Twenty x 5 | The Artists

Twenty x 5 brings together twenty ceramic artists from throughout the United States. Each of these artists brings a distinct approach to contemporary pottery. Some of the works in this exhibition emphasize utility and function, while others hint at it. All of the handmade vessels featured in this exhibition are made by artists who believe contemporary pottery should be in the gallery as well as in the home. This exhibition propels the idea to commune and beautify space with pottery.

Each artist has their own unique practice and stylized manner of creating. Get to know more about the artists participating in this show!

Participating Artists:

Senta Achée

As an artist, Senta Achée uses clay as a canvas to piece together metaphoric conjunctions between self and nature. In practice Achée uses the repetition of characters to explore hidden identities and peculiarities. Historical and fictional icons populate an ever-evolving cosmology. Histories shapeshift and the moral of each story changes from piece to piece. The characters in Achée’s work are confined by the boundary of the vessel, but their capacity to assume meaning reaches beyond physical limits and into one’s imagination. Senta Achée’s work discovers itself through practice but inevitably comes to rest in the unknowable.

Senta Achée (b. Singapore 1986) earned a BFA from the University of Florida’s ceramics program in 2016. She has attended Haystack Mountain School of Craft and was a winter resident at Penland School of Craft and Township 10. Senta is a featured artist and educator for the Ceramics Congress and was the cover artist for Pottery Making Illustrated in February 2020. She exhibits her work at galleries nationwide. Senta currently works in Gainesville, Fl.

Instagram: @sentaur

Lakyn Bowman

While enamored with thrifting mid-century modern furniture and collectables, Lakyn Bowman’s work emanates the colors, patterns, and vibrant expression of the 1960’s and 70’s. Bowman is captivated by finding new life, value, and joy in the monotonous by pairing vintage items with her handmade pottery. Uniting discarded items with the handmade offers the potential to bring them into the spotlight of appreciation. Bowman is enthralled with this era’s home design, outrageous fashion, and exciting color palettes. With vintage items, the original surfaces are worn away by decades of everyday use, habitual routines, and mundane utility while still maintaining their beauty. Lakyn’s ceramic surfaces illustrate this inspiration through a combination of layering vintage botanical designs, colored slip, underglaze, and applied texture. Bowman’s forms directly reference mid-century kitchenware such as coffee carafes, barware, and canisters.

When Lakyn first discovered the word “sonder,” it summarized the encompassing mindset she has towards life and making art and is now prevalent within her conceptual approach. It is the realization that each passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as one’s own, complete with their own ambitions, routines, and density. While the word is about a person’s story, Bowman’s work is more about the physical object’s existence in that person’s life. She wonders how many conversations a particular chair or a kitchen table has been a part of. Just as she envisions the lives of the vintage items, she does the same with the objects she makes and the people who will encounter them. Bowman wants her work to be someone’s favorite morning coffee cup and be at the center of many conversations. Combining an orphaned metal caddy with handmade ceramic cups gives the discarded object the opportunity to be appreciated in a new life.

Lakyn Bowman is a full time studio potter living and working in Jackson, TN. Her work emanates the colors and patterns of the 1960’s and 70’s, showing there is still beauty in mundane utility. She received her BFA in ceramics from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2018. Her work is shown in galleries as well as invitational and juried exhibitions throughout the country. Lakyn has taught numerous online workshops throughout the pandemic and has been featured in Ceramics Monthly Magazine. Lakyn owns a hybrid vintage shop and pottery studio named The Nine Oh Six.

Instagram: @lakynbowman_art

Mike Cinelli

The patina of time is able to instantly imbue an object with a sense of mystery and narrative, while ideas of the future often spark promise and wonder. Mike Cinelli has always had an equal fascination with both the reality of the past and fantasy of science fiction’s future. The saturated colors of pulp sci-fi and comic books inform his color palette while historical ceramics apprise the function and form of his vessels. In his work, Cinelli seeks to create relics of a future that has yet to occur, layering the aesthetics of history with the aesthetics of a science fiction reality. By bringing these two worlds together, Mike pursues the creation of objects that are familiar and identifiable, but whose purpose or use is sometimes obfuscated, leaving the user to fill in the gaps and create their own narrative.

