Art is an individual endeavor. However, if one expresses oneself in another language, one should reconsider whether one is qualified to do so or limited in expression. It is necessary to have a process of signification for art to exist as art. Otherwise, art could merely be a "visual archeology" demanding academic verification. “Murmur, Murder & Mother”, Hoon Lee, 2001
Cranbrook Academy of Art
The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
Grand Valley State University
Ceramics Student Exhibition & Panel Discussion
Monday 10. 13. 2008 – Thursday 10. 23. 2008
The Stuart & Barbara Padnos Student Gallery
Alexander Calder Fine Arts Center
Grand Valley State University
Ceramics Studio Panel Discussion
Thursday 10. 23. 2008 @ 1pm – 5pm
Thursday 10. 23. 2008 @ 5pm – 7pm
Art 275 Introduction to Ceramics Students [Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Co-Relation Project: Stoneware & Glaze: 6”x6”x6” Each: 2008
Allison Fall [MFA Ceramics, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ceramics / BFA Ceramics, The Ohio State University]
Improvisation with porcelain: Installation View, Detail
Transitions in life begin without us even knowing, until we look up and realize they are there. Connecting what exists to what is new is an improvisation of time. As a professional dancer and ceramic artist I investigate how the two languages speak with one another. “Improvisation with porcelain”, is similar to the approach of improvisational movement within dance. Entering the space with pieces to create an installation and the intent of showing transitions within time. Each porcelain cone supports and connects to the next, portraying the rhythm in life that tends to be uneven yet with consistency. By connecting one space to another, one wall to another, a transition becomes apparent while you walk down the stairs to enter the space. “Improvisation with porcelain” hangs above your head and creates a moment in which you are present, noticing your surroundings and maybe even noticing your transition into the next moment of time.
Amanda Schutze [BA, Art Ed. Emphasis in Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Untitled I & II: Wood & Gas Fired Stoneware: 9" x 11" x 6", 7" x 9" x 6.5": 2008
My recent work investigates the relationship between internal and external worlds. These pieces juxtapose images and/or forms that represent the dichotomy of individual versus objective perceptions. I have been employing press molds to create ceramic replicas of my body to stimulate ideas of the personal, while considering the impact of others in formulating the sense of self.
Amber Ginsburg [MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago / BS, Illinios State University]
Johnny Appleseed: As American as Apple Pie: A collaborative work by Amber Ginsburg and Katie Hargrave: Foraged crabapple, foraged American apples, antique apples, and red delicious apples, text, inkjet prints, and 52 cards: Dimension: variable: 2008
While Amber Ginsburg and Katie Hargrave have independent practices, they have been working collaboratively since 2005, first as active members of OPENSOURCE Art, an artist run space in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and then as an installation team. A shared interest in how histories affect our present actions continually suggests new projects. Both are interested in the politics of the remembered and the recorded. In the project, Johnny Appleseed-As American As Apple Pie, we look to recontextualize the historical timeframe and popular understanding of Johnny Appleseed, who truly embodies the American ethos of re-vamping and re-writing histories for public consumption. With this project, we seek to make apparent the multiplicity of narratives and their evolution across time through the personage of Johnny Appleseed and the object he has become patron saint over: the Apple. In our display, we look to three distinct eras: Johnny's lifetime, the progressive era, and current times. We look to political writing; writings and legends about Johnny; and the accompanying genetic and marketing transformation of the apple. Rather than insert our own language of opinions on these themes, we will supply primary source texts and the experience of taste allowing these histories and transformations to unfold.
Cheng-Yung Kuo [MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago / BFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago]
12B: Photo emulsion on Porcelain: 24 w x 42 h: 2008
The work of 12B is an interpretation and inspiration from number 13. The work addresses my reaction to the meaning of the dreaded number 13.
Chunghee Han [MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art / Ewha Womans University]
If you looked for ‘YuhYou’ in Korean-English dictionary, it defined as, composure; placidity; calmness; presence of mind. But ‘YuhYou’ means to me is the room near your heart, which let you have a special extra time and energy, beyond your busy life, to appreciate nature around you, including sunshine, clouds, and breeze; every little thing. I admire the word ‘YuhYou’, and it’s an important subject matter for me now. ‘YuhYou’ in my work let viewer to appreciate the beauty of marginal space in my work. Also, ‘YuhYou’ allow people to have a chance to acknowledge the beauty of natural feature. I want to give others ‘YuhYou’ visually and hopefully it could approach to their heart.
David Swanson [MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Ceramics Dept.]
