Northern Clay Center is pleased to announce the recipients of the Jerome Ceramic Artist of Color Residency, Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowships, and Fogelberg Studio Fellowships; Ellie Bryan (Minneapolis, MN), Valerie Ling (Valley Stream, NY), Lily Fein (Syracuse, NY), Gillian Doty (Portland, ME), and Gregory Palombo (Alfred, NY). The new residents will join Northern Clay Center in September. The work produced during these yearlong residencies will be on display in a group exhibition that will take place in January 2018, at Northern Clay Center.
Ellie Bryan, awarded the inaugural Jerome Ceramic Artist of Color Residency, will spend her residency exploring soda and wood-firing techniques. Bryan is interested in incorporating ideas of animism, ancestry, and tradition in her work. This residency allows artists a unique flexibility and will give Bryan an opportunity to focus on her development as a ceramicist, rather than produce work with a sales-driven focus. In a recent interview, Bryan shared her interest in animals and their place in her work, “I believe that the animals around us—found either in their natural habitat or in the new habitats we, as humans, have created for ourselves—have stories to tell us. They are messengers and harbingers of the old and new. As spiritual beings, animals have a connection with the earth that we once held, but must now struggle to rekindle. I interpret these beliefs by creating imagery on pots that embody these messages to forge a unity that is so often lost between creature and place.”
Anonymous Artist Studio Fellow, Valerie Ling employs bright colors and absurd imagery to explore her interest in the worry-free imagination of children. Ling expresses hope for her work to, “bridge the world of pure imagination to the reality of adulthood”. She seeks to capture the innocent, limitless possibilities we experience as children and challenges viewers to allow themselves to be free-spirited creators. Her intricate sculptural pieces evoke the purity of childhood joy and expose her observations about how we, “learn to grow fearful of things and [become] self-conscious of our silly ideas and behaviors”. With the resources at NCC, Ling hopes to experiment with larger-scale sculptures, while further challenging the boundaries of absurdity.
Joining NCC from Syracuse, NY, Lily Fein intends to spend her year as Anonymous Artist Studio Fellow immersed in sculptural vessels that she believes, “speak to intimacy in human relationships and with the hand.” Fein states, “I want to facilitate experiences like these where touch permeates the mundane.” Fein’s work is significantly shaped by the awareness of touch and communicates this with thoughtful texture and decisive forms. With a background in Art and Ceramics History, Fein approaches her ceramic work with a strong academic intent informed also by her writing practice and voracious reading.
Gillan Doty’s existing affiliation with atmospheric firing practices will be further explored during his year in residence as Fogelberg Studio Fellow. Doty’s work offers an array of colors that call attention to his bold geometric and ovoid forms. Interested in concepts of weight, visual mass, simplicity, and fluidity of line, Doty creates both handbuilt and wheel-thrown functional pieces. He states, “These pots are cut, shaved, slapped, scratched and molded into a finished form.” His variety in process is reflected in his diverse yet intensely cohesive work. Currently based in Portland, Maine, Doty is looking forward to experiencing the rich history of studio ceramics in the Midwest.
Fogelberg Studio Fellow, Gregory Palombo will join Northern Clay Center from Alfred, New York, where he is currently finishing a BFA program at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Song Dynasty Qingbai-ware inspires his material choices and both the Bauhaus movement and architect Adolf Loos have influenced his focus on functionality. Palombo’s volumetric forms often appear to be swelling; imitating flower buds or balloons. During his residency, Palombo is looking forward to making use of NCC’s extensive ceramics library and said of his research process, “I look at history and if I find something appealing I try integrate it into my work, most of the time this integration is slow and full of failures so it takes some time and studio research to flush things out in a satisfactory way.”
Northern Clay Center provides resources and a space for ceramicists to further their practice. Northern Clay Center is looking forward to welcoming these five artists into this diverse and rich community of makers.