“I have always been interested in the ability of a ceramic vessel to point to something beyond itself—to function as metaphor. Ceramic vessels, physically structured with necks, shoulders, bellies, and feet, can evoke the gesture and anthropomorphized stance of the human body; they also reveal deep aspects of human experience and of the natural world.
My fervent interest in clay vessels has led me to explore new territories in form and surface. Recent work explores three variations on the ceramic vessel form:
The ceramic vessel as a Wellspring or Womb, with possibilities of both fecundity and barrenness;
The vessel as Bottle, whose forms evoke the elongated posture of Cycladic idols and the scarified texture of Yoruba terracotta heads;
The Planet Series explores swirling colored surfaces on rounded orbs, suggesting planets and depths of earthly strata.
These series represent different but related expressive interests. Each piece in a series is part of a continually evolving solution to a set of questions or parameters I have chosen to work within. The parameters, themselves, may change as the series evolve.
Through spontaneous handling of inanimate clay, I attempt to find and breathe life into form. My creative process is grounded in reflective practice—imposing ideas on and listening to the material in cycles of learning. The material directs me as I direct it. We are in a reciprocal relationship.” Ellen Schon
Ellen Schön’s C.V. (resume) - View her works
1984 - Boston University Program in Artisanry, Boston, MA
1975 - Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
B.A. with Honors Ceramics and Perceptual Psychology
2012 - Ellen Schön: Vessel Variations (x3) – solo show, Vessels Gallery, Boston, MA
- CHAWAN International Exhibition, Gallery Yûsai, Nara-shi, Japan
2011 - Sasaran Art Festival – We ART Together, Selangor, Malaysia
- World in Change - 19th European Artists Symposium, Essen-Werden, Germany
- Ellen Schön: Ceramics – solo show Thayer Academy Gallery, Braintree, MA
- Waterfall, Machon Hamaim Gallery, Givataim, Israel
- 360° - We and Everybody, Hampden Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
- Art 20, Benefit for children’s aid project in Asumbi, Kenya
2010 - Group Show, Vessels Gallery, Boston, MA
- Cittaslow – Sakin Şehir – 1st International Symposium of Contemporary Arts, Izmir, Turkey
- Ceramics Program 40th Anniversary Benefit Invitational, The Ceramics Program of theOffice for the Arts at Harvard, Allston, MA
2009 - Carve, Cast, Cut Construct: 3-D Faculty Recent Work, Art Institute of Boston, Boston, MA
- Waterfall, Nave Gallery, Somerville, MA and Ripustus Gallery, Hämeenlinna, Finland
2008 - MINDmatters: Mechanisms and Mysteries, Laconia Gallery, Boston, MA
2007 - Vessel as Metaphor: Sculpture and Installation, Nave Gallery, Somerville, MA
2006 - Ceramics Biennial 2006, New Hampshire Institute of Art Gallery, Manchester, NH
- The Figure Explored, Art Institute of Boston Gallery at Porter Exchange, Cambridge,MA
- Sacred Sense, The Nave Gallery, Somerville, MA
- Work in Clay and Wood - solo show, Pingree School, Hamilton, MA
- Looking Back, Looking Forward: the State of Clay Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, MA
2005 - Enduring Legacy, Schmidt Art Center, Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville, IL
2004 - The Uncommon Denominator, Dyer Arts Center, R.I.T., Rochester, NY
2003 - Craft Transformed: PIA Retrospective, Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, MA
2002 - National Arts Challenge, George E. Ohr Museum, Biloxi, Mississippi
- The State of Clay, Ceramics Guild, Lexington Arts & Crafts Society, Lexington, MA
2001 - Ashes to Art: Funeria, Fort Mason Center Firehouse, San Francisco, CA
2000 - Emerging Forms - solo show, Holzwasser Gallery, New Art Center, Newton, MA
- Celebrating The Arts In The Community, Federal Reserve Bank, Boston, MA
1999 - Group Show, Signature Gallery, Chestnut Hill, MA
1986 - Faculty Show, Laura Knott Gallery, Bradford College, Bradford, MA
1985- Malcolm Wright, Students, & Apprentices, Benchmarks Gallery, Washington, DC
- Saluting The Program In Artisanry, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA
1984 - Two Dimensions/New Dimensions, Brookfield Craft Center, CT
1983 - 8th Annual Ceramics Invitational, Millersville College, PA
- Contemporary Crafts, Elmira College, Elmira, NY
- Featured Artist, Ten Arrow Galley, Cambridge, MA
1982 - Coffee and Tea, Frog Hollow Craft Center, Middlebury, VT
- Clay Dragon Studios Group Show, Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA
1981 - Jubilee 50, League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, Concord, MA
1980 - Clay Deserts - solo show, Impressions Gallery, Boston, MA
- Tradition in the Making, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
1979 - Massachusetts Craft Fellowships, Worcester Craft Center, MA
- Containers, Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA
1978 - Young Americans II: Clay & Glass, American Craft Museum, New York, NY
- Certificate of Mastery: Furniture and Ceramics, Boston Architectural Center, MA
HONORS AND AWARDS
2005 - Art Institute of Boston faculty development grants.
2008-2005 - NCECA conference attendee, Baltimore, MD; “Connecting with Wood,” workshopattendee (Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA).
2006 - Pottery research travel to Japan.
2007 - Kinetic Sculpture,” workshop attendee (Truro Center for the Arts, Truro, MA).
2008 - International artist symposium/residency, Hovinkartano Art Center, Finland.
