Visiting McKnight Artist Resident: Rebecca Chappell

Our Winter McKnight Artist Resident, Rebecca Chappell, returns to NCC after being gone for eleven years. When she was last here, in 2008 – 2009, it was as an Emerging Artist Resident. You may remember her striking tabletop composition from the cover of the November 2011 issue of Ceramics Monthly. Chronicled in the article was Chappell's choice to switch from porcelain to earthenware, a change she embraced during her 2010 – 2011 Fellowship at The Clay Studio. She has continued to embrace the directness earthenware affords her vision. Her use of color is unapologetic and bold, an appropriate complement to her forms, which are highly evolved and yet retain a delicious primitiveness.

This combination can also be identified as intuition, moderated by deliberately methodical decisions, creating a format for Chappell to explore the concept of pots. She reaches beyond function, saying:

Pots can be covert instruments for carrying messages—objects that, over time, through intimate actions with the human body, slowly reveal surprises and meanings that are contained within. They are a subtle way of communicating that need not be obviously aggressive or confrontational in order to have presence and importance. Patience, curiosity, and a willingness to play are all required to reveal the surprises that pots for use can contain. Pottery runs parallel with life but never can equal it. It can contain sustenance, hold, provide, and offer it, but cannot breathe in the same way. Pots for use are dependent on embedded memories, as well as the substances they hold or present in order to gain importance.

While Chappell is very engaged in the “idea” of useful pots, she also emphasizes the importance of respecting the parameters of function, explaining:

The familiarity of pottery is a very useful tool when I engineer my work. Everyone knows and uses dishes on a daily basis. They are comfortable and readily accepted into the home for an intimate touch, which is consequently often overlooked or dismissed as a result of this familiarity. It is an acquired atrophy of the senses. When does a motion of the hand become like breathing? I question how much of the familiar pottery vocabulary needs to remain in order to maintain these types of relationships.

Chappell received her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2008 and her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2003. Chappell has participated in solo and group exhibitions across the US. She was awarded the Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship in 2010 and her work is part of the renowned Rosenfield Collection. She currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was a resident artist from 2010 – 2015 at The Clay Studio. She currently teaches a community class there and has also been teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art for eight years.

Join us for an artist talk on Tuesday, January 21, at 6 pm, in NCC’s library to hear directly from Chappell about her journey and her larger portfolio of work. Free and open to all. Register here.

Winter 2020: Rebecca Chappell

Our Winter McKnight Artist Resident, Rebecca Chappell, returns to NCC after being gone for eleven years. When she was last here, in 2008 – 2009, it was as an Emerging Artist Resident. You may remember her striking tabletop composition from the cover of the November 2011 issue of Ceramics Monthly. Chronicled in the article was Chappell's choice to switch from porcelain to earthenware, a change she embraced during her 2010 – 2011 Fellowship at The Clay Studio. She has continued to embrace the directness earthenware affords her vision. Her use of color is unapologetic and bold, an appropriate complement to her forms, which are highly evolved and yet retain a delicious primitiveness.

This combination can also be identified as intuition, moderated by deliberately methodical decisions, creating a format for Chappell to explore the concept of pots. She reaches beyond function, saying:

Pots can be covert instruments for carrying messages—objects that, over time, through intimate actions with the human body, slowly reveal surprises and meanings that are contained within. They are a subtle way of communicating that need not be obviously aggressive or confrontational in order to have presence and importance. Patience, curiosity, and a willingness to play are all required to reveal the surprises that pots for use can contain. Pottery runs parallel with life but never can equal it. It can contain sustenance, hold, provide, and offer it, but cannot breathe in the same way. Pots for use are dependent on embedded memories, as well as the substances they hold or present in order to gain importance.

While Chappell is very engaged in the “idea” of useful pots, she also emphasizes the importance of respecting the parameters of function, explaining:

The familiarity of pottery is a very useful tool when I engineer my work. Everyone knows and uses dishes on a daily basis. They are comfortable and readily accepted into the home for an intimate touch, which is consequently often overlooked or dismissed as a result of this familiarity. It is an acquired atrophy of the senses. When does a motion of the hand become like breathing? I question how much of the familiar pottery vocabulary needs to remain in order to maintain these types of relationships.

Chappell received her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2008 and her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2003. Chappell has participated in solo and group exhibitions across the US. She was awarded the Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship in 2010 and her work is part of the renowned Rosenfield Collection. She currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was a resident artist from 2010 – 2015 at The Clay Studio. She currently teaches a community class there and has also been teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art for eight years.

Join us for an artist talk on Tuesday, January 21, at 6 pm, in NCC’s library to hear directly from Chappell about her journey and her larger portfolio of work. Free and open to all. Register here.

 

Spring 2020: Hyang Jin Cho

NCC’s 2020 Spring McKnight Artist Resident is Hyang Jin Cho. A ceramic artist, researcher, and educator, Cho has been developing her practice, knowledge, and understanding of the arts in academia since 1991. She is looking forward to the time, space, community, and support that the McKnight Artist Residency for Ceramic Artists will provide for her research, but she is also looking beyond such immediate benefits, noting that the opportunity will provide her the chance to “develop my structures further to create objects examining cultural diversity in the US.” Drawing from the community in which she is immersed, “the structures would represent a land as a home where people with diverse backgrounds could enjoy their lives together.”

Prior to her residency at Northern Clay Center, Cho completed residencies at the European Ceramic Work Center (ECWC) in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands and Smokestack Pottery in Fort Collins, Colorado. She received her BA in Archeology and Art History in 1991 and her MA in Art History in 1995 from Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea. Continuing her studies as a postgraduate Foreign Research Student and Ph. D candidate within the Department of Art History at the University of Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan, Cho turned her academic focus to a more tactile experience as an undergraduate student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Over the course of her career, Cho has exhibited work, completed projects and residencies, and published in Korea, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Now, as a mid-career artist, she is enthusiastic about continuing the development of her work and exploring the cultural diversity in the United States. Exploring themes of diversity and community, Cho’s work is composed of modules that suggest human relations and interdependency in our society. Representing the vulnerability of the individual, each component is connected to the next, holding one another, and functioning as a member of a larger system to survive together.

Cho writes, “As an immigrant to the United States, I have questioned the meaning of home for a long time. Feeling like an outsider, I didn’t belong to the place where I had been living. They were merely places I had temporarily stayed, not my home. Since I have made vessels and objects, however, I finally have felt home in the place I live, looked around at my neighbors and community with care, and engaged with people.”

Please join us in welcoming Cho as part of the NCC community from April through June. She will present an artist talk on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at 6 pm in NCC’s Library. This presentation is free and open to the public. Registration is appreciated as seating is limited.

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