9.06.2010

Revisiting the Artists Statement...minus the hype!

Fellow friend and potter Jennifer Stas, who had a studio at Cedar Creek Gallery sent me her latest artist statement the other day. Jennifer was not at Cedar Creek when I was there but I've gotten to know her in the last few years since I stay in touch with all my old buddies there. Its nice to know the she fits right in with carrying on the traditions of not taking yourself to seriously or what she does for a living. This was a common thread among the potters when I was just working in the gallery at Cedar Creek. They would come in during lunch time, sit around the fireplace and talk about that latest Ceramics Monthly or this potter and that potter. These professional discussions always ended with some sort of joking about who took themselves a tad bit to seriously and was a good memory for me to look back on while I was sitting in critiques getting drilled up one side and down the other about why it was I did what I did....
So for those of you who read my post a few weeks back about the comment made is Ceramics Monthly about how up and coming ceramic artists seem to over state what they are trying to say in their artists statements....this one is for you! Thanks to Jennifer Stas for sharing this with me. I have no idea what her background is in ceramics, but I like her work and I know she's a hard worker.


my newest Artist Statement by Jennifer Stas.....

Through my work I attempt to examine the phenomenon of Hong Kong Fooey as a metaphorically interpretation of both Henri Matisse and itching.What... began as a personal journey of damnation has translated into images of macaroni & cheese and elbows that resonate with Inuit people to question their own plaidness. My mixed media jukeboxes embody an idiosyncratic view of Jim Jones, yet the familiar imagery allows for a connection between Dean Martin ,mittens and burritos.My work is in the private collection of Gavin Mac Cloed who said 'Eureka!, that's some real clumsy Art.' I am a recipient of a grant from Folsom Prison where I served time for stealing mugs and tie clips from the gift shop of The MOMA. I have exhibited in group shows at Chic Fil A and Cedar Creek Gallery, though not at the same time. I currently spend my time between my attic and Berlin.


I've also put my artists statements up on here....with some changes below that I really would like folks to know about me but when your trying to be professional, I guess you got to stick to the boring stuff.

Artist Statement

I am a utilitarian potter. I create pots that are visually pleasing and unique in character, but also useful in everyday life. I was born in upstate New York and moved to the Piedmont of South Carolina in my late teens. I earned a BFA in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989, and returned to school at East Carolina University in 1995 to complete a BFA and MFA in Ceramics in 1999. I am currently a full-time studio potter and adjunct professor at Winthrop University. I enjoy making serving pieces and tableware that bring delight to the daily activity of eating, setting a table and enjoying a meal. While growing up, I spent many weekends observing and participating in the traditions and rituals of my paternal Italian-American extended family. Among the most prevalent of these traditions were the preparation and presentation of elaborate meals. As a child, I observed how the tableware was as important as the planning, preparation and enjoyment. This served as the foundation for my interest in utilitarian pottery and love of creating elaborate surfaces and forms.

The pots I create reflect the enjoyment I have for throwing, embellishing, creating and using. I enjoy creating each piece with its own unique character and personality, whether I change a spout, foot, rim, glaze color or decorative element. All of my pieces are wheel thrown and altered in some way. Because of the rich color I get from the glazes I use, I enjoy working with porcelain. I embellish my pots with handmade stamps, colored clay sprigs and have recently started incising drawings with black slip into my pieces. The forms I make are usually organic in nature, which stems from my love of the material I use, and my personal preference for a fluid line. My inspirations for surfaces come from patterns in fabric, paintings, nature and historic dishware pottery.

I currently work from my home studio in York South Carolina, where I live with my husband Joey, our son Quaid and twin daughters Aydan

and McKenna.

.............I spend most of my days thinking in cartoon and sit come language. If I had my way the world would be animated like Roger Rabbit and I'd look like Jessica of course only in overalls and Birkenstock. I'm a NPR junky and sometimes my pots reflect this because when I get upset or frustrated with the state of our nation, I screw up what ever it is I'm working on. My pots can be rushed at times because I'm a mother of three and also teach so although making pots is near and dear to my heart, I have other mouths to feed and people that depend on me. I would like to say that I've gotten accepted to almost every juried show I've applied to but that would be a lie. I am a go- getter so I have no idea how much money I have thrown away applying for all sorts of things. I have been published here and there but like everyone else would like to be published more. I love to eat so why would I want to make anything other than items I can eat out of? I make what I do, choose the colors and clay body that I love and I don't think its rocket science that we all have differant tastes in things. Having a few degree's in art taught me alot, but it didn't change that fact that I do enjoy the color blue here and there on a pot! Most people also think art school is easy..well its not, its hard and emotionally draining at times. My studio is on the back porch of our house with no running water or heat/air. Its not the best place to make pots, but it works for me and hopefully if I ever hit the big time, I'll have one of those grand studio's every one's sees on the covers of Ceramics Monthly. ( Which as we all know is like being on the cover of the Rolling Stone so maybe my theme song should be song by Doctor Hook!)
Yours truly - Jen

9 comments:

Linda Starr said...

Well said Jen, speaks to what I see in your pottery and describes your pots and process well. I too have been recently thinking of what I would say about my work, still working on the words, like I am my pots.

cookingwithgas said...

I read many, many, many artist statements when I worked on the NC potters Con- most put me to zzzzzzzz sleep and some I enjoyed- the one I like best said, "I make Pots."
That was it!
Loved the twist on yours and now i have to go look at your friends name again! But thanks for the grin!

andrea said...

fabulous post that frees us to be who we are regardless of who people think we ought to be... and with a sense of humor (which is what will help us to live long lives)
;O)
so well said. if I ever get to the point of writing an artists statement I know I will reserve my serious side and enhance the part of me that makes others smile and laugh and say what in the world~!!!

Tracey Broome said...

That letter to the editor in CM caused me to write an artist statement that was non pretentious. you can google artist statement on my blog to see that post I think. Anyway, I think you have to keep it real, that's when people feel the most connected to an artist. I like what yours says about you. Hey, I didn't know you went to VCU I almost went there but ended up in another design program instead! The first draft was hilarious by the way!

FetishGhost said...

You've got me... I have just spent a whole weekend trying to write a new working artist statement.
The emphasis is on the words trying...

ang said...

love the purple one!! and loved the 1st one by Jennifer Stas... your personality has to come through surely??!! I just spent monday morning at a seminar on presenting your artwork so i reckon the last written piece is the job but having said that it depends on who you're writing it for... that is the important question..

Jen Mecca said...

Glad you all enjoyed the post. Artists statements are hard but if you look at a bunch and just choose the kind that best fits you...you'll get something finally that works.

Tracey - VCU was awesome!! You should send Wesley..she'd love Richmond!

Judy Shreve said...

Your statements made me laugh! but your actual statement is very well written! Artist statements are not easy!

Triveral said...

Thanks for that statement. It said as much as real artist statements. Most MFA artist statements are like the work that accompanies them - total horseshit