more active in promoting contemporary ceramics on an international scale. Even though we have already organized four international exhibitions, with two being prepared for this year, all of these events so far have been held in Romania. In addition to inviting foreign artists to our beautiful country, we want to visit artists in their home countries and to organize events in as many places as possible for as many artists as possible. Key to our success will be greater financial stability and transitioning to full-time staffing of this project. It is a big step that can be possible with growing support from our readers. (An act of patronage has infinitely more value than a purchase.)
In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art / Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge
In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art / Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge January 31 - June 1, 2013
Harvard Art Museums present exhibition of Norma Jean Calderwood’s collection of Islamic Art Includes Persian ceramics, illustrated manuscripts, drawings, and lacquerware
The Harvard Art Museums present In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, a special exhibition that showcases some 150 objects from the Persian cultural sphere, including luxury glazed ceramics of the early and medieval Islamic era, illustrated manuscripts of medieval epic poems, and lacquerware of the early modern era. The works in this little-known and largely unpublished collection represent 30 years of committed collecting by Mrs. Calderwood. In Harmony is on display January 31–June 1, 2013 at the Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway, Cambridge, MA.
The exhibition is curated by Mary McWilliams, Norma Jean Calderwood Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Harvard Art Museums. An accompanying catalogue, edited by McWilliams, offers illustrated entries and nine essays written by distinguished scholars and conservation scientists from a broad range of specialties.
“In the decade since the Harvard Art Museums received the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, our gratitude has only increased for this magnificent gift,” said McWilliams. “Our research on the collection has inspired an even greater admiration and respect for Norma Jean’s knowledge and achievement. With this exhibition and catalogue, we hope to share with a broader audience the understanding we have gained of this beautiful and thoughtfully formed collection.”
“There has been exponential growth in the study of Islamic art in recent decades,” said Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, “and Harvard University and the Harvard Art Museums have been at the forefront of this movement, with faculty, curators, students, and celebrated collections providing fertile ground for the field. The Calderwood Collection is a lasting contribution from a collector who understood the heart of our educational mission.”
The Calderwoods Norma Jean Calderwood devoted much of her life to studying and teaching Islamic art and the complex of cultures in which it arose. She pursued graduate study in Islamic art at Harvard University, where she specialized in Persian manuscripts, and taught for many years at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at Boston College. A gifted lecturer, she was also an intrepid traveler, crossing North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia to study the art and architecture of Islamic lands. For three decades beginning in 1968, she systematically acquired examples of the artistic tradition that captivated her.
Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood were energetic and generous philanthropists in their adopted city of Boston. Institutions that have benefited directly from the Calderwoods’ generosity include the Boston Athenaeum, Boston College, the Cambridge Art Association, the Harvard Art Museums, the Huntington Theatre, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and public broadcaster WGBH. Their private art collection was the most tangible and personal expression of the Calderwoods’ lifelong involvement in the arts, but also the one least known to the public.
The Calderwood Collection The Calderwood Collection covers more than a thousand years of artistic achievement in the Persianate world during the Islamic era, principally through the media of ceramics, works on paper, and lacquer. The majority of objects were produced between the 9th and 19th centuries in Iran, Iraq, and parts of Central Asia. Initially attracted to luxury ceramics, Norma Jean Calderwood amassed 57 examples within a decade before shifting her attention to works on paper—illuminated and illustrated manuscript folios as well as single-page compositions. A handful of lacquer objects rounds out the collection. The collection was gifted to the Harvard Art Museums in 2002, and a subsequent exhibition of 46 objects, titled Closely Focused, Intensely Felt: Selections from the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, was held August 7, 2004–January 2, 2005 at the Sackler Museum. That exhibition marked the first public showing of a major portion of the collection.
In Harmony To convey to her students the effect of a Persian painting, Norma Jean Calderwood said that its many visual elements “united to form a harmony.” The theme is eloquently expressed in some of the finest works in the Calderwood Collection, as well as in the total assembly, with objects resonating through contrasts and connections. This exhibition celebrates the scope of Calderwood’s achievement and the harmony of purposes that led to the gifting of the collection to the Harvard Art Museums.
Fragile! In Transit / Traveling exhibition around Europe
Fragile! In Transit / Traveling exhibition around Europe 2012-2013
Next stop: Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff, Wales 41 Lochaber Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3LS
Dates: March 14-25, 2013 Opening Reception: March 22, from 6 pm.
Fragile! In Transit is the initial project of the Project Network 3 (three) collective, a group of 9 ceramic artists from across Europe. Throughout the course of one year, the artists are sending 9 pieces of work on a journey by post to each of their countries of residence. Fragile! In Transit engages with and responds directly to the notion of place, identity and culture. All the work is designed to fit into a prescribed box of similar format and together forms an exhibition centering on the balance between reality, fiction and perception of place. The project has already travelled to Ireland, Denmark and England. Upcoming destinations include Finland and Italy.
Cluj International Ceramics Biennale is the first contemporary ceramics biennale organized in Romania, and is aiming to become an international meeting place for ceramic artists. Artists from all over the world are invited to apply and participate at the biennale with their ceramic works. Apply now (Applications deadline: May 30, 2013).
Expressing artistic sensibilities using the means of ceramic art is on a growing scale amongst artists all over the world, and in the last years the contemporary ceramics field started to be seen as a contribution to the major arts. The first edition of the biennale has the potential to change old mentalities, focusing on the contemporary context and presenting the diversity of concepts and techniques in the innovative field of contemporary ceramics.
Cluj International Ceramics Biennale (CICB 2013) is organized by Ceramart Foundation and Ceramics Now Association, in partnership with Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, the University of Arts and Design Cluj-Napoca, and The Romanian Fine Artists Union. The ceramics biennale will be held in several locations in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, during October 9 - November 3, 2013.
The CICB’s goal is to become a contemporary meeting point for ceramic artists from all over the world. This artistic event will introduce the Romanian public to contemporary ceramic artists, practices and new concepts in the field. The biennale will also get round national and international institutions to work together with the aim of creating a living environment for ceramics in the city of Cluj-Napoca.
The profound changes in the world today, whether socio-economic, political or techno-scientific, have strongly influenced the artists’ search for new ways of expression, and engendered a change in how the creative act is viewed, both in terms of means of expression and in terms of message.
Sensitive to the slightest changes of artistic canon in the global Agora of contemporary arts, ceramic art evolves toward an interdisciplinary and integrative strategy. The new concepts that are gaining ground in the field attest to an aesthetic simbiosis with forms of expressivity specific to other artistic fields, while at the same time, retaining and accentuating - an experimental development specific to the field. The outcome could form an ingenious and resourceful alchemy.
The jury for the first edition of CICB: Zehra Çobanlı - Artist and Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey. David Jones - Artist and Senior Lecturer in Ceramics at the University of Wolverhampton, England. Les Manning - Artist and former Vice-President of the International Academy of Ceramics Geneva and Founding Director of the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada. Cristina Popescu Russu - Artist and Vice-President of the Romanian Fine Artists Union, Romania. Ting-Ju Shao - Artist and writer, former committee consultant for the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale and Taipei Ceramic Awards. Blazenka Soic Stebih - Artist, President at KERAMEIKON and Director of the International Festival of Postmodern Ceramics and Ceramica Multiplex, Varazdin, Croatia.
Organizing committee: Arina Ailincăi - Romanian Fine Artists Union Marius Georgescu - University of Arts and Design Cluj-Napoca, Ceramart Foundation Vasi Hîrdo - Ceramics Now Association Călin Stegerean - Cluj-Napoca Museum of Art Gavril Zmicală - Romulus Ladea Fine Arts High school
Applications are open for ceramic symposiums in Latvia
Leading Latvian and worldwide well known award winning porcelain and ceramics artists Ilona Romule and Peteris Martinsons invite artists to spend the summer together in Latvia, Zvartava manor.
During 21 – 31 July, 2013 in Zvartava manor will be held Masterclass “Lithophane” – a practice based workshop in lithophane technique by Ilona Romule for participants with figurative and narrative ideas.
„Lithophane” Masterclass will be followed by a Symposium “Masculine and feminine ceramics” which will take place from 2 – 12 August, 2013. The symposium will be led in tandem by Ilona Romule and Peteris Martinsons.
Three money prizes have been established for the best works created during the Symposium “Masculine and feminine ceramics”. Symposium masters - Ilona Romule and Peteris Martinsons - together with each Symposium participant will select one of the created artworks to be dedicated for the symposium exhibition and afterwards to be left at disposal of Symposium organizers.
From all selected artworks for the exhibition, Symposium masters will take the decision on 3 best works to be awarded with following money prizes – 250 EUR for the 1st place, 200 EUR for the 2nd place and 150 EUR for the 3rd best artwork.
For participation fees and application procedure, please see the official website www.symposiums.lv
You are also welcome to follow the updates on their Facebook page.
"In a continued effort to claim the functional surface of the dinner plate as a painting surface, REVERIE includes a new collection of historically sourced plate paintings. In response to the domestic nature of the galleries at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, I have designed “Tea for Two” a historic teacup inspired fabric wallpaper installation.