Mike Cinelli is a ceramic artist, father and occasional husband residing in Taylor, Mississippi. Born and raised in Ormond Beach, Florida; he first attended the University of Florida where his initial serious interest in clay began. After relocating to Mississippi, he received his BFA (ceramics) from the University of Mississippi in 2014. The following year, he filled a one year position as the Ceramic Studio Technician for the University of Mississippi.

His work has been displayed nationally and internationally in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions, with work displayed as far away as Skopelos, Greece, where he attended a one month residency at the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts. He has received various jury awards, including the Studio Potter Merit Award. He was featured in the August 2016 issue of Ceramics Monthly as a contributor to “From Idea to Finished Form”. In March of 2019, his work was featured on the cover of Pottery Making Illustrated. Currently, he is attempting to juggle his studio practice, being a father and husband, and maintaining a rigorous schedule of complaining on the internet.

Instagram: @mike_cinelli

Bede Clarke

For Bede, good pots spring from compassion. His “technique” amounts to wishing the work well as it moves through the process of forming, articulation of the surface and firing.  Clarke tries to find ways of working that respond to the only ability he has ever had, wishing the work well and silently encouraging it to “be good, be good.”  Bede keeps returning to the studio simply trying to bring as much sincerity as he can muster to bear upon the work.

Bede Clarke is a Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri, having taught at Missouri 1992- 2021.  He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa (1990) and a BFA from Eckerd College (1982).  Bede’s work is found in collections in the U.S. and abroad, such as: Taipei County Yingke Ceramics Museum, Taiwan, Ichon World Ceramic Center, South Korea, South Bend Museum of Art, Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University and Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University.

Bede maintains a studio in Columbia, Missouri where he produces his ceramic art work and continues to exhibit worldwide, recently at: Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KS, Belger Crane Yard Studios, Kansas City, Mo, University of St. Francis, Ft. Wayne, IN, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame University

Bede has conducted over 100 workshops and lectures around the country and internationally. Awards have included:

  • Kansas City Artist Coalition Lighton International Artist Exchange Award
  • Sturt Australian Contemporary Craft Center Residency Award
  • Fletcher Challenge Ceramic Award, New Zealand
  • Kennedy Center Fellowship for Teachers of the Arts
  • University of Missouri Byler Distinguished Professor Award

 Instagram: @bedeclarke

Michael Corney

Michael Corney tries to keep my statements short and to the point. His work revolves around the idea of conflict. Corney likes to play the role of the Devil’s Advocate, going back and forth between good and bad, right and wrong, light and dark, big and small, left and right. You get the picture?

Michael Corney was raised in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area where he was influenced by the bright colors of nature and the vibrant cultures that surrounded him.

He received his BA from Cal State University Fullerton and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

While primarily a studio potter, Michael has taught workshops at Anderson Ranch, Penland School of Crafts and Santa Fe Clay. He has participated in shows at Santa Fe Clay (NM), Northern Clay Center (MN), The Schaller Gallery (MI) and Akar Design Gallery (IA). Corney’s work is in the permanent collections of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Ceramic Research Center at Arizona State University Museum, San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, the Racine Museum of Art and the Boise Museum of Art

He is currently a studio artist living and working in San Antonio Texas.

Instagram: @michaelcorneyware

Indigo Cristol

Indigo Cristol’s pottery is meant for everyday enjoyment. Bold shapes and vibrant colors catch the eye. Flowing glazes and pinched interiors juxtapose organized patterns and clean lines. Every surface of Cristol’s work, including the bottom, is comprised of differing tactile qualities. These elements are all meant to engage the senses.

The crisp lines and geometric elements in Cristol’s pottery are manifestations of her impulse to find order even in the squishiest, most unpredictable of materials.

Indigo is a functional ceramic artist originally from Williamsburg, Virginia. She holds a BA from The College of William and Mary where she double majored in Studio Art and Economics. She has completed residencies at Cobb Mountain Art and Ecology Project and at 323 Clay and has completed a Post Baccalaureate program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Louisiana State University.