Lever: porcelain, steel: 2007
Transformation is a two sided coin, one side is growth, the other decay; the two elements can exist only together in symbiosis. My work reflects on the nature of these forces and the systems that employ them. I play the role of the designer of systems, the catalyst, the observer, and sometimes the subject. Materials, objects and images serve as records and metaphors for human parallels.
Dean Foster [BFA, Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Clay as Clay, Detail: White Stoneware, Reduction Fired, Cone 9: 2008
Memory is the driving force in what I am doing in ceramics. I impact the clay with an object from a memory. I also use the tool that is most accessible, my hands, to recreate my memories in the clay. I am creating my memories on the clay and the clay is becoming a duel memory device. The blocks have the present marks made by me and my past memories transferred through my hands into the piece. In my work I take an object and through a violent action create a mark representing a moment of violence in my own life. This started as a search for objects that were significant to my history. Take for example the 2x4, which I was violently struck with in the summer of 2002, used to represent that time, by violently striking the clay. My current work is an investigation in mark making that is about memories. As with any time in one’s life where a mark was left, you can say when, where and how you got the mark. How one obtained the scar or mark is very interesting to me, I find my own scars are the driving force behind my work. Now that has lead me to think about the object’s mark and what that means to other people. Currently the mark has been the focus of the piece in ways other than through memory. I have begun to use objects that have no particular history in my life, but they may trigger memories in others. Beyond the object change, I have juxtaposed the violent mark with the intricate design and elegance of a doily. Doilies have been historically used to protect fine furniture from the abuses of ceramic plate ware. This deepens the relationship between the material and the pattern within the mark. When the object is violently introduced onto the clay causing a mark, then covered by the doily, offers others a chance to bring their memories to the piece.
Jeni Hansen [Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Vases: Stoneware & Glaze: Cone 9 ox: 6”x4” Each: 2008
As an artist I am compelled to create work that can be used everyday. I am drawn to the making of functional objects in ceramics. My current focus is still on making functional wears but also in discovering design elements that will make the most striking and yet successful pieces. I use several techniques in the clay from carving to glaze application. I am fascinated by the space that is created around these shapes especially in pairs. I am most interested in the relationship between the piece and the holder. Discovering what parts of my work will come together to create the right fit. I encourage the viewer to pick up my work, to touch it and to use it.
Drew Ippoliti [MFA, Crabrook Academy of Art / BFA, Masachusetts College of Art & Design]
Life of Plenty
Conceive. Perceive. Deceive. Receive. These words sum up the artistic process, which drives my studio practice. With my work I attempt to question the relationship between individual and society. What do the few owe the many and how does one reconcile what they should extract from the mass? Through a process of ritualized labor, I search for answers to this highly charged question. My objects embody the essence of the relationship between the solitary and the community, providing an experience that encourages the viewer to fabricate their own answers.
Katie Caron [MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art / BS, Boston University]
Wire Animation: Video projection, stop motion animation, wire, clay: 2008
There is no longer one absolute reality, but the possibility of multiple realities, each one as “real” or as artificial as the other- from Jeffrey Deitch Artificial Nature. Born into a TV infused suburbia, I am a product of artifice. My interest in the uncanny, virtual reality, the automaton, the cyborg, the hidden and unknown; all relates to my personal feelings of detachment from the natural world and alienation by a technology dependent consumer culture. Living in Colorado helped me to see outside of this system and become more objective about my small place in this world. In my search for truth, I have become confused. By creating layers of artifice using animation to compose virtual worlds, and theatrical lighting to invent space and non-space, I look to immerse my viewer in the experience of the work. Personifying form and material with emotion and motivation, I create personal narratives that reflect universal conflicts.
MacKenzie Whims [BFA, Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Interaction: Snow White Stoneware & Glaze: 3”x4” Each: 2008
My work is about an experience. Something not only I can relate to but also the viewer. Visual clues are used in order to stimulate thought about the general statement I am trying to reveal. I may not give the entire objective but instead leave the solution open ended in order to induce various conclusions dependent solely on your own personal experience. Mail is an intellectual connection between two people and is a very personal experience. One should not be obliged to throw away this experience after it is over but instead enjoy it time and again.
Natalie Carolan [BFA, Jewelry/Metal-Smith: Grand Valley State University]
Passion, Conflict, Elegance, Peace, Dreams: Ceramic: 2008
My hands are the greatest tools I will ever have. I enjoy simply playing with clay, swirling it around and around itself as I make a form. These pieces are about trusting in my own intuition and aesthetic as I make form after form. They are also about my own self and what I find important or beautiful in the world. I usually have only a small idea of what the final product will look like, and because there is little planning involved, I allow the clay to take form on its own as I build it up. My process requires me to work in stages, on different sections or another piece simultaneously while other parts dry. I embrace the accidents and small irregularities, for they make the piece much more interesting and beautiful as I continue refining them to become part of the work. And when all is said and done, I’m always excited to see what my hands have made next and how they have left their imprint behind.