For REVERIE I worked closely with curators at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA to source their largely unviewed collection of historic teacups for “Tea for Two”, a fabric wallpaper installation. The story of Francine and Sterling Clark personally collecting hundreds of teacups over a lifetime now housed in the Clark Art Institute archives resonated with my own personal Metcalf family history of collecting and coveting decorative arts.
Rather than seeking source material from an additional museum collection for my new plate paintings in REVERIE, I chose to mine my own family’s collection of ceramic objects. My own family history of collecting resonated with the Francine and Sterling Clark cup collection. Thanks to the generosity of my family, my new plate paintings will be exhibited alongside the originals on loan for the duration of the exhibition.
REVERIE is a personal exploration of the relationship between the historic and the contemporary with artworks crossing over categories of decorative art, design and fine art. Fascinated by how we live with objects, how and why we acquire objects and what happens to them throughout history, I see this exhibition as a reflection of the life of surface pattern through the decorative art continuum.” Molly Hatch
“No art is simply, blithely contemporary. That would be like saying our parents had no influence on us. Today’s art responds to and reacts against yesterday’s art. Hatch serves up the magisterial landscape on a grid of 30 hand-painted ceramic dinner plates. The grid of circles cleverly breaks up and abstracts the scene, but doesn’t abandon its coherence. Indeed, it spotlights the mark-making.” Boston Globe Review of COVET: Modern Riffs on Old Ideas by Cate McQuaid, May 30, 2012
Artist and designer Molly Hatch grew up on an organic dairy farm in Vermont surrounded by a startlingly diverse set of visual influences: the earthy reality of rural life, and the mysterious, disembodied luxury of antique decorative objects from her mother’s family, prosperous Boston merchants who used Chinese export porcelain as ballast in their ships. Inspired by these two seemingly disparate family narratives, Hatch became an artist with a life-long passion for the decorative arts and the dialog between old and new. She has developed a robust studio practice that encompasses both works of art and design for industry, keenly aware of the different concerns and goals of each, while engaging with the ambiguity of objects that seem to exist in both the decorative and fine art realms.
Containment: 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award / The Ian Potter Centre: NGV, Melbourne, Australia
Containment: 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award / The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia November 23, 2012 - July 21, 2013
The theme of ‘containment’ will be explored by fourteen Victorian artists for the 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award.
The Award focuses on contemporary design practice in Victoria and is arguably the most prestigious offered to a contemporary practitioner in Australia with a prize of $30,000 provided through the Cicely & Colin Rigg Bequest, managed by ANZ Trustees.
Tony Ellwood, NGV Director, said, “This year’s Award presents an exciting mix of Victorian artists and reflects the NGV’s ongoing commitment to contemporary design. The NGV is only able to stage this important event thanks to the vision of the Trustees of the Rigg Bequest and the foresight of the generous benefactors, Cicely and Colin Rigg.”
Teresa Zolnierkiewicz, Head of Philanthropy, ANZ Trustees, said, “The Rigg Bequest is a generous legacy of the late Colin Rigg (1895-1982). He was inspired by the Felton Bequest to create something in his own will that developed the arts in Victoria. This award, designed by the Trustees in partnership with the NGV, serves as a demonstration of the power of philanthropy to nurture and support artists and designers, vital to a thriving society.”
The participating artists in 2012 are: Garry Bish, Robin Bold, Emma Davies, Mark Edgoose, Neville French, Titania Henderson, Marian Hosking, Richard Morrell, Ian Mowbray, David Pottinger, David Ray, Owen Rye, Yhonnie Scarce and Katherine Wheeler.
Amanda Dunsmore, Curator, International Decorative Arts & Antiquities, NGV, said, “The choice of a theme for this year’s Award, rather than a specific area of practice, allows great scope for interpretation. Many of the works employ a sculptural aesthetic while remaining inherently functional, yet they play with the possibilities of what might be, beyond their practical value. Other works are presented in the context of a traditional concept.”
Previous recipients of the Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award are Neville Assad-Sadha (1994) for ceramics, Robert Baines (1997) for metalwork, Louise Weaver (2003) for textiles, Sally Marsland (2006) for jewellery and Simone LeAmon (2009) for seated furniture.
Emma Mayall, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, said, “This year’s group of artists represents a diverse mix of emerging and established practitioners. The vibrancy of Victorian design is highlighted through the wide range of practice and media represented, including ceramics, glass, metalwork, plastics and natural materials.”
The recipient of the 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award is Marian Hosking. The prize of $30,000 was awarded to Ms Hosking for her work Clearing. Ms Hosking said, “It’s an honour to be chosen for an award that celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary Victorian craft and design. I’m overwhelmed to be selected from such a stellar group and appreciate that craft is visible within the National Gallery of Victoria.”
New Blue and White at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, showcases inventive works in blue and white by 40 international artists and designers.
Contemporary sculpture, ceramics, fashion, glass, furniture, and more offer a new twist to age-old imagery
Over the past millennium, blue-and-white ceramics have become an international phenomenon—familiar as Dutch Delftware, Ming vases, and Blue Willow china, among other forms. Today, the popular ceramic medium continues to offer inspiration, especially to the more than 40 international artists and designers whose works are presented in New Blue and White at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). On view from February 20 through July 14 in the MFA’s Henry and Lois Foster Gallery, the exhibition highlights nearly 70 objects made over the course of the past 15 years across a wide array of media. Many of these works offer a contemporary twist to traditional blue-and-white imagery using abstraction, digital manipulation, contemporary subject matter, and even trompe l’oeil to surprise and delight. They range from small porcelains to room-size installations and include never-before-seen creations by artists such as Mark Cooper, Annabeth Rosen, Pouran Jinchi, and Kurt Weiser, and recent MFA acquisitions of work by fashion label Rodarte and ceramic sculptor Chris Antemann. Also on view are ceramics by Nakashima Harumi, Robert Dawson, and Steven Lee. The exhibition is presented with generous support from The Wornick Fund for Contemporary Craft. Additional support is provided by The John and Bette Cohen Fund for Contemporary Decorative Arts, and the Joel Alvord and Lisa Schmid Alvord Fund.
“The works in New Blue and White deftly show how one remarkable set of material traditions, which have had a profound international impact, can inspire new generations of artists. They make surprising, beautiful connections across time and cultures, helping us understand our history and our present,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA.
At its simplest, blue and white refers to the application of cobalt pigment on white clay. It originated in 9th-century Mesopotamia and subsequently captured the imaginations of artists throughout Asia. Through a frenzy of trade networks and stylistic exchange, these coveted works made their way to Europe and eventually the New World. With them went multiple narratives focused on ideas as varied as wealth, power, beauty, family, exoticism, colonialism, and commerce. Inspired by this rich and varied global legacy, today’s artists create works that tell contemporary stories incorporating cultural, social, and historical references. To illustrate this, four themes will be presented to guide visitor engagement with the objects in the exhibition: Cultural Camouflage; Memory and Narrative; Abstract Interpretations; and Political Meaning.
Exhibiting artists: Ann Agee (US), Chris Antemann (US), Katsuyo Aoki (Japan), Felicity Aylieff (England), Robin Best (Australia), Stephen Bowers (Australia), Boym Partners [Constantin Boym (Russian) and Laurene Boym (American)], Caroline Cheng (England), Mark Cooper (US), Claire Curneen (Ireland), Robert Dawson (England), Barbara Diduk (US), Michelle Erickson (US), Front Design (Sofia Lagerkvist, Anna Lindren, Katja S’vstr’m, Charlotte von der Lancken) (Sweden), Gésine Hackenberg (Germany), Molly Hatch (US), Giselle Hicks (US), Sin Ying Ho (China), Pouran Jinchi (Iran), Hella Jongerius (Netherlands), Charles Krafft (US), Steven Lee (US), Li Lihong (China), Beth Lo (US), Livia Marin (Chile), Harumi Nakashima (Japan), Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy) (US), Annabeth Rosen (US), Richard Saja (US), Eduardo Sarabia (US), Paul Scott (England), Richard Shaw (US), Tommy Simpson (US), Caroline Slotte (Finland), Min-Jeong Song (Korea), Vipoo Srivilasa (Thailand), Kondô Takahiro (Japan), Brendan Tang (Canada), Studio Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe (Neils Van Eijk, Mirian Van der Lubbe) (Netherlands), Peter Walker (US), Kurt Weiser (US), Ah Xian (China).
"In women's hands" artwork by Italian artist Clara Garesio, donated to the United Nations Office
In Women’s hands, an artwork by Italian artist Clara Garesio, created specifically for the High Level panel “The Power of Empowered Women” was donated by the delegation of the European Union on February 25 to the United Nations Office at Geneva where it will remain part of the permanent collection.
Clara Garesio created the ceramic artwork specifically for the High Level panel “The Power of Empowered Women”, an initiative of the 40 women ambassadors to the UN, aimed at showcasing the experience of engaged women from politics, business and civil society who have overcome obstacles and developed approaches to move gender equality forward.