Instagram: @indigocristolceramics

Adam Field

Adam Field is fascinated with antique artifacts, the way they can speak of mastery of lost peoples, places, and cultures. This inspires him to create works that both radiate history and capture his own place and time. Field works toward a clean aesthetic that celebrates the masterful simplicity of antique Far Eastern pottery, while retaining the modest utility of colonial American wares. The surface of his pottery is meticulously carved with intricate designs that borrow from nature and incorporate the human touch.

Born and raised in Colorado, Adam earned his BA in art from Fort Lewis College. For two years, he immersed himself in the culturally rich art scene of the San Francisco Bay Area, where he began his full time studio practice. From there, he relocated to Maui, where he established a thriving studio business. He spent most of 2008 in Icheon, South Korea, studying traditional Korean pottery making techniques under 6th generation Onggi master Kim Ill Maan. In 2013 he created and premiered HIDE-N-SEEKAH at the NCECA conference in Houston, TX. After maintaining his studio in Durango, CO for 5 years, Adam moved to Helena, MT in 2013 where he was a long-term resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts. Adam is now a full time studio potter in Helena, MT. His Works are included in private collections and kitchen cabinets internationally.

Instagram: @adamfieldpottery

Mike Gesiakowski

In Mike Gesiakowski’s work, he investigates the process of physical and cognitive degradation by using the construct of architecture and its decorative elements. He draws inspiration from deteriorated and weatherworn buildings and their ornamentation: aged stone and terra cotta facades, hazy stained glass, fractured adornment, and other architectural components that have been left to the elements. His aim is to capture the unperceived intricacy of this ongoing process of decline.

The work presents narratives of impermanence and by creating a connection with man-made structures, Gesiakowski is looking to reveal the correlations between architecture and the human experience, that being the slow erosion of both over long periods of time.

The breakdown of forms and surfaces are metaphors for our own existence. The bright, enlivened surfaces offer a contradiction to this state of decay, as memories are altered and embellished through imprecise remembrance. The two-dimensional imagery in the work is a flattened representation of the three-dimensional ornament found within architecture of the last century and beyond. This diminished dimensionality conveys the transformative aspects of our experiences from real-world existence to the stored information in our minds.

The engagement between the deteriorated forms and the obscured surfaces suggests a temporal and spatial connection to our own brief and chronicled existence.

Mike’s work is influenced by the architectural facades and designs of the late 19th and early 20th century, works that surrounded him growing up in his hometown of Chicago. He received his BFA in Design from Northern Illinois University and his MFA in Ceramics from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has apprenticed for Simon Levin and was a Wingate Scholar as a short-term resident at The Archie Bray Foundation. Mike lives and teaches in St. Louis where he is the ceramics instructor and the Fine Arts Department chair at John Burroughs School.

Instagram: @mgclay

Peter Jadoonath

Peter Jadoonath focuses on making pots that are cartoons and cartoons that are pots. He tends to draw characters from daily life and mythology. The stories he builds upon the pots can be mundane, trivial, fantasy, humorous, and bold. Peter is interested in the uncomfortable comedy of life and he tries to instill that in the narratives. Peter’s method of making the pots tends to wander, lately, he has been focused on low-temperature soda and electric firings.

Peter Jadoonath and his family live in Shafer, Minnesota, where he maintains a studio. Constructing functional, narrative pottery with a sculptural presence is his focus. Peter has been making pots in the Midwest for twenty-two years. He hosts annual studio sales at his home in the Fall and in the Spring.

Instagram: @jadoonath

Elina Esther Jurado

In the summer of 2020, Elina Esther Jurado embarked on a road trip West to Moab, Utah. To be in the presence of staggering arches amongst the arid red terrain was truly breathtaking. Jurado was fascinated by the saturated rusty landscape where weathered cliffs revealed a visual history of the world in between the colored layers of earth. These horizontal layers of the earth are reminiscent of the levigation process used to make terra sigillata. Even more fascinating were the Petroglyphs found inside caves and cliff faces around Arches National Park. Images of animals or people engraved onto the dark iron surface to reveal the warm terracotta-colored rock underneath are reminiscent of the sgraffito technique.

