Four Jerome Artists
Four Jerome Artists features the work of the 2017 Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant recipients: Susan Feigenbaum, Autumn Higgins, and Lisa Truax; as well as the 2016 Jerome Ceramic Artist of Color Residency recipient, Ellie Bryan. Feigenbaum, Higgins, and Truax have spent the past 8+ months pursuing a unique project, the results of which will be featured in the exhibition. Bryan was a resident artist in the NCC studios between August 2016 and December 2017, where she focused on developing her body of work and more clearly defining her professional goals.
Susan Feigenbaum’s sculpture evokes mystery and ambiguity through biomorphic forms that straddle the boundaries between the human, the animal, and the imagined. Her intent is to connect the world of our subconscious with the world of everyday perceptions and reality. She uses opposing colors and surfaces to confront each other and lure viewers to look more closely. She is teasing you into a forbidden touch of the object upon the pedestal. Feigenbaum says, “I create ceramic sculpture. By suggesting a presence beyond ourselves—and the private world within each of us—my intent is to communicate a sense of innocence and unease at once.”
Autumn Higgins ceramic work acts as portraiture of the places she lives. Her wares bring attention to the beauty of the urban landscape and often overlooked details of daily life. She makes illustrated, functional porcelain wares. Form follows illustration without impeding function. The elements she depicts are representative and unique to her local urban landscape, appealing to residents of the Twin Cities as they recognize their city in the landmarks and buildings depicted. While regional, the portraits retain their ability to appeal on a universal level. A muted color palate gives the work an unimposing quality, while simple, hand-drawn lines present vulnerability and persistence. Function bridges the distance between viewer and drawing, inviting an investigative touch and a personal connection to the illustrations.
Lisa Truax is interested in the contrast between nature and modernity. She unearths our ability to disregard the influence and intentional impact our contemporary society has on the perception of nature. Her work maps the places we call natural, which are often created and maintained as part of our culture in an attempt to reconnect the viewer to nature. She combines traditional ceramic materials with found and sourced natural materials. Remnants of a human past become visible through this process, raising questions about wildness and wilderness, human versus geologic time, permanence and impermanence.
Ellie Bryan draws many parallels between the instinctual nature of animals and the intuitive nature of women. She believes her porcelain vessels can harbor life (as vases), spirits (as urns), and give sustenance to their holder (through food and drink). She invokes the ancient and the traditional in her objects. Referencing pagan symbolism and ritual through utilitarian clay allows her to create objects people can readily welcome into daily life. Bryan is also a songwriter; she plays the banjo and sings in a style that draws inspiration from her mixed-race ancestry and tradition. She strives to portray an atmosphere of unity within a divisive society.