1979 - The Artist Foundation Fellowship, Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities
2002 - Present - Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, Boston, MA - Adjunct Faculty, Fine Arts, and Clay Studio Supervisor
2002 - Ceramics Program, Office of the Arts at Harvard, Cambridge, MA - Ceramics Faculty, Summer Session
1999-2003 - New Art Center, Newton, MA - Ceramics Instructor
1988-1991 - Ceramics Faculty / Board Member
1985-86 - Bradford College, Bradford, MA - Adjunct Faculty, Ceramics
1984-85 - Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center, Newton, MA - Ceramics Instructor
1982 - Boston University Program in Artisanry, Boston, MA - Ceramics Faculty, Summer Session
1981-86 - M.I.T. Student Art Association, Cambridge, MA - Ceramics Faculty
1978 - Radcliffe Pottery Studios, Cambridge, MA - Ceramics Faculty
- Core Clay, Form Development in Clay, Clay I/II, Intro to 3-D I/II, Conceptual Development II, Formand Finish
LECTURES, JURYING and CURATING
2012 - Presenter, International Artist Residency Networking, Community of Scholars Day,
Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
2011 - Panelist, 2011 TCE Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts, Boston, MA
2009 - Freelance curator (w/ Pirjo Heino, Karmela Berg)“Waterfall,” Nave Gallery, Somerville,MA
2008 - Freelance curator (with Geoffrey Koetsch), “MINDmatters,” Laconia Gallery, Boston, MA
2007 - Freelance curator (with Geoffrey Koetsch), “Vessel as Metaphor,” Nave Gallery,Somerville, MA
2006 - Artist’s Gallery Talk, “The Figure Explored,” Dana Hall Gallery, Wellesley, MA
2001 - “Conversing with Materials,” Slide/Lecture, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA
- “Working in a Series,” Slide/Lecture/ Demo, Newton North High, Newton, MA
1989 - “Art in Craft Media,” Lecture, New Art Center, Newton, MA
1984 - Moderator, Panel Discussion on Pottery Cooperatives, NCECA, Boston, MA
- Juror, Falmouth Art Association
1981-83 - Outside Reviewer for Graduating Ceramics Students, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
INTERNATIONAL ARTIST RESIDENCIES
- “Sasaran Art Festival – We are Art Together,” Selangor, Malaysia, Dec. 2011
- “19th European Artists Symposium –World in Change,” Werden-Essen Germany, Aug 2011
- “Cittaslow Seferihisar” International Symposium of Contemporary Arts, Izmir, Turkey, Oct 2010.
- “Ludvig International Symposium,” Kendlimajor Art Center, Nagykanizsa, Hungary, June 2010.
- “Raku Workshop,” Hovinkartano Art Center, Hauho, Finland, May 2010.
- “Hudek 4th International Art Symposium,” Lojzekova Hiza, Maria Bistrica, Croatia, September 2009.
- “Neverheard,” Hovinkartano Art Center, Hauho, Finland, July 2008.
- Waterfall – An international collaborative exhibition, installation, and performance with Israeli artist, Karmela Berg (film) and Finnish artist, Pirjo Heino (printmaking), at the Nave Gallery in Somerville. Waterfall explores the theme of water as a metaphor for life. Water is seen as transformative and healing, as well as a tangible resource which needs to be protected. The title, Waterfall conveys both the idea of abundant water AND water at risk. Also, a benefit for WaterAid, over 80 artists from 15 countries donated their images of water. The exhibition is listed in the catalog of the TransCultural Exchange’s world-wide project entitled “Here, There and Everywhere: Anticipating the Art of the Future.”
- Freelance co-curator with Geoffrey Koetsch. Organize interdisciplinary group exhibitions in non-profit venues in the Boston area. Share responsibility for writing exhibition proposals, selecting and communicating with artists, gallery installation, signage, and publicity. Exhibits include: Vessel as Metaphor: Sculpture and Installation, 2007, at The Nave Gallery in Somerville. MIND Matters: An exploration of the mechanisms and mysteries of consciousness, 2008, at the Laconia Gallery in Boston. Both exhibitions earned Meredith Goldstein’s “Quick Pick” in The Boston Globe (Fridays, February 16, 2007 and May 2, 2008 respectively).
- Transcultural Exchange Tile Project, Destination: The World – 2004 participant in an international tile project, promoting “collaborations between a diverse group of international artists, their communities, non-profit art institutions and the educational sector at a grass roots level.”
- AIB Clay Studio Supervisor
Responsible for ordering materials, maintaining equipment, and overseeing work-study students. Search committee member for a variety of positions including: AIB Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Newton Art Center in Newton director, and Marlboro College biology professor. AIB faculty committee member - helped plan new 3-D course, Conceptual Development II, for foundation program. Reviewed portfolios for AIB admissions during National Portfolio Days. Faculty liaison on board of the New Art Center. Long-term planning committee member of the Newton Public Library.
- Clay Co-op Member
Six year (1978 -1984) member of Clay Dragon Studios, a pottery cooperative and gallery in Cambridge, MA, Participated in all aspects of operating the cooperative, including policy development, administrative work, and group exhibitions, as well as building studio equipment, and firing and maintaining a reduction kiln.
CITATIONS / PUBLICATIONS
- We ART Together – A Malaysian Art Festival, February 2012
- “MINDmatters,” Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe, June 2008
- “The Figure Explored: Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture,” Jim Foritano, Artscope, Issue 09, Oct. 2006
- “The Uncommon Denominator: A Tribute to Richard Hirsch,” Ellen Schön, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Issue 61, 2005
- “Tile Project: Destination the World,” Randi Sherman, Ceramics Technical, Issue 21, 2005
- “Fuller Crafts a Delightful Show of Artisanry,” Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe, Dec. 2003
- “Portraits of the Artists,” Matthew Call, The Newton Tab, May 11, 2000
- “In Newton, The Curious Can Try Curating,” Christine Temin, The Boston Globe, April 26, 2000
Visit Ellen Schön’s website.
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