Through layering colored terra sigillata and glaze, Jurado translates the visual parallels of the red desert landscape from her trip and the ceramic processes used in her practice.

Elina Esther Jurado is a working artist from Miami, Florida. She received her BFA in Ceramics in 2013 from the Kansas City Art Institute. Her work has led her to intern with several studios in Kansas City and Miami, as well as being honored with the Partnership Scholarship to attend a summer workshop at the Penland School of Craft in 2012. Since the Fall of 2014, Elina has accepted long-term residency opportunities at the Carbondale Clay Center in Colorado and later with the Kansas City Clay Guild in Missouri in the Fall of 2017.

In July 2021, she started a small-batch pottery business EJ Ceramic Designs. Focusing on functional housewares made of low-fire red earthenware. She continues to develop her creative voice and grow her brand locally and nationally.

Instagram: @ejceramicdesigns

Yeonsoo Kim

Yeonsoo Kim’s work is characterized by consistency, perfection, thoroughness, and handmade work, which emphasizes free will, randomness and casualness. Kim has been thinking about the relationship between ideas, notions, and concepts of tradition and contemporary art. This is the most significant reason for his perpetual need to continue creating and exploring, while constantly questioning and pursuing the idea of how he could create a new horizon of ceramics as an expression within his work.

Kim’s pieces address the psychological conditions of daily life. He questions in an attempt to look for his identity as an artist. Yeonsoo has been focused on one subject, which he calls “Listening”. Basically, Listening is a metaphor for describing emotions to himself. He was motivated by the idea that displacement is completely outside his control, but such a good chance to pursue his own aesthetic work. Listening was Kim’s way of making a visual reality from his abstracted inner emotions.

Yeonsoo Kim was born in Haenam, South Korea. He is a long-term resident artist at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Houston, TX. Kim earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics at Lamar Dodd School of Art, the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. He achieved his Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics and glass from Hongik University located in Seoul. Kim has held apprenticeships with Onggi masters in Jeolla-do(Hayngjong-Oh) and Gyeongsang-do(Jinkyu Huh) in Korea. Kim has won multiple awards; His most recent recognition is from the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), which granted him one of the top six Emerging Artist Awards for the Year 2020.

Instagram: @yeonsooceramics

Jenny Mendes

Jenny Mendes teases out and plays with a story or image that arises during the arch of time spent painting each piece.  In many ways, these paintings are puzzles that Mendes deciphers during the painting process.  They are a kind of lucid dreaming, whereby patterns of archetypal imagery unintentionally emerge and only upon later analysis are revealed to her. These paintings are a visual record of Mendes’ practice of deep listening, rooted in observations of nature, and the psyche.

Jenny Mendes was born in Cleveland Ohio.  She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Ceramics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1982 and continued her education at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.  She later returned to Penland School as a resident artist for three years and has been an instructor there as well.  She has participated in artist residencies and symposiums in Paris, Macedonia, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia, The Netherlands, the Philippines, Latvia, Georgia, and Greece.  Jenny has taught ceramic workshops across the United States as well as internationally.   She has been a full-time studio artist for over 30 years in Chesterland Ohio.  Her works, primarily in ceramics and more recently in painting, are an imaginative exploration of the internal and external landscapes of the psyche.

Instagram: @misterclaudey

Sam Momeyer

In order to endure the visual bombardment of the information age, Sam Momeyer finds it necessary to call on nature to find stillness and silence to reflect and regenerate. Coming from the Rust Belt, Momeyer is enamored with the vast, quiet landscape of the Northwest and its ability to possess the beholder so thoroughly that the anxious husk of daily life is peeled away and only wonder remains. Momeyer aims to distill these meditative moments into functional objects, a tiny place to ruminate and ponder amid the clamor of modern life. Momeyer’s color palette is influenced by the rich colors of Alaska and Montana: the low-angled, honey-laden light that casts the mountains into shades of pink and purple, the aquamarine glint of glacial ice, the orange lichen that covers alpine rocks like rust on a coal car. The uneven peaks of a pinched seam and tool marks intentionally left behind capture the memory of still-malleable clay.

