During Session I: Breaking Tradition (June 3-15), artists and designers will come together to explore new modes of making, marketing, and showing work. Rather than situating ceramics solely in stores and white-walled galleries, artists are bringing attention to their work by exhibiting in non-traditional physical and digital spaces. Dinners that double as pop-up sales, homes that serve as storefronts, and Instagram-ready lifestyle shoots provide context for clay pieces and attract audiences through multifaceted experiences. The session is anchored by a group of artists, designers, and curators interested in how these creative methods of generating visibility are influencing the ceramics field and transforming the way twenty-first century makers run small businesses.
Taylor Carter, of the Cincinnati-based design studio CKTC, has organized the residency. She explains, “My goal for this session is to create an open environment for artists, designers, and curators to make work together. Our time at Watershed will give us the opportunity to harmonize our different areas of making. With access to the facilities at Watershed, we can create collaborative work and generate new ideas that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.”
Guest artist Ben Medansky joins the residency from Los Angeles. His work is often inspired by patterns, repetitions, and variations found in both natural and industrial environments. Influenced by modernist architecture and industrial design, Medansky’s pieces give a nod to mechanical processes while maintaining the variation and individuality found in handmade objects.
Carter recruited a variety of participants to anchor the session, including Vancouver-based artist Lindsey Hampton, whose background in graphic design pairs seamlessly with her clay practice. By harnessing the power of photography and social media to share her dreamy and playful pastel ceramic pieces, she relates her clay work to her range of creative pursuits. Multi-disciplinary artist Mérida Anderson has a background in fashion and is also a talented cook. They successfully use pop-up events, like their Vegan Secret Supper Clubs in New York, Montreal, and Vancouver, to develop relationships with new audiences in informal settings. Shannon Maldonado also got her start in fashion but now curates a lifestyle shop (which happens to also be her home), Yowie, in Philly. Ali Karsh studied industrial design and psychology before finding her way to clay. She aims to “create simple pleasures and positive interactions” through her designs.
Portland, Maine-based studio potter, Ayumi Horie, will also visit Watershed during the residency to speak about her work and methods of connecting with communities around the country and world. Most ceramic artists on Instagram know her widely followed and ongoing curatorial project, Pots In Action, and many have engaged with her project The Democratic Cup, which encourages civic and political engagement.
Connect with this wonderful group of makers during Breaking Tradition! Space is available for any artist who is comfortable working in a clay studio to participate.REGISTER