Continuous Clay: Trends & Innovations

Dates:

July 24, 2021 - September 5, 2021

Overview:

A fresh take on the art form by nine Bay Area ceramic artists

 

Continuous Clay features nine innovative Bay Area artists working in ceramics today. The Bay Area has long been a hotbed of experimentation giving rise to some of the most influential pioneers of the medium such as Robert Arneson, Viola Frey and Peter Voulkos. The artists represented here: Brett Crawford, Shenny Cruces, Michelle Gregor, Jeannie Ichimura, Pancho Jiménez, Mark Messenger, Maria Paz, Tiffany Schmierer and Tiffany Tang, build on this legacy by employing a cross-disciplinary approach with traditional techniques to create some of the most exciting work in contemporary Bay Area ceramics today. Together, their works explore a range of provocative themes, ideas, and forms through an adventurous use of clay, glaze, and mixed media for a fresh take on the art form.

Continuous Clay: Trends & Innovations is curated by Jeff Downing, Professor of Art and Head of Ceramics at San Francisco State University.

Continuous Clay Artist Bios:

Brett Crawford started creating objects in clay over 30 years ago at Saratoga High School with Leah Aguayo and later with Dave Ogle. For over 15 years, he taught wheel throwing at UC Davis and UC San Diego – an experience that challenged him to deeply understand how to control the shapes emerging from the clay. Standing on that foundation, Brett continues to explore the nature of shapes that our brains find attractive and discover unique glazes to complement the forms. As a Ph.D. scientist, his methodological approach to his artistic explorations can be perceived in his work. www.crawfordceramics.com

Shenny Cruces received her MFA in Ceramics from San Francisco State University. Her work has appeared in shows nationally and internationally including the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Biennial at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Monumental Clay at Palo Alto Art Center, and at c.r.e.t.a Rome: Ceramics, Residency, Exhibitions, Teaching, & the Arts. Her work has received numerous awards and residencies including Murphy Cadogan Fellowship from San Francisco Foundation, and a Kiln God Award Residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. Shenny is currently a Professor of Ceramics at San Joaquin Delta College. www.shennycruces.com

Michelle Gregor lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a BFA from UC Santa Cruz and an MFA from San Francisco State University. Michelle is a tenured Professor of Art at San Jose City College. Her figurative sculptures in bronze and ceramic range in scale from large architectural installations to small scale work with subtle and delicate surfaces derived through multiple kiln firings. Her architectural work may be seen in such locations as the Spa at Pebble Beach and The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Michelle’s sculpture has been described as lyrical, graceful and spiritual. www.michellegregor.com

Jeannie Ichimura developed a love of all things ceramic while learning to throw on the potter’s wheel in Osaka, Japan in 1995. After years of making pottery, Jeannie shifted her focus to sculpture in 2015. The process, textural quality, and hint of unpredictability that are integral to working with clay are a constant invitation to explore. Ideals about gender, domesticity and societal norms inform her current work. Jeannie received her MFA from San Francisco State University, and her work has been exhibited in California, New York, Michigan, and Ohio. She currently divides her time between teaching ceramics at SFSU and SF Recreation and Parks, and working in her studio. www.claywrangler.com, www.instagram.com/claywrangler

Pancho Jiménez holds a MFA in Sculptural Ceramics from San Francisco State University, and his BA from Santa Clara University. He has exhibited extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally at universities, private galleries and civic spaces. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Crocker Museum of Art, the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, the Triton Museum of Art, the University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University. He was named an Artist Laureate by SVCreates. His solo show at the Triton Museum of art was named one of the Ten Best in Northern California by art ltd. Magazine. He has been featured in Ceramics Monthly and numerous publications including, "The Ceramic Design Book", "Extruded Ceramics" and “500 Ceramic Sculptures.” He has taught courses at San Francisco State University, West Valley College and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Santa Clara University where he has been teaching since 1999. www.panchojimenez.com

Mark Messenger was raised in Southern California and now lives in the East Bay where he is a Professor of Art at Diablo Valley College. His sculpture is a melding of folk and fine art traditions. The work combines drawing, painting, modeling and pottery techniques to investigate recurring mythologies, exploring social, political and psychological issues in the form of narratives. Mark’s work has been exhibited extensively and is represented in a number of national and international collections including the Crocker Art Museum, the Archie Bray Permanent Collection in Helena, MT, the International Ceramic Center in Kesckemet, Hungary, and the Hubei Institute of Art in Wuhan, China. International projects have included group sculpture projects in both Cuba and China, and a large scale, permanent installation at Parque La Carolina in Quito, Ecuador. Mark received a BA in Social Science from Westmont, a Teaching Credential in Art from Cal State Fullerton, and an MFA from San Diego State University. www.messengerceramics.com

Maria Paz (b. Quilpue, Chile) is a self- taught Latinx sculptor based in Oakland. Her work explores the bond broken with her home country and how her experience as an immigrant in the United States has shaped a multiplicity of identities. Paz has exhibited work at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Arts, Pt. 2 Gallery, Southern Exposure, and New Image Art in L.A. Paz was a finalist for the 2019-2020 TOSA Studio Award and has held workshops at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco). She was recently awarded the Bed Stuy Arts Residency in Brooklyn, New York and is featured in a group exhibition at Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Arts. Paz is represented by Part 2 Gallery in Oakland. www.part2gallery.com/mariapazpublic; www.mariapazstudio.com

Tiffany Schmierer received her MFA with an emphasis in ceramics from San Francisco State University. Her artwork has been exhibited in regional, national, and international exhibitions. Her ceramic sculpture is held in private and public collections, and has received numerous awards. Schmierer is a Professor of Art at Skyline College  where she heads the ceramics program. She has been sculpting in clay for over twenty years, and loves the versatility, physical, tactile, and expressive qualities of the medium. Her ceramic sculptures are created as three-dimensional canvases on which to explore drawing, painting, and printmaking methods. tiffanyschmierer.com

Tiffany Tang is an artist and educator from the SF Bay Area. She has always been someone who deeply absorbs her surroundings, which leave lasting impressions that come out in her artistic expressions. Be it a blessing or a curse, life continues to give her stories to tell through her deep rooted traumas. Tiffany is interested in the tension that exists between the tactile, functionality, and color pallete of her work. Tiffany also finds great joy in mentoring and teaching others, using her past experiences in life along with her skills in clay. She received her BA in Art and Art History from San Francisco State University and her MFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design. www.tiffanytang.com instagram: tiffanytangstudio 

Artwork credits:
Home page: Shenny Cruces, Breast Plates, 2016, Vintage German Dessert Plates, Porcelain, Decals, Luster, 28 x 38 x 8 in.
Exhibition Page: Pancho Jimenez, Cara a Cara, ceramic, 22 x 27 x 22 in.
Slide Show:
Maria Paz, Mama, ceramic and glaze, 2020, 22 x 21 x 15.5 in.
Tiffany Schmierer, Connecting Threads, 2019, ceramic and wire, 48 x 15 x 5 in.
Jeanie Ichimura, 48 Years, 2018-present, porcelain, wood, steel wire, 60 x 12 x 6 in.
Michelle Gregor, At The Bridge, 2020, ceramic, 25 x 11 x 11 in.

We thank the following individuals for their support of the exhibition:
Kathleen and Ray Gaines

Continuous Clay: Trends & Innovations

Dates:

July 24, 2021 - September 5, 2021

Overview:

A fresh take on the art form by nine Bay Area ceramic artists