Nathan Dorotiak [BFA, Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Man-Manicure: porcelain, water, soil, my body: 2008
The dirt is laid out before me, tilled. Water pours from my mouth and makes mud. I drive my hands underneath the earth and reach for what is underneath. I find porcelain leaves that are white. I try to beak it apart, but I cannot. I lay it on the floor, and smash it apart with my palm. With the shard in my hand, I cut at my beard to rid myself of my hair. I need the leave to manicure me, to trim me, to make me perfect.
Marie Perrin-McGraw [MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Ceramics Department]
For Tomorrow: soft sculpture form, porcelain stantions, copper tubing: 2008
The objects I make have ambiguous use, they may even seem useless. “For Tomorrow” waits not tucked away in a closet, but out in the open, for a time when the owner might come to realize the object’s potential.
Megahn Kelly [BA, Art Ed. Emphasis in Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Peter’s: Stoneware & Glaze: Each H8”x6”x4”: 2008
My work travels back & forth through personal interpretations of the world to curious statements from the subconscious. I create from a place where obsolete objects with little function coexist with bizarre cartoon people, idealized & simplified landscapes, & exaggerated architecture. I tend to create completely from my imagination, synthesizing images from memory or making a stab at the profound, the mysterious, the ethereal. I draw inspiration from things that are well made. Or not even well made, but handmade. I try to tell stories that don’t necessarily reveal themselves, comments of things observed & filtered through my eyes, which provide enough visual information that individual conclusions can be made.
Nora Jane Hipshear [BFA, Ceramics & BA, Art Ed. Emphasis in Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Summer Events: Stoneware, Under-glaze, Under-glaze Pencil, Oxides & Glaze: 19”x14”: 2008
My work responds to issues relating to the human body such as identity construction, societal roles, and dynamics of social powers. By focusing on the historical aspects of feminine identity, I analyze ways in which attire is presented and outward persona is shown. By using myself as a model, I can express my own experiences as a young woman. We are all burdened with differing perspectives on the world due to those things we are exposed to everyday. Layers of images burn into the back of my eyes, conversations I’ve had, and questions I ask myself in diary entries are all things that influence the perception of a situation. I wish to express all this semantic noise in the form of layered images and text. Conflicting personality traits are left because we cling onto absolute ideas and specific moments. I deal with these in my ceramic work though my body form, text, images, and cartoons. I am working on problems within my own life, using layers of my own emotions to create a surface to mirror myself within. These surface decorations either accent or work against my natural shape. The exaggeration of my form points to social pressures on women in America. I view these as pushing women to be pure, beautiful creatures, motherly, nurturing and the center of the home. We are all clad in costumes, conveying who we are and who we want to be within everyday interactions in our environment. My forms show my conflict between my role in society and who I am. I am exploring what I love about myself and what I hate.
Patrick Quilao [MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago / BFA, University of Nevada, Las Vegas]
Full Circle (What’s On Your Mind?): multiple piece series; ceramic, enamel: each piece 4.75” x 3.5”: 2006
Vanity: ceramic, rayon flock, luster: each piece 4.75” x 3.5”: 2006
Menageries of personalities are around me constantly, consciously and unconsciously shaping my work. My work becomes a culmination- a tangible account of the impact had by remarkable individuals on the world around me. It’s about bringing out that collected human experience from within the sensory intensity and abundant kitsch in a sprawling community.
My work draws heavily from community. It comments on the relationships found in given collections of personalities in context to their purpose vs. their destiny. And the approach to creating my work is influenced by my fascination with discovering these personalities on the way to a destination or in accomplishing something together. The development of those we meet in each story and why has major bearing on my work and I aim to encapsulate that notion somehow.
The resulting work: a materialized form akin to the back of a cereal box, a video game instruction manual, a row of slot machine marquees, the back of a toy’s packaging, a wall of religious saint iconography, or a high school yearbook. I’m interested in how together these distinctive personalities become an engaging showcase.
Stephanie Reahm [BA, Art Ed. Emphasis in Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Process and Result: Porcelain & Glaze: Approx. 3.5”x17” Each: 2008
What is process? Our lives revolve around process and using process to get results. The routine of going through the process of schooling and eventually getting a job is something that most of us go through. But is life really only about the result? Is going to college really only about getting a job? My pieces relate to how our minds are wired to focus on results. The wall pieces are a direct reflection of the process of wheel throwing because they are all of the shavings I have used in order to make the cylinders, thus showing the process it took to make those forms.