Unveiling the work, a ceremony in the presence of UNOG Director-General Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the EU Head of Delegation Mariangela Zappia said: “It is a special day for the European Union – as we offer the very first donation to the United Nations – and it is special for me as a woman since this beautiful piece of art is about the beauty, the simplicity and strength of women as positive transformative forces of our societies.”
Opening reception with the artist: March 14, 2013, from 6 pm.
Moving under the influence of Japanese pop culture and New Realism. Kinetic artist Vincent Leroy forms poetry with his technology. Movement and repetition redefine natural order and commanded creation. Electric Flowers absorbs a haunting and fascinating rhythm that reinforces the endless repetition of motifs. Thus this field of mechanical flowers whose petals turn tirelessly on their rolling pins becomes an unlikely ode to the fragility of nature.
Born in 1968, into a farming family in Avranches, in France’s Normandy region, Vincent Leroy graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Creation Industrielle in 1995. In his work as an industrial engineer, he maintains an overall perspective on the manufacturing process slecting shapes, materials, colors and technical properties. Active on the international contemporary art scene, Vincent Leroy is among those artists who refuse to be categorized.
"Creating an object usually starts with finding the right materials, but the starting point for my work is kinetics. I play around with the speed and the way actions have casting effects. Movement was the basis for my piece I created in London for The Sketch, the restaurant and gallery space developed by Mourad Mazouz. I installed a flexible geometrical shape powered by two large motors between two mirrored walls. The material used is made to ripple, and the movement is reflected infinitely in The mirrors. Similarly, in Berlin I showed three balls made of translucent material that were made to move completely independently. I installed a tiny camera inside one of them, to give visitors a random, unimpeded perspective, with no vertical reference points, a little like astronauts in the weightlessness of space, when they’re moving around the shuttle. I wanted to let the public experience the phenomenon with just the bare minimum of technological resources.
Simple movements still remain the basis of my work. Ten years ago my sculpture was more mechanically focused, the technology was present, more visibly a subject matter. Today the movement in my work is more fluid, and natural. I’m at a happy medium with this balance of nature verses machine, or nature as machine. We must come to mix and not oppose. My creative process is driven by a natural need to experiment. To question, guess, try, play, solve, function. Even if it is as basic as a piece of cardboard, glue and a toolbox. I am always surprised with the magic that emerges from these unexpected moments.
I think my audience is primarily people who are on top of the latest trends in art and in music, who are found in major cities. It’s also companies like Arkema and Renault, Nissan and Canal+ I’ve had the opportunity to work with. In many cases it’s an audience that doesn’t judge the work on the basis of whether it’s consistent with some artistic movement. They’re people who are capable of being won over or astonished by what they see. It gives me great pleasure to be able to reach such a wide audience.” Vincent Leroy
NCECA 2013 National Student Juried Exhibition / Glassell School of Art, Houston
NCECA 2013 National Student Juried Exhibition / Glassell School of Art, Houston, USA February 15 - March 23, 2013
Reception: Thursday, March 21, 6-8 PM.
NCECA’s National Student Juried Exhibition (NSJE) is open to all full time undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students enrolled in the United States of America, except for those enrolled at the institutions of the jurors. Applicants must have been working towards a degree or be a post-baccalaureate in art at the time of submittal.
In conjunction with NCECA’s 47th Annual Conference in Houston (March 20-23), The Glassell School of Art of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston hosts NCECA’s 2013 National Student Juried Exhibition from February 15 – March 23, 2013. A reception takes place on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 6:00- 8:00 pm. New this year NCECA has included the 2013 NSJE artists in the 2013 NCECA Biennial catalog featuring color reproductions of works by all participating artists. This catalog may be pre-ordered on the NCECA’s Online Store.
Participating artists: Sasha Alexandra, Molly Allen, Samantha Bachman, Cori Crumrine, Stephanie Galli, Tyler Houston, Kahlil Irving, Michelle Laxalt, Kathryn Whistler, Tiffany Bailey, Melisa Cadell, Heather Davis, Virginia Eckinger, Thomas Edwards, Marty Fielding, Marisa Finos, Donna Flanery, Anastasia Gabriel, Nick Geankoplis, Violet Goode, Elizabeth Head-Fischer, Natasha Hovey, Michael Hurley, Ah-Young Jeon, Kevin Kao, Lauren Karle, Margaret Kinkeade, Jennifer Kirkpatrick, Robert Kolhouse, Shasta Krueger, Yeon Joo Lee, John Loveless, Marsha Mack, Leslie Macklin, Ashley Maxwell, Spring Montes, Norleen Nosri, Sara Parent-Ramos, Alia Pialtos, Brian Pierce, Louis Reilly, Justin Schortgen, Mitchell Spain, Diana Synatzske, Kristen Tripp, Josh Van Stippen, Austin Wieland, Bill Wilkey, Wesley Wright, Crisha Yantis.
Jurors: Bonnie Seeman, Kevin Snipes.
Bonnie Seeman received her BFA from the University of Miami in 1991, and her MFA from the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth in 1996. She is a two-time recipient of the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, and has twice served as a panelist for the Florida Fellowship. Seeman was nominated for a USA Fellow grant in 2010 and was awarded The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation 2005 Biennial Award. A participant in numerous international and national exhibitions including Art Basel, Switzerland; Art Brussels, Belgium; and the World Ceramic Biennale, Korea, Seeman’s work is featured in many museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York; the World Ceramic Exposition Foundation International Collection, Icheon, Korea; the Sadberk Hanım Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; and The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. Seeman has taught as a summer faculty member at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Santa Fe Clay, and has presented visiting artist workshops at numerous art centers and universities across the U.S. She currently teaches at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, and serves on the board of Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts.
Kevin Snipes combines his love of constructing unconventional pottery with an obsessive need to draw on everything that he produces, creating a uniquely dynamic body of work. Snipes received a B.F.A. in ceramics and drawing from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1994 and completed graduate school at the University of Florida in 2003. Since then, Snipes has led a seemingly nomadic artistic life, constantly making no matter where he is. He has participated in several artist residency programs including the Clay Studio in Philadelphia and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine; and, he received a Taunt Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana 2008. Exhibiting nationally and internationally as far away as Jingdezhen China, Snipes had a recent solo exhibition at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. Kevin Snipes currently resides in New Mexico.
Award presentation & Reception: Thursday, March 21, 5:30 - 9 PM.
Held in conjunction with the Annual Conference in odd-numbered years, the NCECA Biennial is the premier juried exhibition open to all current members of NCECA (both national and international) and to all ceramic artists, 18 years and older, residing in the U.S.
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft will host the 2013 Biennial Exhibition from January 26 - May 5, 2013. The opening reception will take place on January 25, 2013 and a reception will also be held during the Houston Conference on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 5:30 - 9:00 pm. NCECA produces a color catalog featuring work by all participating artists and may be pre-ordered through NCECA’s Online Store. Remaining copies may also be available for purchase at conference.
Participating artists: Nicole Aquillano, Christa Assad, Tom Bartel, Nicholas Bivins, Renée Brown, Josephine Burr, Gary Carlos, Lisa Cecere, Du Chau, Andréa Keys Connell, Emily Connell, Shenny Cruces, Elizabeth DeLyria, Sharan Elran, Léopold L. Foulem, Teri Frame, Chad Gunderson, Sarah House, Erica Iman, Ryan LaBar, Thomas Lane, Lauren Mabry, Ted Neal, Tybre Newcomer, Claudia Olds Goldie, Vijay V. Paniker, Joseph Pintz, Paolo Porelli, Audrey Rosulek, Joel Schroeder, Linda Sormin, Mark Nathan Stafford, Michael Strand, George Timock, Triesch Voelker
Jurors: Cristina Cordova, Namita Gupta Wiggers, Richard Notkin
Internationally acclaimed for her hauntingly, provocative figurative sculptures, juror Cristina Cordova has a well-established record of museum exhibitions including: Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico; Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL; Gretchen Keyworth, Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA and the Joseph -Schein Museum, NY. A highly respected workshop teacher, Cristina has led numerous workshops in figurative art in universities and art centers such as: Armory Arts Center, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Penland School of Crafts where she serves as a trustee. A graduate of Colegio de Agricultura y Artes Mecánicas, Mayagüyez, Puerto Rico and New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University; Cristina’s work challenges gender and racial boundaries while engendering discourse on intellectual conventions and social mores. Cristina recently exhibited her art in Bestiario at the Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL during the 2011 NCECA conference and in Push Play: The 2012 NCECA Invitational at Bellevue Arts Museum.
