P A R A L L E L / C O L L I S I O N
Exhibition Title: Parallel/Collision
Matt Ziemke, Wade MacDonald, Julie Malen, Matt Mitros, Jason Hackett
Dates: 03/2018 - 03/2018
Venue: NCECA 2018 - RJ Industrial Park, Pittsburg, PA
Creative potency and artistic efficacy are often directly related to an artist’s cultural competence. Given current geopolitical shifts to cultural isolationism, artists have a mandate to quickly adopt a set of ethics and principles, and demonstrate behaviors and attitudes that are intrinsically pluralistic. By engaging in critical dialog and collaborative making, with individuals of varied experience, artists increase their own awareness of the voices, histories, and objects that define their culture. As a result of such activity, artists develop the ability to create work that is both personally and culturally significant.
Clay culture, steeped in tradition, is in flux. As ceramic artists, we are acutely aware of trends and technologies that define contemporary ceramics. The tense relationship between past and present modes of making and thinking is evident. Digital technology offers new possibilities for the artist, designer, engineer, and architect working with clay. At the same time, handcraft is being reconsidered; the potential of its effect on a growing culture consumed by virtual experience is too important to ignore.
In June 2017, ceramic artists Matt Ziemke, Matt Mitros, Wade Folger MacDonald, Julie Malen, and Jason Hackett, participate in the Artists Invite Artists residency at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana. The residency was organized and proposed by Matt Mitros after the addition of 3d clay printers to The University of Alabama studio and curriculum. The intention of this residency experience is to foster an environment of cultural exploration through dialog and collaboration. By investigating the current dichotomies apparent in contemporary ceramics: digital versus hand-made, ceramic purism versus mixed media, and tradition versus innovation, artists will challenge their individual conceptions of clay culture. Artists will also make correlations between the conversations in contemporary ceramics and the potential implications of these ideas within a larger cultural context.