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Meet the Resident Artists – in 5 questions!

We are thrilled to have this year’s Artists in Residence here! They’re already hard at work in our studios.

If you haven’t had the chance to meet them yet here’s an opportunity to learn a bit about them and their studio practices:

 

Shiyuan Xu – Ceramic Artist in Residence

Name 3 artists whose work you admire or whose work has influenced yours in some way.

Rob Kessler, Brancusi, Kyoko Hori

What is your most indispensable tool in your studio? What could you not live without?

Scissors! I use normal kitchen scissors because I work with paperclay and it tends to have a lot of fibers.

Do you collect anything?

I collect artwork that I’ve traded with friends and professors. I also collect small rocks when I take hikes. They are memories that you can keep with you. Sometimes I lose them, though.

What kind of research do you do when you are about to start a new body of work?

I usually start with this book, Seeds: Time Capsules of Life by Rob Kessler and Wolfgang Stuppy. It contains scanning electron microscopic images of different types of seeds. Then I have my own compound microscope that I use to examine samples. The collection project I did at ASU with life science lab allowed me to access their Scanning Electron Microscope (The SEM is sooo expensive, you can’t easily get access to this until you’re in a lab). This creates a 3D microscopic image for me to us as reference.

What are you working on right now?

Currently, I’m testing out some colored clay. I’m using a lot of blue. Many of my inspirations come from the ocean. And white is a preference because it’s skeletal quality. Blue and white is also a classic color combination in ceramic history.

Learn more about Shiyuan’s work and sign up for her Beginning Handbuilding Class!

 

Michael Benedetti – Printmaking Artist in Residence

Name 3 artists whose work you admire or whose work has influenced yours in some way.

Sol LeWitt, James Jean, Donald Judd

What is your most indispensable tool in your studio? What could you not live without?

My hands! My hand eye coordination helps me to the precision I need to do my work. Also, I have my notebooks, designed by James Jean, which I keep all of my ideas and projects in.

Do you collect anything?

I collect a lot of things. Usually I collect random small found objects, books, things I find on the ground, records, and small-medium size drinking glasses. Then I usually arrange my collections on some sort of shelving.

What kind of research do you do when you are about to start a new body of work?

Drawing and research are at the core of my practice and the two go hand in hand. It’s important that I read/research daily in order to better the progression of my practice. Usually I’m reading books on systematic thinking and organization.

What are you working on right now?

I’m using multiple processes to explore identity through objects and architecture. For example I documented all of the objects I had in my apartment when I was in graduate school. Architecture is a separate body of work and it is a history of all of the places I have lived. Particularly bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.

Learn more about Michael’s work and sign up for his Beginning Printmaking class  or his Etching class.