Namita Gupta Wiggers is curator at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR, where she directs the exhibition, collection and public programming. Her curatorial work combines her experience and training as an art historian, a museum educator, ethnographer and design researcher, teacher, writer, and studio art jeweler. Through exhibitions and programming, Wiggers considers how craft and design function as subjects and verbs, and as simultaneously distinct and intersecting practices, and how the exhibition operates as a site and space for cultural inquiry. Recent publications include Generations: Betty Feves (forthcoming), Ken Shores: Clay Has the Last Word (2010), and Unpacking the Collection: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft (2008), the first publication to document the Museum’s collection and the institution’s connections to dramatic changes in craft-based and artistic practice over the past 70 years. Wiggers edited Garth Clark’s How Envy Killed the Crafts Movement: An Autopsy in Two Parts (2009) and contributes essays for museum catalogues, including Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft (2010, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston) and Innovation & Change: Ceramics from the Arizona State University Art Museum (2009, Ceramic Research Center, ASU). Her writing on contemporary jewelry includes Mining History: Ornamentalism Revisited (Metalsmith, 2009), co-authored with Lena Vigna and Curatorial Conundrums: Exhibiting Contemporary Art Jewelry in a Museum Environment (Art Jewelry Forum Website, 2010). She is the co-founder of Critical Craft Forum, and serves on the Board of Trustees, American Craft Council and the curatorial board of accessceramics, an online clay-focused database.
Richard Notkin lives and works in Helena, Montana, creating works deeply influenced by the centuries-old tradition of Yixing pottery from which he has adopted the precise working methods and a penchant for trompe l’oeil. With his artwork serving as an extension of his conscience, Richard’s ceramic sculptures and tile murals are visual explorations into social and political commentary questioning military misadventures and foreign policy around the world with particular focus on nuclear weaponry and energy. Richard Notkin received his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from University of California, Davis. His awards include: Artist Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, 1979, 1981, 1988; Fellowship in Sculpture, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation and the Hoi Fellowship from the United States Artists Foundation. In 2008, he was elected to The American Craft Council College of Fellows. His work is in over 60 public collections including: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles A. Wustum Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Shigaraki Museum of Ceramic Art and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Emmanuel Boos and Esben Klemann: Systematic Uncertainty / Copenhagen Ceramics
Emmanuel Boos and Esben Klemann: Systematic Uncertainty / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark February 28 - March 28, 2013
In ceramics the unknown is a fate for the practitioner. Emmanuel Boos and Esben both welcome unpredictability. Moreover they are provoking it. They share a playful and experimental approach to the ceramic material and their works are bred from a great curiosity towards the processes of the material.
Emmanuel Boos, now living in London, was born and grew up in France. He trained with Jean Girel, one of the big names in French ceramics, known for his works with beautiful textural glazes. Emmanuel Boos equally places the glazes at the centre of his artistic practice, but goes further. He questions the classic hierarchy, where the materials as such are regarded as undifferentiated, depending on being given form, morphe, which traditionally is considered the essential part.
For Boos form is often a pretext, a playground for glazes to develop on. His interest lies with the poetic character and sensuality of the glaze, both in a direct sense as the fusion of basic materials and in the symbolic potential of this. His works are not conceptually based; rather they express a search for beauty, that strives for a form of aesthetic contemplation appealing firstly to our senses and our emotions.
For his first show in Denmark, Emmanuel Boos will be showing both plinth and wall pieces. His intent is to draw the viewer into the glaze, inviting us to meander in its depth through poetic reverie. His forms oscillate between mysterious enclosed objects – minerals with an underlying organic presence – and thin sheets of porcelain like canvases gently folding and developing into space.
The expressive heartland in Esben Klemann’s work is clearly defined by his interest in architecture, construction and material, and a constant urge to further develop the making-processes, that are essential for the expression of the final works.
On ceramics, he states: "People envisage a lot of different things when you use the word ceramics. Images of ordinary domestic items, giant-sized-vessels, reliefs by Asger Jorn, etc. Through changes in work-methods, tools and placements, I strive to add new images to the picture, believing that ceramics has the potential to offer something more and different. I purposely draw my experiences from other sculptural areas into the ceramic process, to push it all into new directions.
You may label my work non-thematic or abstract, or see it as a formal language which communicates by establishing artistically elaborated spaces and objects, that in contrast to the ordinary, inject vitality into things.”
During the period from September 21, 2009, until September 20, 2010, the French designer Guillaume Bardet drew one object a day. As an extension of this «artistic and human performance», from fall 2010 he saw to the creation of each object. He did so in collaboration with fourteen ceramists from the Dieulefit region (Rhône-Alpes, southeast France), where he had settled in 2009 in order to flee the Parisian hullabaloo.
It took a good measure of determination, passion, enthusiasm and energy for Guillaume Bardet to become the hub of an alliance built up of individuals, companies, institutions and collectivities, all of whom agreed to join this human and creative adventure with him for an over two-year period. It also demanded a great deal of nerve and talent for the designer to bare himself, revealing not only his basic concerns and strokes of imagination, but also his weak spots, his doubts and his trial-and-error approach. And all this in order to uncompromisingly give their full due to his formal and aesthetic solutions.
Guillaume Bardet entrusted the scenography for this itinerant exhibition to his friend, the designer Vincent Dupont-Rougier, insisting nonetheless on a preconception whereby time passes very slowly (a one-year period) and very rapidly (that of a single day). And this by resorting to elements in the service of simplicity, structuring and narration, so as to bring to mind both linearity and profusion, families and uses, moods and fancies.
The exhibition also brings to light various phases of inspiration, the artist’s manner of working and his search for solutions. Interspersed among each of the seasons, information is provided alongside Guillaume Bardet’s sketches, his 3D drawings, and photographs, together with a written record of the remarkably fruitful dialogue Bardet inspired between himself and the many ceramists involved. In the words of one of the latter, Guillaume Bardet found out how to «tell a story» and «seek out the lines» in each of the forms he had designed and observed taking shape in the artisans’ hands.
This outstanding personal challenge entailed a nigh-to-monacal and introspective approach in 2009; it was followed by a more collegial phase in 2010, climaxing in the production of 365 brand new ceramic works. These have since been presented as the theme of a monographic exhibition of a new kind, shown at several museums and exhibition venues partnering this initiative. The mudac represents the last lap on the exhibition’s itinerary, which included Sèvres («City of Ceramics») in France (near Paris), Le Grand Hornu Images in Belgium, the Château des Adhémar (Contemporary Art Center) in Montélimar (France), and the Maison de la Céramique du Pays de Dieulefit in 2012.
Matthew Harris & Tim Rowan / Erskine, Hall & Coe, London
Matthew Harris & Tim Rowan exhibition / Erskine, Hall & Coe, London February 20 - March 20, 2013
An exhibition of works on paper by Matthew Harris and ceramics by Tim Rowan.
Matthew Harris’ work on paper has been shown in many group and solo exhibitions throughout the U.K, Europe, Japan and the U.S. As drawings they are made to be seen in their own right but also to act as starting points or ‘cartoons’ for larger works that are made using dyed and painted cloth. Working primarily from things seen, the drawings recall, interpret and explore imagery, improvising around a given theme. Matthew Harris lives and works in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
Tim Rowan was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut along the shore of Long Island Sound. His art education began during college, receiving a BFA from The State University of New York at New Paltz before journeying to Japan for 2 years to apprentice with ceramic artist Ryuichi Kakurezaki. Upon his return he worked briefly in studios in Massachusetts and New York before receiving his MFA from The Pennsylvania State University. In 2000 he established his kiln and studio deep in the woods of the Hudson Valley.
"The works in this exhibition have all been completed over the past two years. They are made, primarily, from native clay. This is direct from the earth and unprocessed as opposed to industrially manufactured clay bodies. The forms are slowly constructed from layers, built up over days and weeks then carved. They are fired for seven days and nights in a wood fuelled kiln. No glaze is applied; the surface textures and colours are the result of the interaction of the clay, fly-ash, coals and fire.
I am constantly building on previous work – just as individual pieces evolve in the process of making, the body of work as a whole does as well. Most of my work develops from the process of making, firing, and arranging. While I may have images in my head of some specific things I have seen, for instance the remnants of an old quarry derrick abandoned in the woods near my home, once I start making, new forms emerge. There is a search and discovery.
I am particularly drawn to objects in various states of decay – either through use over time such as tools or the effects of the “elements”. Everything is in a constant state of flux. These are merely markers of a particular time and place.
It is only when I am fully engaged in the making – that the forms present themselves. There is an intuitive process of discovery – of wondering, of noticing, of physically or intellectually feeling the forms. I work on many pieces at once to enable me to become lost in the process - freely moving from one form to another. There is a complete acceptance in the process. Faith. That is the guide. We work together, informing and reacting to each other.
There are four distinct series in this body of work. The sculptures are the most ambiguous and poetic for me. Drawn from a multitude of sources, industrial detritus, tools and abstracting the fragments of a vessel. The vessels are rooted in more of a pottery vernacular. They are there to nourish. We are comforted. We have a sense of place. The cups are individual intimate moments. Each one is a separate story. Held. Caressed. Nourishment. Life-affirming. The boxes may be urns. Shelters. Forced to touch in order to experience the inside. Containment. Security. Protect me. What is revealed?
The Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) opens the second exhibition in its Object Focus series, Object Focus: The Bowl, on March 7, 2013. This two-part exhibition, featuring nearly 200 bowls, focuses attention on the most commonplace of objects, asking us to consider the ubiquitous bowl in new ways. As artist and PNCA professor M.K. Guth has pointed out, the history of the bowl is the history of civilization. Yet because it holds our cereal, our soup, our tea, our spare change, it becomes so familiar as to be overlooked. Through a variety of engaging activities, Object Focus: The Bowl invites the viewer to connect the work on display in the Museum with the bowl in his or her everyday life. The bowls on view range from the functional to the decorative, industrially produced to handmade, and span the globe geographically and culturally.
Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Common Things, Andrea Zittel’s A-Z Container, and conversations with artists, craftspeople, and designers about how they consider this archetypal form in their own work, inspired the thinking around this exhibition. Deyan Sudjic, Director, Design Museum London, has written in The Language of Things that everyday objects like the table, chair, and lamp have been pulled into the realm of Design to become the Noguchi Table, Eames Chair, and Ingo Maurer Lamp. The bowl, perhaps too commonplace and familiar, has stubbornly refused to be co-opted in this way.
To invite a deeper consideration of the bowl, Object Focus: The Bowl will feature a number of participatory projects in the Museum and in the community, many of which engage the public in collaboration.
In Part One: Reflect + Respond, March 7-August 3, 2013, Director and Chief Curator Namita Gupta Wiggers has kick-started this process by inviting anthropologists, artists, poets, novelists, curators, and more to write 500 words on a bowl of their choosing from the exhibition. This is only the beginning. Throughout the exhibition, the Museum invites viewers to write their own 500-word pieces on the bowl in an effort to gather 50,000 words by August, 2013. 50,000 words is the average length of a novel, according to the popular National Novel Writing Month project. All contributions will be made available online at www.objectfocusbowl.tumblr.com
There will also be a drawing station in the Museum. Students from PNCA’s BFA in Illustration program will be contributing works on the bowl, and visitors are invited to contribute drawings to the exhibition as well.
The second part of the exhibition, Part Two: Engage + Use, May 16-September 21, 2013, explores the social role of the bowl through artist projects, performances, a symposium, through contributions by the region’s chefs and a project in partnership with Portland restaurants.
Ayumi Horie will create a bowl lending library that will allow visitors to handle handcrafted bowls in the museum and borrow objects to be used at home. For his project, Bowls Around Town, Michael Strand has created traveling trunks that contain a ceramic bowl, digital camera, and recipe book to circulate among some of Portland’s communities that come together around mealtimes. Area chefs, cookbook authors, bakers, and candymakers will make bowl selections and offer recipes at the Chefs’ Table. In addition, there will be a reprisal of Transference by Andy Paiko and Ethan Rose, as well as a series of performances by Craft Mystery Cult. Finally, there will be a symposium on Craft and Social Practice featuring some of the artists featured in Object Focus: The Bowl, planned in conjunction with Portland State University’s Open Engagement Conference.
Curated by Steve Lekson, this exhibition features more than 100 rarely exhibited ceramics from the museum’s celebrated southwestern collection and takes visitors through more than 1000 years (AD 500-1600) of southwestern history. Photographs of ancient southwestern ruins by noted aerial photographer Adriel Heisey provide a visual and dramatic frame of reference for the exhibition.
Lekson explains, “The striking pottery on display illustrates the remarkable range of Native societies, and their dramatic stories. The exhibit offers a new history of the ancient Southwest based on recent research and new insights.”
With captivating and informative narrative provided by Lekson, the exhibition reduces one thousand years of what Lekson calls, “glorious, messy, and complicated human history,” into a short, coherent, and enjoyable experience that challenges the conventional views of the ancient Southwest.
The exhibition is divided into seven areas representing the primary cultural groups that defined the ancient Southwest: Hohokam, Early Pueblo, Chaco, Mesa Verde, Mimbres, Casas Grandes, and Pueblo. Senior Exhibit Developer Charles Counter explains, “With an entire gallery devoted to a vast display of pottery and images of the limitless Southwest landscape, that has always been a part of the human experience in the Southwest, the exhibition will take visitors through the rises and falls, kings and commoners, war and peace, triumphs and failures of the ancient Southwest.”
The years between 1956 and 1986 witnessed a fundamental shift in American ceramics, one that took place mainly on the West Coast in California and Washington. Freed from the constraints of making functional objects, ceramics artists began experimenting with abstract and figural forms, radical building techniques and surface treatments. The resulting sculptural pieces were groundbreaking, and the search for a new aesthetic changed international ceramic art.
Key figures in this revolution were Peter Voulkos and Robert Arneson. Voulkos founded the ceramics program at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis Art Institute) in 1954 and established California as the center for avant-garde ceramic art in the mid-20th century. Arneson, an admirer of Voulkos and a teacher at the University of California, Davis, was associated with the Funk art movement which is characterized by deliberately unpolished style, over-scaled imagery and rejection of formal sculpture. While coming from different perspectives, both artists established similar atmospheres of innovation at the programs they led in California. Their respective ethos spurred ceramics artists across the state and beyond to embrace this new philosophy, leading to a 30-year period of intense creativity that produced remarkable works of sculpture.
Three Decades of West Coast Ceramics, 1956–1986 showcases works from the rich MFAH collection of American ceramics made during this important period. Specifically, the exhibition focuses on teachers and students from seminal ceramics programs at four universities:
The Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis Art Institute), Los Angeles At the Los Angeles County Art Institute, Peter Voulkos created an open, experimental atmosphere that encouraged radical form and innovative glazing. Voulkos’s first students and colleagues included John Mason, Ken Price, Michael Frimkess and Paul Soldner, whose work can be seen in the exhibition.
University of California, Davis In 1962 Robert Arneson, an admirer of Peter Voulkos, began teaching ceramics at the University of California, Davis. During his 30-year reign there, Arneson, his colleagues and his students, including Clayton Bailey, David Gilhooly, Richard Notkin, Lucian Pompili and Richard Shaw, created one of the most internationally recognized, revolutionary ceramics programs in the United States. Its legacy stems from its focus on figurative ceramics and the atmosphere of innovation and experimentation that Arneson fostered.
Artomatic, Inc., the Office of the Secretary for the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), and Sunderland, England City Council, are proud to present an international fine arts glass and clay exhibit, International Glass and Clay 2013, hosted at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery in downtown Washington, D.C.
International Glass and Clay 2013, which will run from March 1 to 23, debuts as the third Artomatic international collaboration with District of Columbia Sister City, Sunderland, England. Located in the heart of D.C., the Pepco Edison Place Gallery will display vibrant works of glass and clay.
Coming off the success of Glass3 in 2008 and Artomatic 2009, this will be Artomatic’s third international exhibit and the first to feature fine clay art. This exhibition will present expressive glass and clay artwork as well as narrative sculptures that blend traditional craft materials such as glass and clay with digital technologies, removing the boundaries between the traditional categories of craft, art, and design.
The exhibition will display international glass and clay artists from Sunderland’s Cohesion Artists and the University of Sunderland, and Washington, D.C.based artists from the Washington Glass School and Flux Studios.
Each arts organization has selected the artists whose work will be on display during the 20 day exhibit. Artwork will also be for sale, with all proceeds going to the artist.
To complement the artwork, International Glass and Clay 2013 will host panels at Pepco Edison Place Gallery all month long meant to inspire indepth conversation about cultural diplomacy, Fulbright exchanges and international artists residencies and the arts. The events will include representatives from cultural institutions in the nation’s capital, including embassies, government entities, think tanks and local arts organizations.
Residency description The V&A is inviting applications from UK-based studio ceramicists who wish to develop their practice in designing and making ceramics through working with the V&A’s collections and through public engagement activities.
The Residency will be based in a purpose-built studio in the Ceramics galleries, at the V&A in London. This is part of an exciting new programme of residencies specifically situated in the Ceramics galleries. This Residency will take place over a six-month period from October 2013 –March 2014 in London.
The residency is open to UK-based established practitioners. It will provide a monthly bursary (taxable) and additional budget for materials and equipment. A team drawn from the Museum’s staff will provide support throughout the project. We are interested in practitioners who: wish to work with the Museum’s resources and collections; would welcome the opportunity to actively work on projects with the public; and are interested in presenting and interpreting their work for visitors. Applicants should have a track record of innovation and regular exposure of new work, and be able to demonstrate ongoing development in their practice.
The Ceramics Studio is situated in the heart of the extensive Ceramics Galleries. Further multidisciplinary residency studios are situated in the Sackler Centre for arts education at the V&A. This programme is integral to the philosophy of the V&A, helping to make the Museum’s learning programmes dynamic and creative. Past Residents have gone on to achieve significant success in their professional careers, winning prizes and securing gallery representation.
Closing date for applications is April 7, 2013. Interviews will take place on April 24, 2013.
Bursary The artist will be paid £8,400 during their 6 month residency in monthly instalments. This includes Income Tax and National Insurance. This fee is inclusive of travel costs within the UK and living expenses. There will be an additional budget for studio equipment and materials to be agreed with the Residency Co-ordinator.
Application instructions Applicants should apply online at the V&A’s website at www.vam.ac.uk/jobs where you will be asked to submit a current CV and complete an application form. In addition to submitting your application on-line, please also upload 8 images of your work with your application.