Textures resembling rock and parched earth give the hands a tactile world to explore, while colored clay inclusions speckle the surface like polychromatic lichen, creating variation reminiscent of her wood-firing roots. Sam’s forms are inspired by the architectural landscape of their Pittsburgh childhood, borrowing exaggerated lines and shapes from skateboard graphics and graffiti. It is through a combination of color, texture, and form inspired by the beauty found in both the city and wilderness that Momeyer hopes to make a landscape that is a refuge for the viewer during the rhythm of daily use.

Sam Momeyer is a functional potter born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating with a BFA in ceramics, working as a studio technician at Touchstone Center for Crafts, and completing a residency at Baltimore Clayworks, she moved west to study as a post-bac student at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In 2018 Sam moved to Helena, Montana to apprentice with Tara Wilson, where she still lives and works as a resident artist at Studio 740 with her partner Shelsea Dodd

Instagram: @momeyerpottery

Lisa Orr

Lisa Orr’s artworks for the table refer to traditional porcelain or restaurant white wares, but with softer forms inspired by the playful and abundant qualities of Mexican earthenware. Orr invented her own production process after studying clay mold fragments in antiquated factories and museums. After forming pieces in molds, on the wheel, or both, she finishes with gestural animals, stamps, slips, sprigs and multihued glazes.

To some, Orr’s jewel-tone glaze colors evoke a healthy garden in bloom or an underwater seascape. Her colors, textures and strength of her forms set her work apart; her forms are muscular and strong but also fluid. Lisa engages both ends of the spectrum, from the dynamic and substantive to the detailed and dreamy—Orr celebrates tiny surprises in her work. Orr’s colorful, shapely earthenware looks best holding a freshly prepared meal on the table.

For 39 years Lisa Orr has been a professional potter and student of ceramics.  She completed an MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1992 and later received grants including a Fulbright and an MAAA/NEA.  Her work is in numerous public and private collections including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and the permanent collection of WOCEF in Korea. Currently, she teaches, lectures, and shows nationally and internationally.

Instagram: @lisaorrpotter

Justin Rothshank

Justin is interested in social justice and the natural environment. He creates functional pottery with layered visual and narrative surfaces, reflecting the complexity of these issues. He gathers inspiration from the natural environment where he lives, and the world around him. Rothshank also makes pottery depicting political leaders from our collective history, and floral imagery including the poppy flower that represents remembrance and honor for those who have served, his opposition to war, and his interest in working towards positive social change thru relationship building.

The issues Rothshank addresses, thru imagery, form, and surface impact us all, regardless of our individual political persuasions.  In making this work, he has reflected on the beauty, inspiration and energy that the environment provides… wildlife, changing seasons, flora and fauna, fuel and resource. Yet he recognizes that we’ve changed the natural environment significantly since our arrival on this land. Rothshank makes this work as a reminder of the responsibility he carries in preserving the natural environment, educating those around him, and understanding the history that impacts the present and the future.

Justin Rothshank is a studio potter working in Goshen, Indiana since 2009. Justin’s ceramic work has been exhibited and published internationally, including articles in Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Studio Potter, The Log Book, and several books. He has been a presenter, panelist, visiting artist, and artist-in-residence at numerous universities, schools, conferences, and art centers throughout the United States and abroad.

Justin is the author of Low Fire Soda, a book published in 2020 by Ceramic Arts Network that also includes a corresponding video release. In 2012 Justin released an instructional DVD titled Ceramic Decals: New Ideas and Techniques, published by Ceramic Arts Daily. His functional and decorative ceramic ware is available for purchase in more than three dozen galleries and gift shops around the United States.

In 2001 Justin co-founded the Union Project, a nonprofit organization located in Pittsburgh, PA, where he served as Associate Director and Principal Artist until 2009. Justin’s work at the Union Project was recognized with numerous historic preservation and social innovation awards from city, state, and national organizations. He is also a co-founder of the Michiana Pottery Tour and the Indiana Clay Conference.