Robert Wetherington [M.F.A.Cranbrook Academy of Art / B.F.A. Kansas City Art Institute]
Subconsciously Connected, Detail of Inner Ear: 12/10/06: 13”x29.5”x17”: Ceramic, Refractory Wire, Lab Equipment, CT Scans, Glass: Detail
My work is a personal inquiry on the correlation between the physical and the ethereal. I am interested in how the unseen and intangible affect us and am questioning how intangible, ethereal information becomes substance. Our mind perceives the obvious, but what about the information that we subconsciously absorb? Does this information affect our thoughts, actions, and observations? I feel that everything in life has a reason, and it is through this philosophy that I approach my work. I welcome imperfections that one usually finds distracting and build an environment within the work in which the dichotomy of order and chaos coexist. I am aware of the personal connections people are making with these forms and plan to further investigate this dynamic relationship in future work and research.
Tim Eads [MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art / BFA, Texas Tech University]
Clear Condiments #2: screen print on PETG: 17 x 17 x 6”: 2008
I am also interested in the notions of topographical mapping and how it relates to perception of space. I am also fascinated with capturing liquid states using ceramic, plastic, and wood as key media. I am continually searching for new approaches to these materials to question our thoughts about the materials. Other themes and ideas I am using in my work include humor, repetition, monumentality, and mystery.
Virginia Goode [Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Meditation, Detail: Snow White Stoneware & Glaze: 2008
An ode to the Middle East - an emotional piece. Memories of mystery and surprise, peace and beauty, many layered. Places of contrast--of light and shade, of color and bleached of color. Slowed pace of life--a time to think and observe.
Yu-Hang Huang [MFA, The School of Art Institute of Chicago / BFA, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (Vancouver, Canada)]
Untitled: Dimension varies
My recent work emphasizes identity issues that relate to Taiwanese national identity and North American culture. As a Taiwanese Canadian, inspired by Taiwan's colonial history and my immigration experience, I am interested in how cultural identities are constructed through everyday objects. The copying and constructing daily objects symbolize the process to merge into local culture and have become my practice. "Untitled" series is made out of polyethylene foam. The idea comes from the objects in my studio. By displacing these objects, it changes the conversations between the viewers, the objects, and the space.
Cranbrook Academy of Art
The School of Art Institute of Chicago
Grand Valley State University
Art 275 Introduction to Ceramics Students
Nora Jane Hipshear
The Ceramics Forum 2008
Curated by Hoon Lee
Ceramics Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Art & Design
Grand Valley State University
1402 Calder Art Center
1 Campus Dr.
Allendale, MI 49501
616 331 3102
Cranbrook Academy of Art
The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
Grand Valley State University
Ceramics Student Show
& Panel Discussion
Monday 10 22 2007 – Thursday 11 1 2007
The Stuart & Barbara Padnos Student Gallery
Calder Art Center
Grand Valley State University
Ceramics Studio Panel Discussion
Wednesday 10 24 2007 @ 1pm – 4pm
Gallery Opening Reception
Wednesday 10 24 2007 @ 5pm – 7pm
Andrea Smith [MFA Ceramics: Cranbrook Academy of Art / BA Rhetoric & English: University of Illinois at Urbana 1994]
Internet Café: Installation View: Mixed media, 2007
Through my work, I examine how societal conditions impact human relationships. I am interested in identity, contradiction, hybridity, consumerism, hierarchy and the details. I hope to shed light on the moment where we see something clearly and then choose to ignore it because it is too painful or complicated to process.
The work shown here was originally created for a show entitled Simultaneous Realities, and addresses contradiction in a technology-based society. Does technology that is meant to unite us drive us apart? As we seek to assert our individuality, do we only confirm that we are all the same?
Cheng-Yung Kuo [MFA Ceramics: School of The Art Institute of Chicago / BFA Photography & Ceramics: School of The Art Institute of Chicago 2001]
Vocabulary Soup: Installation View: Mixed Media, 2006
My works often deal with the experience of immigration and issues of culture and identity. One of my ceramic works, Vocabulary Soup, deals with language barriers, as English is my second language. When translating the meanings of words from Chinese to English, I am not always able to convey a precise meaning. Sometimes you cannot find the exact words for translation. For this piece, I cast multiple of Chinese style spoons. A large soup bowl, placed in the center of the table, contains several small pieces of paper with vocabulary words translated between Chinese and English, and smaller bowls with soupspoons surrounding it. Some of the spoons have holes of various sizes, which symbolize the difficulty of learning a new language and the loss of the words' Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™ meaning in translation. You are not able to observe everything and something is always left behind.
