Kent State National Ceramics Invitational
Kent State University School of Art Collection and Galleries presents the annual Kent State National Ceramics Invitational, on view at the KSU Downtown Gallery from February 21 through March 23, 2019. The exhibition was curated by Christina A. West and features artists Soojin Choi, Gabrielle Graber, Andrew Stansbury, and Michelle Laxalt. An opening reception will take place on Friday, February 22 from 5-7 p.m. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
“By choosing the theme of figuration for the Ceramics National this year, KSU is tapping into one of the oldest traditions in ceramics; for centuries, humans have exhibited a drive to translate their form into materials that can approximate their likeness. And clay, with its metaphors for, and similarities to, the body is an apt material for the job. The artists I selected for this year’s exhibition each make compelling work that uses ceramics and the human form to speak to the complexity and vulnerability inherent to our embodied experience,” said the curator, Atlanta-based sculptor, Christina West.
About the artists:
Soojin Choi was born in South Korea in 1991. In 2010, she has moved to the United States to study Craft/Material Studies and Painting/ Printmaking as a double major at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She continued her study at Alfred University in Alfred, NY to pursue a MFA degree in Ceramics from 2016 to 2018. Website: http://www.soojinchoi.com/
Gabrielle Grace Graber is a sculptor and installation artist from the United States. In 2017, she graduated with her MFA from NYSCC at Alfred University and is currently living in North Carolina as a resident artist at Pocosin Arts. Her practice is an ongoing investigation of being a body in the world where layers of experience and interactions collide into material form. Website: https://www.gabriellegraber.com/
Andrew Stansbury is a queer ceramic-based performance artist from Cuero and San Antonio, Texas. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Morris, teaching Ceramics and Photography. In 2018, he was awarded as one of the NCECA Emerging Artists. He received his MFA from UMass Dartmouth in 2017 and is a member of the artist collective The Lullwood Group. Previously, he received his BFA from UTSA in 2011, and his AA & AS from Victoria College in 2009. Website: https://andrewleo.carbonmade.com/
Michelle Laxalt earned her MFA in Ceramics as a Welch Fellow at Georgia State University and her BFA from the University of Nevada, Reno. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and works out of a studio at the Goat Farm Arts Center. Though her practice is rooted in ceramics, she creates sculptures using an array of materials, many of which serve as reminders of the body. In addition to her studio practice, Michelle is the Gallery Manager and a curator at the Swan Coach House Gallery. Website: http://michellelaxalt.com/
Image: Left to right - Gabrielle Grace Grabner, Andrew Stansbury, Soojin Choi, and Michelle Laxalt.