Residency description Situated in southwest of Taipei Basin, Yingge is known as Jingdezhen of Taiwan for its plentiful supply of clay, convenient transportation, and various types of kilns. While its neighbor, Sanshia, has a rich cultural heritage, the town is blessed with enchanting historical ambience.
The Yingge Ceramics Museum was opened in 2000. Since then, the museum has dedicated itself to preserving the town’s cultural legacy while instilling new energy into the area. With such conviction, we decide to encourage ceramic artists, both local and foreign, to come experiencing the life in a pottery town through a one-to-three-month short-term residency program.
The residency program is open to both foreign and domestic artists. Interested applicants must have at least two years of experience in ceramic creation.
Residency program is three months in length and takes place from July to November in 2013.
Benefits and Responsibilities The museum offers each artist in residence: 1) A round-trip travel subsidies (up to the equivalent of high speed rail fare in economy class for domestic travelers/up to the equivalent of international airfare in economy class for international travelers). 2) A daily stipend of NTD$600 (60 USD), which includes income 20% tax withholding (actual NTD$480 per day) up to 90 days. 3) An independent studio apartment, semi-open studio spaces. 4) Basic studio materials needed during the creative process not exceeding NTD$30,000 (1000 USD).
A selection committee composed of relevant experts, scholars, and museum representatives reviews all applicants and decides the final list. A notice will be mailed to all candidates on Apr 15th 2013 after final result is confirmed. The short list of candidates will be posted at the same time on the official website of the museum.
Job description The Department of Art at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville seeks applications for a Studio Art Technician to begin August 2013. The position is a 9-month and full-time position with benefits, and is a three-year position with possibility to renew. The successful candidate will have experience supervising shop facilities to include the organization, maintenance, repair, and purchase of equipment and tools, managing budgets, training and supervising shop monitors and students, and coordinating with faculty. The Department of Art is especially interested in candidates who have completed their MFA in Studio Art and who have instructed courses at the university level, as there will be an opportunity for the candidate to teach one course per semester.
Job duties Oversee the technical operations of the wood shop, metal shop, foundry, and ceramic studios. Train and supervise graduate assistants and work-study personnel and coordinate shop monitor schedule with graduate students and faculty. Responsible for coordinating department safety concerns to ensure studio, faculty, and staff compliance with Environmental Health & Safety, EPA, and OSHA regulations. Provide woodshop safety training to students, coordinating with Foundations faculty, and test students in the safe use of equipment and the proper handling/storage of materials. Organize and maintain inventory of tools and equipment in classroom and shop facilities. Repair equipment, submit work orders as needed, and keep all tools in safe working order. Purchase needed supplies for safety, equipment repair, and maintenance of 3D shops and classrooms. Coordinate supply orders, track expenditures for bulk materials, and manage 3D replacement parts/equipment budget. Work with department faculty on special projects as needed to organize, repair, and maintain all labs. Teaching courses beyond the regular workweek is possible for additional income.
Job description Applications are invited for a nine-month, tenure-track, faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor, with a contract starting August 2013. WNMU is seeking a dynamic teacher, and a creative colleague, who possesses a technically skilled broad knowledge who is willing to direct our clay program. The successful candidate will teach 3 four credit hour courses per semester, manage and facilitate the ordering of supplies and work-study for the clay studios and work collaboratively with the members of the Expressive Arts Department and community to foster a progressive atmosphere for exploring the arts. Additional position responsibilities include advising, program development, assessment, university service, scholarly activity, community service, and advisement of student organizations. During the interview candidates will make a thirty (30) minute class presentation on a topic selected by the search committee. This full-time nine month position may include summer courses. Research, grant writing, experience with university, community, and professional committees and organizations are desired. Previous successful interaction with diverse groups and proficiency in Spanish are preferred for all positions.
Appointment: August 2013 Job type: Faculty (Full time) Location: 1000 W. College Ave., Silver City, NM 88062, USA
Job duties: The successful candidate must demonstrate their teaching abilities, be a team player, open to collaboration; committed to research and teaching, and a forward thinker to prepare students for a rapidly changing society. We are looking for a professor with versatility, a vibrant creative practice, flexibility and strong interpersonal and communication skills and willing to interact with our arts community. Applicant needs to be able to lift 50 lbs. and maintain a ceramic facility that includes: an Alpine 24 cubic ft. down draft kiln, soda kiln, catenary salt kiln, 2 raku kilns, three Skutt 1227 electrics kilns and a Peter Pugger clay mixer.
Minimum requirements: Candidates must have a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) that can bridge the functional vessel and sculptural forms. Successful candidates will be able to teach all levels of clay courses, have 2 years teaching experience documented by student work, and an active exhibition and or publication record. Additionally the candidate needs to have knowledge of historical and contemporary concepts in ceramic arts, experience with high and low fire processes, clay and glaze formulations, firing techniques, safety procedures with a can do attitude. Candidates must also have commitment to working successfully with a diverse, multi-cultural student body.
Job description The Department of Art at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah invites applications for a full-time (4+4 load) teaching position in Ceramics, at the rank of Assistant Professor, beginning August 2013.
The position is responsible for teaching all levels of ceramics courses at the undergraduate level. In addition to teaching duties, the successful candidate will be responsible for operating and maintaining the Dolores Dore Eccles Ceramic Center, including kiln operation, materials ordering, implementing effective safety protocol, and other duties relevant to the position.
The candidate should demonstrate a strong understanding of visual principals and technical skills, as well as an engagement with theoretical and aesthetic dialogue within contemporary art practice. Preference will be given to those candidates who demonstrate the above through a strong, cohesive body of work, as well as significant professional activity both locally and nationally.
Appointment: August 2013 Job type: Faculty (Full time) Location: 1840 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Application instructions Please apply for this position using our online application system by clicking the Apply link below. Please attach the following to your application: - A letter of introduction that addresses your interest in Westminster College, outlines your experience with ceramics equipment and facilities, and any additional qualifications that may be relevant to this position. - A teaching philosophy that addresses your experience and vision for undergraduate ceramics curriculum, outlines your commitment to student-centered learning, describes your history working with diverse populations of undergraduate students, and your understanding and implementation of theoretical and technical instruction in ceramics. - Current curriculum vitae - Evidence of teaching effectiveness, which may include syllabi, assignments, and course evaluations from beginning, intermediate, and advanced ceramics courses. - Artist statement - Contact information (telephone, email, address) for 5 professional references.
Job description Successful candidate will teach three classes per semester, which may include 3D Foundation level classes.
Appointment: August 2013 Job type: Faculty (Full time) Location: Macomb, IL 61455, USA
Application instructions Complete applications include: 1) A letter of application, 2) Current curriculum vita or resume, 3) The names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three current professional references, 4) Copies of academic transcripts, 5) Statement of Teaching Philosophy, 6) Sample syllabus and related course assignments, 7) Portfolio of your work, 8) Samples of student work ,9) Include your own website link (if available). Note: Individual Documents must be under 2 MB in size in order to upload.
Screening will begin on March 15, 2013 and continue until the position is filled. Questions regarding the search may be directed to: Stacy Dorethy at SS-Dorethy@wiu.edu (include: Ceramic Position Search in the subject line of your email). For assistance with the online application system call the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at (309)298-1977.
About the employer Western Illinois University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, serves more than 12,000 students at its traditional, residential four-year campus in Macomb, IL and its metropolitan, non-residential campus in Moline, IL. Compliance to state and federal hiring standards is coordinated through WIU’s Office of Equal Opportunity & Access.
Western Illinois University is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people, including, but not limited to, minorities, women and individuals with disabilities. WIU has a non-discrimination policy that includes sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, and veteran status.
Job description The Division of Art at IWU seeks a ceramicist with appropriate experience and qualifications to also teach in one or more of the following areas: metalsmithing, sculpture, 3-D design. An MFA is required. The ideal candidate will possess a solid record of teaching, scholarship, and service, dedication to the ideals of liberal learning, and an educational philosophy based on the centrality of Jesus Christ and the integration of faith and learning.
The Division of Art offers the following majors: ceramics, fine art, graphic design, illustration, interior design, media design, painting, photography, pre-art therapy, printmaking, visual arts education. With 12 full-time faculty members and almost 300 students, the division is currently the largest art program in the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities.
Interested candidates must complete the online application on the university website. Questions may be addressed to Darlene Bressler, Vice President and Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences via email@example.com
Pending budget approval, the position will be open for fall of 2013. Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The final candidate(s) selected must have the ability to pass a comprehensive background screen.
Appointment: August 2013 Job type: Faculty (Full time) Location: Main Campus, Marion, IN, USA
Application instructions Do not send supplemental materials to IWU until requested. Candidates will be contacted personally with additional instructions if needed. Indiana Wesleyan University may contact you if your credentials qualify you for another position. The final candidate(s) selected must have the ability to pass a comprehensive background screen.