In 2019 Justin was selected by Traditional Arts Indiana as a Master Artist. In 2014 Justin was awarded an Individual Artist Grant by the Indiana Arts Commission. He was presented with an Award of Excellence by the American Craft Council in February 2009. In 2007 he was recognized by Ceramics Monthly Magazine as an Emerging Artist. He has also been awarded an Alcoa Foundation Leadership Grant for Arts Managers, a 2007 Work of Art Award from Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, the 2005 Decade of Servant Leadership Award from Goshen College, and was named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2005.

Justin’s work is in numerous public and private collections around the United States. Museum collections include: High Museum (Atlanta, GA), Frick Museum (Pittsburgh, PA), Museum of Fine Arts (Springfield, MA), San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (San Angelo, TX)

Instagram: @jrothshank

Jane  Shellenbarger

Jane Shellenbarger’s work focuses on a pottery idiom, often incorporating historical references with domestic objects. Shellenbarger works with dark clays, firing with atmospheric kilns. The pieces undergo multiple firings to achieve a depth of surface.

Jane is intrigued with the ability of pots to transcend themselves as objects and convey information. Her work attempts to draw relationships to history and culture through form and surface content. At its best, the work becomes both an artifact and an object of the contemporary world.  As objects intersect with utility, they have the ability to choreograph domestic experiences affecting people in a deep and interactive way. There is a need to keep these interactions vital.  The rhythm of making pots is, for Jane, an endless pursuit to express ideas and define interaction through a form.

Jane Shellenbarger is a studio potter and educator.  She is the Program Director and Associate Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Jane received her B.F.A. degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She maintains a studio in Avon, NY.  Her work is in multiple permanent collections including the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, The Weisman Art Museum, and Ohi Museum, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.

Instagram: @janeshellenbarger

Joyce St. Clair Voltz

Joyce Voltz believes in the celebration of robust femininity. The exchange between volume and ornament, delicacy and substantially distinguishes the relationship between culturally persistent ideals of femininity and what she understands to be her own sense of the feminine. A robust femininity informs the relationship between form and surface in her work. Robustness conveys strength through fullness and power; femininity is womanliness yet culturally synonymous with fragility and grace. Voltz explores the language of porcelain pottery by employing exaggerated volumes and gestures to convey the material’s strength and durability. The generous use of clay, glaze and decoration contrasts the historical cultivation of refined, delicate porcelain. The forms are plump and dense, the glaze saturates in both color and form and the decoration merges with the body to create thick impressed physiques. Pottery provides a generous utility and luxurious history to create a language with which to explore qualities of robust femininity. Striking at the ideas of what is definably feminine, visually feminine, and my personal sense of the feminine, Voltz’s pottery is her unapologetic desire for a substantial understanding of feminine identity relative to social and aesthetic canon.

Raised in Dallas-Fort Worth TX, Voltz received her BFA in Ceramics and BA in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies from the University of North Texas in 2011. Voltz then moved to Wichita KS to attend Wichita State University, where she earned her MFA in Ceramics. There she was fortunate to experience and study contemporary art in Japan, Australia, Cuba, Mexico and New Zealand. After graduating in 2014, Voltz moved with her husband to Shawano, Wisconsin where she started a small studio practice. Moving from the Midwest to Red Lodge, Montana in 2015, Voltz became one of the Red Lodge Clay Center’s 2015-2017 Long Term Resident Artists and was named one of Ceramics Monthly’s Emerging Artists of 2015. In 2017 Voltz was invited to be a participating artist in the 2017 Curitiba Biennale in Curitiba, Brazil. Shortly after, she moved to Cedar Rapids, IA to be a Resident Artist at the Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio. In 2017, Voltz completed a two-month teaching residency at Yizhou School and Studio Nong in Nanning, Guangxi, China. Voltz has since remained in Cedar Rapids where she is happily continuing to work as an artist and educator.

Instagram: @joycestclairvoltz

Mike Stumbras

Mike Stumbras’ work explores the beauty and horror of our existential uncertainties as creatures seeking meaning through labor and investigations of history. These wheel-thrown, and cone 10 reduction-fired vessels combine inspirations from historical production ceramics with contemporary studio art practices.