Christine La Fave [BA Art Ed. Ceramics Emphasis: Grand Valley State University]
Untitled: Detail: Clay & Glaze, H14”x 11”x 12”, 2007
My work so far has been a study about how I can combine two of my passions together. My first passion is the material clay and the other is the combination of drawing and painting. Together I have created a three dimensional canvas out of clay in order to paint. My inspiration behind this piece came from an old pass time I did when I was younger. There is a fair that occurs every August and for most of the kids growing up it was our social event of the summer. For me the fair holds many memories that are now forever locked into clay.
Christine Statz [BS Mathematics: Grand Valley State University]
Untitled: Clay & Glaze, H4”x D5.5”, 2007
As a math major, I have been trained to shy away from that which cannot be precisely defined. I hate using words to explain anything non-concrete, because it always seems inadequate. Thinking in words as I do, I have trouble understanding my own feelings. I find that sometimes, the best way to understand myself is to stop thinking and just play with clay. My goal in working with clay is to find a non-verbal way of expressing various complex emotions. Sometimes I prefer to start with a functional, neutral object, and see where it goes as I focus on one emotion. Other times, I start with specific shapes that come to me in daydreams. Either way, the actual act of making a form is what's most important to me. My favorite works are those that make me feel the same emotion when they are done as I felt while working on them. This means that the feel of the clay is just as important to me as how it looks, and I prefer pieces which can actually be picked up by the viewer.
Dean Foster [BFA Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Inside Architecture: Detail: Clay & Glaze, H15”x D11”, 2007
Currently my work is exploring the most basic attribute of our built environment, or architecture, the ideas surrounding inside and outside. I can draw connections with the quote by Lao Tzu “We make doors and windows for a room; but it is these empty spaces that make the room livable. Thus, while the tangible has advantages, it is the intangible that makes it useful.” It is the intangibility of a space that intrigues me and leads me to design inside the architectural form. Creating tangibility in a space defined by its intangibility.
Holly Schwartz [MFA Ceramics: School of The Art Institute of Chicago / BFA Sculpture: Northern Michigan University 1999]
Untitled: Detail: Clay, H7’x 4’x 3’, 2007
As a little girl I would spend a seemingly abnormal amount of time sifting thru my fathers medical books looking for the best pictures of the worst possible diseases. Later in what I consider an irrational state of mind I began personalizing some of these diseases. Thus began my bout with hypochondria. In short my work deals with formalizing an obsessive thought process thru the use of non-literal yet symbolic forms.
Jeannine Marchand [MFA Ceramics: Cranbrook Academy of Art / BFA Ceramics: Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA 1999]
Headrest: Foam, Nails & Wood, H6"x 9"x 5", 2007
My interest in dualities and sensorial memory is what I intend to evoke with my work. Interpretation is based on the viewer’s previous experiences. I am inclined to use mundane materials in unusual ways to create a psychological paradox.
Madeline Stillwell [MFA Ceramics: Cranbrook Academy of Art]
I'm a living Man: Video Still Image: 2007
My work aims to harmonize contradictions. I interweave materials, occurrences, conversations, and sensations that repel and attract. I conduct viewer experience by means of visceral response. I make art that takes place in both public spaces and in the gallery setting, art that is in relation to both society and self.
With a technical background in the performing arts, I incorporate tools such as the body in motion, vocal inflection, and emotional intention into my process. Influenced by living in 16 different cities, I portray an exchange between displacement and assimilation through the use of visual disorientation. I also engage my Catholic upbringing in order to modify its vocabulary and distill its sensualism into a new kind of Classical image. There is always more than one truth. www.madelinestillwell.com
Karen Kanaby [BA Art & Design: Grand Valley State University]
Untitled: Clay & Glaze, H4”x 7”x 5” Each, 2007
My artwork is inspired by the beauty of nature, simplicity of objects, and my own imagination. Being an artist, I feel it is my job to capture and share my experiences, which may be overlooked by most. Some of my work is developed in the making. I enjoy experimenting and trying new things. Some ideas come to me while making other pieces of art. My ideas and my work often change before completion. My work is smooth and simple, with some attention to detail. It usually combines the organic with the geometric. I like to play with contrast in shape and color. I want people to react to my piece and share a closer relationship with my work in hopes that they can connect with my thoughts and ideas. My latest creation, Stones, is provokes my audience to, not only look, but touch, hold, and rotate the pieces upside down. Stones is a collaboration of poetry and mystery. It examines the form and function of a simple stone and our expectations of the norm. The rounded stone form and the intricate inlay design symbolize the complexity of a simple object. The stone is also a symbol of stillness and peace. Perhaps a stone isn’t just a stone, but more of a capsule, which holds inside a special object. Many creatures in nature knock on stones and listen close to determine what, if anything is inside.