In December 2011 we have witnessed the rebirth of Romanian contemporary ceramics through the opening of Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, the first gallery in Romania that promotes contemporary ceramics. The exhibition was titled “Ceramic rendez-vous”, poiting out the fact that it brought together fourteen artists from all over the country: Arina Ailincăi, Bianca Boeroiu, Cristina Bolborea, Adela Bonaţ, Vasile Cercel, Gherghina Costea, Georgiana Cozma, Marta Jakobovits, Romana Mateiaş, Aniela Ovadiuc, Monika Pădureţ, Cristina Popescu Russu, Ioana Şetran and Simona Tănăsescu.
With just two days ahead of the opening day of “Ceramic rendez-vous”, in December the 9th, 2011, Ceramics Now organized the opening day of the first Ceramics Now Exhibition in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The exhibition marked the launch of the magazine by exhibiting works of fifteen artists from eight countries. The third edition of Ceramics Now Exhibition is being held at Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, between 8-26th of November 2012, and presents the works of 22 world renowned contemporary ceramic artists, including three Romanian artists.
The feature is an ongoing project developed by Ceramics Now Association in collaboration with the Romanian Fine Arts Union, the University of Arts and Design Cluj-Napoca and the National University of Arts Bucharest.
Above: Oriana Pelladi, Emptiness, 2007, Ceramics, Video projection.
Ryan Blackwell was born and raised in Indiana — receiving a BA in Studio Art from DePauw University in 2009. Expecting to graduate from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the spring of 2013 with an MFA, Ryan intends to move to Brooklyn and continue his journey as an emerging artist.
“My practice is rooted in material investigation. I find my work in a consistent state of flux. Processes change and evolve, imagery comes and goes. This minute I’m steeped in symbolism, say, through the repetition of thousands of dustpans, while the other I’m firmly rooted in geometric abstraction.
My fluid framework reflects my experience of American culture—a place where I navigate free choice and inherent socio-political and economic constraints. Through symbols and materials of domesticity my works find some continuity. It is my intention to create works that, in relation to each other, seem as dichotomous as they are connected. Although materials and processes may seem disparate, they find connection through aesthetics and systematic repetition. It is through a controlled failure of my materials and systems that I find consistency. But of course, inconsistency is always present.” Ryan Blackwell
As a contemporary artist with extensive knowledge in the field of ceramics, can you share with us a significant experience for your career?
There is no doubt that growing up in a family of artists had a major influence on my life and artistic career. The chance to develop myself in an artistic environment, to be in contact with different genres of art, cultivated my taste for diversity. As a defining experience, I can say that the time spent in the ceramics studio during high school was the most interesting for me. In that period, the studio was an experimentation lab and I was encouraged by my teacher, Judita Crăciun, to discover new things, and so I gathered knowledge that further helped me build my artistic identity. A similar stage was during doctoral studies when I had the opportunity to reshape and enrich my knowledge and vision regarding ceramic art.
What inspires you and how do you start a new project?
New projects usually occur after reflecting on certain subjects, items or concepts that caught my attention and which I want to integrate into the work. Other ceramic projects come as a response to a challenging and interesting thematic for a special event or exhibition. What I particularly like is to closely observe plants, animals and insects, and to study their surfaces with a special attention to the countless details, drawings, textures or structures. The miniature elements extracted from the vegetal and animal world are translated into my work through a personal alphabet of shapes. Besides this, in my work I often use details and anatomical fragments as inspiration. In some works, these fragments lose their original identity and transform into volumetric expressions and complex reliefs.
There is a visible preoccupation for texture in your work; how do you make it and how important is texture and surface for the message you want to send?
The decorative elements are completing the volumes and have an equal importance for the ensemble, the details becoming in this context a work by its own. The texture makes the work more pretentious and transforms it into an object that requires more time and close inspection in order to be discovered. The structures are completing the volumes with nature inspired shapes, vegetal and zoomorphic elements. These graphic traces, reliefs or applied elements on the works’ surface are growing together with the shape. Some of the reliefs are taking form in the process of constructing the work by pressing the material on textured surfaces, and other work surfaces are transferred by imprinting, cutting and etching, or by applying mixed glazes to the surface. It is a big pleasure for me to collect in my kit of tools items that can help me later on with my work. This kit, made over the years, consists of lots of items that are indeed a small treasure - a chest with instruments out of the ordinary and tools made by me for the purpose to obtain new textures and more complex patterns.
In 2010 you held a conference in Paris on the topic of Romanian contemporary ceramics. In this context, what can you say about the context of Romanian ceramics? Do ceramist artists have opportunities in Romania?
The presentation of Romanian contemporary ceramics was part of a larger project together with a Romanian contemporary ceramics exhibition with Cristina Popescu Russu as curator. The exhibition, held at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris, was one of the most important events for the Romanian contemporary ceramics in the recent years, being included in the program of the 44th General Assembly of the International Academy of Ceramics (International Academy of Ceramics - ICA). Fourteen artists attended the exhibition but 46 Romanian ceramists were promoted through the materials presented throughout the ICA events. Following this exhibition, new contacts were established between artists.
The visibility of Romanian contemporary ceramics, both nationally and internationally, plays an important role in creating a professional, competitive and creative-stimulating environment which can generate exchanges between renowned and emerging artists, and arise new opportunities for collaborations. Following the records of contemporary ceramists from different generations, with a very original vision in this field, we can notice big differences in the thematic approach, style and forming of ceramic material. The various concerns of the artists for materiality, color, scale or accuracy, and the simplicity of shape are building the identity of Romanian ceramic art. An overview of Romanian contemporary ceramics makes us notice the multimedialism, the interdisciplinary dimension of it, and the new forms and ways of artistic expression generated by new materials, techniques and technologies.
1. “Natural Great Piece” is an intricate, intimate, communal performance in the medium of clay. Like a dance or a concert, it is more overtly bound to time than most sculptural artwork, and it ends dissolved into the past.
2. Cybele Rowe and Lauren Ari make a large and detailed clay sculpture. It emerges from an improvisational score fed by their combined 60 years of art making experience. Passersby are invited to create self-portraits in clay to be incorporated into the artwork. Its surfaces become covered with these figures, which are painted with underglaze.
At a certain point, the construction is complete. Its size is such that it can easily conceal a large adult from view. The words of Tibetan lama Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche are carved into the unfired clay: Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind, Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thoughts Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves In the infinite ocean of samsara. Rest in natural great peace.
A brief performance marks the culmination of the process. Then the Natural Great Piece is dismantled.
3. Rowe and Ari first manifested “Natural Great Piece” at the 2nd Ceramics Annual of America in San Francisco, October 5-9, 2011. They were joined by singer Bridget O’Keeffe and dancer Juliet Lin. In addition, roughly 250 fellow artists, ceramics aficionados, art students, and visitors contributed small figurative moments to the sculpture.
Circumnavigating its concave exterior or squatting in its embrace, you could see a red dragon, a female figure growing from yellow coral, a gnome pouring a jug of water over a balcony, a bloody ghoul, a colony of barnacles, a waiter bringing a head on a tray, a cluster of pink faces on a blue man’s torso, and countless more visual poems and paragraphs.
The chaotic and fascinating fresco captured the essence of the eternal cycle of birth, differentiation, suffering, death and rebirth—in short, samsara. Yet as varied as the details were, all came together in the single, curved wall. Reminiscent of both cave and womb, it described approximately three quarters of a circle and measured about 3m in circumference, 2.5m in height at its apex, and 900 kg in weight.
4. There is no reason to believe that “Natural Great Piece” has a quintessential appearance. Rowe notes, for example, that the moisture in the air at Fort Mason, which sits on a pier above San Francisco Bay, forced her to build a stockier wall. One wing of the sculpture even threatened to collapse on Saturday, calling for quick reinforcement. In a drier clime, the taller shape could easily emerge given Rowe’s gift for stretching the proportions of clay.
For another example, because the venue was a ceramic conference, many participants were artists themselves. Rowe and Ari conceive of this work having an expression in a space where most passersby would not have artistic training. It would yield something quite different and perhaps more compelling to Ari, who says, “The point is that art is for everyone. Everyone gets to express. For me, it’s very powerful to invite people to art making in a way that makes them say yes to the process.”
5. “How do you fire it?” is the number one FAQ. The answer is simple, but few can hear it without questioning further. “So you’re not going to save it?” “Then what are you going to do with it?” “Are you going to take it apart and then fire it?”
You have to have compassion toward these reactions because it’s clear that great effort has gone into building this mother cave. The structural ingenuity, the input of so many people, even the cost of the clay—surely it must be saved.
But when a saxophonist stops blowing, or a monk rises from a meditation of pure surrender, or a trick pilot pivots a plane like a beached fish in midair and then recovers, nobody questions why the transcendent emergence has to end. Nobody asks the pilot, “How will you save that moment?” And even fired clay is only a pause in this fluid reality. (The second most common question is asked by people who have given Rowe and Ari their clay self-portrait: “Where is the piece I contributed?”)
6. Last summer, Ari and Rowe got together at Rowe’s studio in the hills southeast of L.A. Together, they built two small structures to explore the way their languages combine. They also painted two large drop cloths in prismatic colors to serve as a foundation for the sculpture. Their daughters, Galatea and Mirabai, fast friends, played together while their mothers worked.
