Studio Artist Interview: Angie Renee

Angie Renee has worn many hats at NCC. She is an artist in our studio program; teaches with various outreach groups —from school kids, to older adults; offers workshops in our education program; has previously won a Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant; and is a fabulous friend of the Center. We asked her to share a little about her own connections to clay.

First experience with clay:
My first experience with clay was a class at Lakewood Community College. The teacher was horrible — he told us to never think that clay was a way to make a living. I have always gone against what I was told to do, so I did not listen to him and moved toward a career in clay. My day job is primarily being a teaching artist for NCC! As a teaching artist, I have enjoyed the ART@HAND programs that we have brought into our outreach programming. Working with older adults really is the greatest joy in my teaching experience at NCC. My father had been a Chaplin in nursing homes and I never enjoyed going with him to visit. I did not understand his passion for his work. I do now — I completely have that love for this population that my dad had.

Tell us about your work:
I have been studying the power of our thoughts and how they can impact our health, and I turn to sculpture when I have an issue to work out in my life. I started to make a series of hearts in response to a personal medical condition. On the hearts, I stamped all the ugly things I used to tell myself, all the things that would make my heart hurt. I also made hearts that said beautiful things and reminders to “listen to your heart” and glazed them a lovely red. I believe art heals and using creativity as a way to connect with ourself is a wonderful outlet. I have been working on developing some therapeutic workshops that can create healing methods for our lives. Art is a wonderful resource to help us go within and find other ways to heal our lives. 

I also enjoy making bowls, plates, cups and other baking wares. My functional pottery is inspired by nature. I collect sticks and use the ends of these sticks to add texture to my pots, and bark pieces are pressed into my vases to give a hint of the tree.

Favorite exhibition or party:
American Pottery Festival 2013 — I absolutely love Kirk Lyttle’s work and was very happy to acquire a chicken plate. 

Best time to work:
I am an early riser and I love the quiet of the studio early in the morning when I can just lose myself in my creative process. I really appreciate that I have 24-hour access to my studio at NCC.