Curiosity of the unknown or the imagined is encountered with an unexpected result. The random objects inside the stones create a wonder of why they are there, how they got there. When one stone is exposed, it encourages the next to be examined. Curiosity drives the mind to know more; to find out what may be in the other stones. Two stones are hollow without an opening. I made these to spark the mind and imagination. One wonders why they are enclosed and what, if anything, could possibly be inside. The traditional Korean inlay technique gives the stones detail and the sense of complexity. I enjoy the intense craftsmanship of the decoration. The technique of adding slip and scrapping it away reminds me of the natural wear of stones over time. The glazes work well with the stones. I usually do extremes (lots of color or black and white), but for this piece I choose to soften my pallet. Celadon is one of my favorite glazes. My research and experiments with various under glazes and Celadon allow the natural and muted colors to mimic the neutral tones of natural stone. Transparency allows the inlay to peek through the glaze. The smooth and glossy glazes make the stones smooth to the touch like that of a real stone. The stones are made of two ceramic clay types: hand building stoneware and snow-white stoneware. This also mimics the subtle differences in stones found in nature.
Kate Doody [MFA Ceramics: School of The Art Institute of Chicago / BFA: New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University 2001]
Untitled: Installation View: Tin Foil, 2007
My work is involved in the discourses of sensory perception, semiotics, and intuitive response. I am investigating innate versus learned proclivities towards perception - exploring the boundaries between the personal and the social. The sensory experience allows for a direct route to our centers of consciousness. With this route in mind, I manipulate experience though the structuring of space. Using a formal, visual language, I create structures that stress susceptibility to gravity, and a relationship to the body. Illusion is a primary strategy I employ to challenge conventional notions of materiality, visual space, and tactility. I am probing the stretch between material and process, while taking into consideration the emotions of aesthetics and the utility of intuition. The work ultimately becomes an attempt to awaken the perceiver - to allow for an awareness of the subtle, the sensual, the haptic, and the playful to arouse.
Kelsey McCarty [BA Art & Design: Grand Valley State University]
I Live in Stinky Shoes: Clay, Glaze, H2.5”x3”x7” Each, 2007
The facts. In my twenty years, I’ve had over twenty homes. In the last two years, I’ve moved seven times. I moved in my little brown shoes for a year and seven months. I lost one shoe somewhere between Florida and Michigan, somewhere between homes. My current work is exploring a personal history of place and my concept of home. The process entailed observational construction of clay shoes that generate a reflection of the original object. The work allows for contemplation of the portability of home through objects, time, and personal identity. Think about it. Where have you been? How did you get here? How do you get home?
Michelle Lee [MFA Ceramics: Cranbrook Academy of Art / BFA Graphics & Product Design: Art Center College of Design 1996]
04.16.07: Clay & Ink on Paper, H5”x 88”x 26”, 2007
I make art for domestic use, for decoration, for contemplation, for social comment and as carriers of narrative. Why is it important? Who is it for? What does it do? Can it be different? I question the place that my work has in the world.
My life is a place where cultures, societies, personal histories, traditions and aesthetics intersect. As an immigrant to America, who is bilingual and has lived in many countries, I find myself trying to make connections between the disparate strands of my experiences. My aim is to create work that contains my story and bears witness to my life journey. I am not attached to one fixed medium, but try to find media which permit many layers of meaning, and allow for multiple solutions. I enjoy experimentation, risk-taking (failure included) and improvising at will, as well as employing problem solving skills, acquiring technical skills, and seeking in-depth knowledge.
I experience the world through my senses which carries into many forms of art making - from recontextualizing a folk tale I heard as a child in Korea, to, more recently, designing a chair in homage to Eero Saarinen. The intimate experience of using just my hands to create cups and bowls out of clay is what I consider true bliss.
Mie Kongo [MFA Ceramics: Cranbrook Academy of Art / BFA: School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2006]
Untitled: Drawing on Paper, 2007
My first year at Cranbrook started with an investigation of a photograph that I took at home in Chicago. I was intrigued by the frost lines that grew on my kitchen window on the one really cold day. I was curious how moisture in the air made such straight and complex lines. I thought to myself, was it random dirt on the glass that seeded these crystalline lines or was it the warmth from the inside against the cold on the out, extreme cold temperature, or wind or etc…
This experience led me to think about how to make abstract images that have facts behind them. In other words, images are made of what is given to me. I try to give up overall control of the final composition. I am drawn to randomness that has relevance to my life. I record and map out these seemingly insignificant experiences in my everyday life into abstract images. I want to rely on the language of geometry in order to find something beyond me and beyond my individual culture.
I am doing these works not because I have specific things to talk about; rather, I do this to discover something I never knew. I am learning, and much remains unknown to me.