Stumbras is interested in 18th and 19th-century European and American slip-cast ware. Although much of the work he is inspired by involves the use of commercial production techniques, his pieces are created with the immediacy and individuality attributed to hand processes. Stumbras believes that the historical work that informs his practice, however, presents a criterion for beauty that seems quite empty in regard to contemporary considerations about labor and existence.

Mike places an emphasis on making ceremonial pieces that speak to the passage of time and embrace the propensity for ceramic vessels to be heirloom objects. The work suggests that it bears witness to the ebb and flow of civilizations, of ideas, and of people. As vessels that exist through time as humans cannot hope to, these pots whisper to us to confront the knowledge we share of our progression toward inevitable demise and our march into obscurity. It is both a liberating comfort and a savage terror that the dead cannot return, except in stories and dreams.

Stumbras was born in Chicago, Illinois. He studied at St. Olaf College, where he received a BFA in studio art and a BS in biology in 2007. He has completed residencies across the country. Stumbras received an MFA in Ceramics from Louisiana State University in 2017. Formerly a visiting assistant professor at the College of William and Mary and a Lecturer at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Stumbras has exhibited work nationally and internationally. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Instagram: @mikestumbras

Kwok Pong “Bobby” Tso

Kwok Pong’s current works investigate the status of being an immigrant in the United States. Through travel, documentation and recreation of objects from the path of Asian immigrants, he hopes to address the contemporary concern of ownership in cultural influence and enlighten the curiosity that is deep within, both for his viewer and himself and allow them to experience what migrants had to endure while answering their own sense of belonging.

Kwok Pong was born and raised in Hong Kong and decided to continue his education in the USA while beginning to explore cultural differences. He completed his BFA from Northwest Missouri State University in 2009 and his M.A and MFA from the University of Iowa in 2013. He has exhibited in exhibitions internationally and nationally, he was also named Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist in 2014, NCECA Emerging Artist in 2016, and the summer residence of Archie Bray Foundation in 2014 and 15. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Washburn University Topeka, KS.

Instagram: @bobbytsoceramics

Lars Voltz

Lars Voltz’s explorations within geologic phenomenon, language, mass and volume sustain connections with base materials and environments.  Vessels built upon dynamic forms, diversely bodied clay and turbulent colorful wood-fired surfaces assert a continued geologic impact on our understanding of the conditions of contemporary life.

Creating ceramic vessels that share aspects of the geologic world and domestic space fascinates him. Smooth volumes, stressed surfaces, thick slashes, jagged edges and ripped segments of a vessel act as abstracted conduits to potent Earth features and physicality while not obliterating vessel space.  Compressing rugged forms with volume in this way evokes reactive spatial relationships. Ranges of color and texture built in the volatile atmosphere of a wood kiln extend connections to material diversity reflected in the world. Dynamic additive and subtractive layers of information, developed through forming and firing, reveal constantly shifting perspectives to massive geologic systems.

Voltz makes pottery that places massive tectonics within domestic, lived space. By exploring tensions between chaos and calm, he wants to uncover new ideas about uncontrollable dynamic forces and contained expanses.

Lars Voltz (b. 1986) is a studio artist in Cedar Rapids, IA. Lars grew up in Bemidji, MN and received his BS in art education at Bemidji State University. After goofing around he went on to graduate study at Wichita State University. In 2014, he earned his MFA, the art history portion of which was completed in Japan, Cuba, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. The following Fall Lars moved to Shawano, WI with his wife Joyce St. Clair, to apprentice with Simon Levin. During that year he traveled to Hangzhou, China to build wood kilns for the China Academy of Arts. Lars completed residencies at the Red Lodge Clay Center, Iowa Ceramics Center and Studio Nong and has lectured and demonstrated throughout the United States and China.  Notably, Lars has exhibited work at the Bienal de Curitiba in Brazil, The Archie Bray Foundation, the Collective Design Fair in New York City, the Guangxi Art Academy and the Rolf family yard.

Instagram: @larsvoltz