Natalia Arbelaez: Women Ceramists of Color, 2020-2021
I proposed the “Women Ceramists of Color” collection project to the Museum of Art and Design NY, where I spent six months researching their permanent collection in 2019 during an Artist in Residence position. With help from the staff and curators like Angelik Viscarrondo-Laboy, I went through the work of eleven women of color in their ceramics collection. My research focused on five women: LUCY LEWIS, KATHERINE CHOY, MARGARET PONCE ISRAEL, PATTI WARASHINA, and SANA MUSASAMA. This project is continuing as I keep moving through spaces such as the American Museum of Ceramic Art. Even though I did not include all the women in my series, I still document of all the women in the collections. I use their stories, work, and contributions to create new work influenced by these women. This body of work proves to be rich in content, while also filling a gap of representation for women of color in ceramics and its histories.
I incorporate the roles of critic, historian, and researcher into my artistic practice. By asserting my authority to fill in the gaps of ceramic history, I challenge the notion that history must be written by experts sanctioned by institutions run predominantly by cis, white males. In order to see diversity in our histories, I insist on the need for diversity in those who write our stories.
Photo captions – All photos by Chris Stone
- Lucy Lewis, 2020, Terracotta with Majolica, 15”x8”x10”
- Patti Warashina, 2020, Terracotta with Majolica, 14”x10”x7.5”
- Sana Musasama, 2020, Terracotta with Majolica, 16”x9”x9”
- Margaret Ponce Israel, 2020, Terracotta with Majolica, 19”x8”x10”
- Katherine Choy, 2021, Terracotta with Majolica, 8”x 17”x7”