Nathan Dorotiak [BFA Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Disconnected: Installation View: Clay & Glaze, 2007
The gap between the man-made world and the natural environment is increasing day by day. As our buildings rise higher and concrete is laid over across the land, we push out everything that does not belong. Plant life becomes a feature that needs to be controlled, manicured, and maintained to fit our own specific needs and wants. The animal population becomes dangerous and dirty, and if they don’t act the way we want them to, they must be shoved out as well. As a result, the world becomes less and less diverse as we expand ourselves across it. When fellow organisms try to integrate themselves into our built environment, creative solutions are made to push them away. Use of technology has begun to play a role in this by projecting sounds that keep animals out and help maintain cleanliness. The more we separate ourselves from the natural world, the better we will function and the happier we will be.
My work addresses two facets of the expulsion of organisms from our man made world. It explores the systems that we use to force out the dirty, uncontrollable elements of the natural environment to keep our own spaces well maintained. Additionally, the work deals with the ways in which organisms can overcome this diaspora. I work to point out these two characteristics so that the systems, which often become invisible and camouflaged, used to maintain our man made world become visible to the every day observer. It communicates a need to be aware of the ways in which we impact our environment and how it also responds to our actions.
Nathan Tonning [BA Public & Nonprofit Administration: Grand Valley State University]
Untitled: Clay & Glaze, H5.5”x D4.5” Each, 2007
Focused on the functional vessel, I explore relationships among similar objects. Exposing my tendency to work in series, I seek to gather multiple vessels under circumstances that allow them to be experienced with some relationship to my working process. In doing so, I hope to establish a relationship between the sculptural object and the tools we use in our daily lives.
Nora Hipshear [BFA & BA Ceramics & Art Ed.: Grand Valley State University]
Bodice with Lace & Coiling / Coiled Bodice: Clay & Glaze, H9.5”x 7” x2” / H13” x11” x1.5”, 2007
I view myself as a mixed media artist. I feel that the use of many materials is necessary in most situations, that there are too many ideas to be expressed, and that limiting myself to one medium is impossible. The ways that I express myself are many: art, music, dance, and a coordination of these.
I found that I respond well when given a topic relating the human body, like the wearable ceramics project from the Intro to Ceramics course. I was able to express my sexuality as a woman through bras, something explicitly female. There was a sense of delicacy and beauty in the curves that I created, the formation of a cup, something that works with the contours of a woman’s chest in these gracious forms. Women, sexuality and the ways we express it are a reoccurring theme in my work.
I am embarking on the exploration of how we decorate ourselves, currently, historically, and cross-culturally. I am interested in the sculptural forms of the bustle, the history and current thought that these items would be ridiculous to wear today. I am also experimenting with the numerous possibilities of the bodice, the different styles that could have been worn all over the world if every woman was made to wear them. I am decorating in different styles from different cultures, juxtaposing the cultures and questioning what really “belongs” together. I look at the way that these accent the body, work with the female form as well as against it. These exaggerated versions of ourselves show the history of social pressure on women to be these pure, beautiful creatures who are below men and whose uses are ultimately limited. How we exaggerate one part of our body to emphasize and idealize the other, how we subject ourselves to forms that are truly uncomfortable only to allow ourselves to feel accepted. By decorating in such ways we are subjecting ourselves to stereotypes and idealization. I don’t feel that there is a golden neuter gender we should strive to all strive to be, but we should not have such a social expectations of feminine subordinance.
These works are only the beginning of my work here at Grand Valley. I hope to stretch the boundaries of ceramics by constantly incorporating unexpected materials into my work to help clarify my statements about femininity and myself.
Rebeccah Kardong [MFA Ceramics: School of The Art Institute of Chicago / BFA Ceramics: University of Washington]
Toddler: Detail: Clay & Acrylic, H45”x 16”x 13”, 2007
The creation of the realistic human object serves me as a cathartic negotiation between the objective and subjective duality inherent to my own existence. In attempting to understand and reflect the complexities of a perceived reality, the incorporation of a high level of realism allows the object to be grounded as both recognizable and accessible. At the same time, the exploration of subtle physical distortion and implied subjective references serves to both accept and deny the initial response to the object and further the engagement between realism and artifice. By incorporating such dualities, I am interested in creating work that engages the question not only of its own existence, but also asks the viewer to question theirs.
Rosemary Case [BA Art Ed. Ceramics Emphasis: Grand Valley State University]
Untitled: Installation View: Clay & Glaze, 2007
In my current work, I am exploring ideas of desire, consumption, and compulsion through functional ceramic forms. Typically functional ceramic artwork is created for the use of holding food or liquid that we consume on a daily basis. As a society, our days can be thought of in terms of meals. Socially we come together to eat and food often is the center of our daily routines and rituals.