The artists first met the previous year at the First Ceramics Annual, but even before that, Ari had seen Rowe’s work and recognized a kindred spirit. “When I saw [it], I thought to myself, ‘If I were to make something big, I’d want it to look like that.”
Rowe had also been instantly attracted to Ari’s work, and had actually set one of Ari’s images as her computer’s desktop graphic before the two ever met.
“So when we met, we quickly started talking about collaboration,” Ari relates. “We had similar energy and ideas.” Over the year, these ideas coalesced, leading them to Fort Mason on October 5, 2011, where they spread the canvases, poured a ring of sand for a base, and began to grow the artwork from the ground up.
You are a young ceramist who had started her artistic endeavor early on, during college. How did you discover the passion for ceramics?
I guess it was while working. From one work to another you get new ideas; you get excited, you make things. I remember that at the beginning, in high school, I was fascinated to discover how a crude glaze that was a washy orange became dark green after the firing. When you are applying glazes, a significant part of the process is a mental/ imaginative one. While you are mixing and combining them, you need to imagine their true colors, revealed by the firing process.
What message or feeling do you wish to convey to the viewer through your works? Is the goal of your artistic process one of searching and experimenting?
Absolutely! It’s an experiment which starts from the early stages of the work, and includes the viewer’s reaction to the finished piece. The message is open to various interpretations, depending on the power of understanding and interiority of the viewer. It is important for me to create a starting point for a debate.
The refinement and elegance of your works are the result of the techniques that you employ, together with the subtle interventions on the shape. Tell us more about the creative process of your works.
There isn’t anything new or unusual to it. First of all there is the idea. For me it’s important to know if what I’m going to produce is suitable to be made from ceramic material, that the idea will be best expressed with this medium. Then I carefully choose the material, so that it matches and supports my idea. Most of the time, I prefer white clays or sandstone. The majority of my works are composed of more than one piece, so I usually make plaster molds, in which I press the paste, and then I interfere with the form, depending on what I want to do. When I made the ceramic boats (No Direction Home, 2010), I had to do various tests, including testing the paper’s reaction with the ceramic slip. It had to be not too glossy, but neither too rough or to absorb much water. Furthermore, it is essential to know where and when you should stop.
Oriana Pelladi, The dowry, 2011, Stoneware, White glaze, Wooden pillow.
In 2010 you was an artist in residence at Fule International Ceramic Art Museum (FLICAM), Fuping, China. What was the result of this residence?
China is a fascinating country. I lived within a culture with a rich and vast history, one that relates significantly to ceramics. The residence at Fuping has been perfect for me. First of all, I was taken out of the daily context in which I live, away from the little mundane things that interfere with the work. I had my time, I could think and create. I could choose freely from several types of ceramic paste, with high plasticity, provided by the local ceramic factory. It was incredibly nice to work there. Beside this, I experienced working in a studio together with other Romanian and also foreign artists from all over the world - from different generations and with different points of view. It was challenging in terms of creativity, which is a good experience. The residence in which I took part ended with the opening of the Museum of Eastern Europe. Over several years, numerous residences amounted to the creation of the International Museum of Contemporary Ceramics; the museum was composed of several pavilions representing different countries or areas: Scandinavia, America, Australia, Asia, etc. It was a wonderful project, and I was lucky to be part of it. There are many events which deserve to be mentioned. It was captivating. China inspires you.
Your body of work consists in reinterpretations in stoneware and porcelain of everyday objects. What sparked your interest for ceramics?
Firstly, an attraction toward the household objects led me to ceramic. I am deeply fascinated by clay and the gesture of the hand cupping the bowl. Beyond the objects, my interest for this art was aroused by a strong link with the origin of humankind, the ancestral tradition of making household objects out of that universal and natural clay. Finally, meeting with ceramists and contemplating their work was a strong incentive to become part of that story.
The refinement and suaveness of your ceramic pieces are given by your attention to detail. Tell us about your educational background and other related experiences.
I had numerous trainings in France and Belgium with ceramists, during which I learned, observed and appreciated the simplicity of the gesture of the first movement. Permanently, I think of the first gestures man performed in order to create a clay or stoneware object. I love the primitive aspect of this job whose rules have not changed for thousands of years.
How did the architecture of the North of France and the austere aesthetic of the Flemish still-life affected your work?
I am of Flemish origins, I have always lived in the North of France. I don’t believe in plain inspiration, it comes through our environment and culture. In my region and in the near Belgium country more particularly, the black color is omnipresent: in my ancestors clothes, in the colors of the walls, in Flemish paintings. When I walk around cities like Amsterdam or Gand, or along the enbankment in Anvers Harbor, or wandering in Bruxelles, what strikes me is the simplicity and efficiency of architecture, either XVIth century and ultra-contemporary. Streamlined shapes, huge openings to catch maximum light in spite of often grey skies. My country is also a landscape of industrial wasteland. Former silos, unused steel factories, traces of a bygone industry in which concrete and rusty steel beams are the ghosts of that prosperous era.
The monochrome compositions that you create give the viewer a subtle remembrance of the object design of the 60’s. Why did you choose not to use color in your works?
Color makes no sense to me, for me it takes too much space and leaves no room for subtlety and details. You need to have a poetic mind to be moved by the grey sea of the North, by the dull skies of Flanders. Grey and black change according to the light, they are not permanent, thus the object has several lives in one day. I am particularly interested in the numerous shades of grey that light can enhance in a monochrome composition, depending on the clay, its closeness to an immaculate porcelain and the way pieces are laid out. I have been influenced and inspired by Morandi, but also by urban wastelands, steel compression ready for recycling, odds and ends piled up at the back of an old scottish shop.
By accident! When I was in high school I studied painting and I believed that nothing could rise to its value; that painting is part of my soul and the only way of expression for me as an artist. But this had changed when in university I have met ceramics, felt in loved and couldn’t separate since. This is mainly due to my professor, Ernest Budeş, the person which showed us all the ways of expressing through this medium, using clay, stoneware, earthenware or porcelain, each with its specific techniques. He taught us that ceramics is made with a lot of patience, dedication and most of all, love. He also educated us to love what we do because an object made with all these “ingredients” cannot be otherwise than good: it lives, vibrates, transmits.
Is ceramics for you an opportunity for introspection?
Art in general is an opportunity for introspection. Ceramics is a material that allows many possibilities of transposing artistic ideas, therefore can be both two-dimensional (decorative tiles, painting, graphic, photography) and three-dimensional (sculpture, installation). In conclusion, clay has a wide range of artistic expressions that can help you translate almost any idea. Unlike other mediums, ceramics implies using all the primordial elements -earth, water, air, fire- to get the final result; this gives you a lot to think about. To give shape to earth you need water, to dry it you need air, but then, giving it to fire (and I say giving because from this point the fire detains most of the control and often is the best adviser and critic that reveals your mistakes and never forgives them) for objectification, fixing, vitrifying, finality.
Tell us more about your creative process. Is there a balance between concept and execution?
The important thing is to have the idea; the rest will follow naturally. When you master the ceramic techniques, you automatically consider the idea in connection with the execution possibilities; it is like the relation thought – word – grammar. You own the concept, the idea, the thought, and can transpose them using a grammatical structure. The same is with ceramics: you visualize the whole process to the ending, and you start to work, meanwhile transposing your thoughts.
It may happen to change the idea in the process – mainly because the difference of time between thought and action is longer than in other artistic media - for example in painting everything happens almost simultaneously (thought, gesture, action and result) but in ceramics, the execution time is slower and the mind begins to work - the reason why changes can occur in the initial idea but also in technique. Usually, I try not to diverge too far from the main idea, but I have to be very careful because if I let myself flow in experiments, I can easily derail and fail to reach the destination, in other words to what I wanted to convey. Ceramics doesn’t give you much opportunity to step back in the process, instead it forces you to take it again from beginning.
Aniela Ovadiuc, The book, 2011, Stoneware, Metalic oxides, 15 x 38 x 3 cm.
The book is a recurrent element in your creation. What are the origins of this passion?
During Master degree studies I had as research the theme of the Library (Bookcase), concluding that it is the sum of human preoccupations. If Schopenhauer names the book “the paper memory of mankind”, my work “The Library” (Bookcase) wants to put in light the human – library relationship. The library has the meaning of a book depository where the books reflect the man himself. To understand this I had to ask myself: What is a library? - A book depository; What is the book? - The memory of mankind in the shape of words, images and signs; What are the words? - Language, signs, symbols, gesture. And still, what is the library? – Is purely a human product, which stores all its history and emphasizes the development path, all thoughts, feelings and human desires. All these are in the Universal Library, and man carries it with himself all the way. The library and the man go together, have a common, inseparable route, like a carried and projected shadow. So from now on, I remained faithful to this theme, because it is very complex and inexhaustible, because we are in constant motion and evolution, but especially because the book as an art object is as Daniela Frumuşeanu said - “an exhibition itself!”