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2019-2021 Ceramic Artist in Residence

Ashlyn Pope’s work is a reflection not only of her own experience, but also an expression of her history. Pope has spent her time in residency at the Arts Center exploring themes of her ancestry and symbolism, and how to relay that information through her ceramics. Working in both hand-building and throwing, Pope uses her art to champion diversity through a body of work that discusses her own Gullah history, as well as the past and present of the Black community. While Pope works in a variety of mediums, she truly enjoys the challenges of working in clay, “having to take the time to become acquainted and learn to work together with the clay, and become a partner in its formation.”

Ashlyn Pope is an African American sculptor of Gullah descent. In January 2021, Pope was named Visiting Artist and Lecturer at the Kansas City Art Institute. She holds a BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking from Kennesaw State University. She graduated with her MFA in Ceramics from Pennsylvania State University and has served on the board for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as a Student Director at Large. Pope mainly works with ceramics and textiles to create work rooted in personal experiences as a survivor of abuse living in a female Black body. Pope uses her work to address how bound or boundless we are.

In 2019, following an internationally competitive process, the Lawrence Arts Center selected Ashlyn Pope as our Ceramics Artist-in-Residence and Dayon Royster as our Printmaking Artist-in-Residence. Traditionally a one-year appointment, both Pope and Royster agreed to continue their residencies as the global pandemic stopped everything in its tracks and threw artists around the world into a state of suspended animation. Our artists in residence were fundamental in helping us maintain our mission during the past year to stay creative and continue providing access to the arts.

During more traditional residencies at the Arts Center, artists develop new bodies of work, collaborate in our studios, teach, and take part in community driven projects. This year our artists in residence faced new challenges as they adapted their normal roles and proceeded in new, innovative ways. Their contributions were immeasurable. We are grateful for their dedication, and so glad we were able to spend an extra year with them.


June 25, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
July 30, 2021 @ 9:00 pm
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Lawrence Arts Center Gallery
940 New Hampshire St
Lawrence, KS 66044 United States
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