I am particularly interested in dessert presentation, glamor, and sexual temptations.
Dessert, although completely nutritionally unnecessary, seems to be a constant in the American 3 course meal. Dessert can begin as such a beautiful, pristine product, created with the intention to attract, lure, and pull in a viewer.
I want my work to create similar reactions with its viewers. Also, such decadence, self indulgence, and excess is the aesthetic and reaction I am searching for in my artwork. This can be found, not necessarily through an over-exaggeration in form but instead in simplicity and color.
Color has always been an important aspect in my attraction to ceramics. The way a glazed surface shines and illuminates a piece directly relates back to my obsession with sugar. I want to create an urge for the viewer to desire to touch, hold, and even lick my artwork. Just as a freshly frosted cupcake calls to be eaten, my artwork seems to longs to possess this similar trait.
Russell Orlando [MFA Ceramics: Cranbrook Academy of Art / BFA: Wayne State University]
Modifiers Series #2: Digital Print, 36”x 48”, 2007
Drawing upon the self and the rich history of the portrait, my work uses my body as the canvas, exploring its role as a social tool, a medium for discovery, and a mirror of the human condition.
Sorim Yoon [MFA Ceramics: Cranbrook Academy of Art / BFA Ceramics & Glass: Hong-Ik University, Seoul, Korea 2005]
Untitled: Installation View: Charcoal, 2007
Experiences of meeting different cultures make me doubt myself. Coming from Korea and living in the unfamiliar place (USA) evoked me to redefine who I am. Producing trash instead of art used to terrify me. Nevertheless, feeling and touching my work with bare hands has become an everyday necessity. My work is based mainly on these two above facts. Therefore, useless and repeated actions such as drawing a line, grasping fistful clay, and digging the ground actually allows me to be aware of and give new life to my surroundings. Drawing lines, for example, becomes a way to mark my space and appreciate its very existence. Grasping clay allows me to hold my space by making bodies in pots or vessel forms. Digging the ground, on the other hand, is my own way of sharing my territory and celebrating it with others. The things I make and the places I touch are not to create residue or possession, but my way to find an attachment with others. Become a part of them. This Integration with actual things and places that already exist helps me reconfirm that I am present. The Further I am from my culture, the more I have come to appreciation it. Korean culture is based on the premises of accepting the existences of characteristics in its very essence. It creates a space of appreciating beauty in the nature of primary materials such as clay and wood and insignificant marks such as several concentrated dots and/or lines shaped in a certain direction or angle. The accepting nature of different type of beauty in my culture generates an easiness feeling toward my work. Easiness allows me to have fun instead of anguish for creation. Having fun becomes a moment of enjoyment. This became the key function of my work. The key of enjoying the moment that enables me to invite and communicate with those around me. I have fear for my life as an artist. I doubt art. I do not know even whether ‘art’ exists or not, but I guess, that is why I am doing the ‘art’.
Taikkun Li [MFA Ceramics: School of The Art Institute of Chicago / BFA Sculpture, Ceramics & Video: China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China 2007]
Untitled: Video Still Image, 2007
Taikkun Li (黎阳) was born in Guangzhou, China to a family of distinguished connoisseurs. He was surrounded by classic Chinese painting when he was young and he was strictly trained at the high school of National Academy of Fine Arts (Hangzhou) and China Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing) between 1997-2006. Taikkun has later been awarded the only full scholarship by School of Art Institute Chicago and enrolled in the MFA program 2007 and his Film Lost Dream of Beijing was selected by 2007 Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam 2007, Washington DC Independent Film Festival and San Francisco Tiburon International Film Festival. In 2006 Taikkun was invited to join the first session of Fengliang international art exhibition on Peace, embassy of Congo Republic, Beijing; and in 2005. He was also selected by UNESCO as a sculptor & independent filmmaker to design the video and installation work ‘Borderline’. Taikkun’s art practice is interdisciplinary, making use of appropriate media including ceramic, sculpture, interactive installation, drawing, painting, books, light, video, and digital media. He is emphasizing meditation experience in visual world.
Virginia Goode [Ceramics: Grand Valley State University]
Pods: Installation View: Clay & Glaze, 2007
How often seemingly inconsequential objects become the focus of rapt attention when seen with new eyes. Familiar sights that we might ignore in passing suddenly arouse a new curiosity.
Having recently spent 5 months in Australia where I grew up, the uniqueness of the trees and bushes, especially the seed pods with their strange shapes, colors and often richly patterned textures fascinated me and provided the inspiration for this piece.