Six McKnight Artists
*Work by these artists will also be included in the 2021 exhibition McKnight Artists, to allow them to have an in-person exhibition
The annual exhibition, Six McKnight Artists, features work by the 2019 recipients of the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists, Kelly Connole (Northfield, Minnesota) and Guillermo Guardia (Saint Paul, Minnesota), as well as by the 2018 recipients of the McKnight Artist Residency for Ceramic Artists: Ted Adler (Kansas), Alessandro Gallo (Montana), Hidemi Tokutake (Japan), and Leandra Urrutia (Tennessee). This exhibition, supported by the McKnight Foundation, showcases the success of each artist’s fellowship or residency.
Kelly Connole received her BFA from the University of Montana in Missoula and her MFA from San Francisco State University. Combining the tactile nature of clay with memories and emotions, Connole addresses relationships within environments: natural and constructed, human and animal. In addition to her participation in solo and group exhibitions across the country, Connole has been named the recipient of numerous grants and awards by organizations including the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and previously by the McKnight Foundation as a Resident Artist. Additionally, she has authored numerous articles, essays, and reviews for publication, and has taught at an array of art centers and universities including her current position as Professor of Art at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Guillermo Guardia draws inspiration from art history, his upbringing in Peru, Catholicism, his transition to living in the United States, and political events to create both figurative sculptures and functional pottery. He received his BFA in industrial design from Pontifical Catholic University in Lima, Peru and both his MFA and MS in industrial technology from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Guardia has exhibited nationally and was awarded a fellowship from North Dakota Council on the Arts and a residency at the North Dakota Museum of Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks, and Fundación Puntos de Ecuentro in Bogota, Columbia. In 2020, he was named the recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant by the Minnesota State Arts Board.
Ted Adler has been teaching at Wichita State University since 2005, having taught previously at Northern Arizona University’s School of Art in Flagstaff, Arizona. Adler received his BA from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and his MFA from Ohio State University in Athens, Ohio. He has studied with internationally-respected artists and has served as a long-term resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. Adler connects strongly with his interest in exploring the materiality of clay and its relationship to metaphor. He has exhibited work, conducted workshops, and served as visiting artist at numerous ceramic centers and universities in the United States and around the world. Using the vessel as an analogy for selfhood, he elicits a sense that our relationships to ourselves and the world around us are more tenuous that we ordinarily prefer to admit.
Alessandro Gallo has a diverse background that encompasses studies in law, painting, photography, and ceramics. Representing the silent life of his surroundings and the stories of the people inhabiting them by creating human/animal hybrids, Gallo employs animal heads as an expressive tool to exaggerate the interior lives of each subject. Having ventured into the exploration of clay in 2005, Gallo began to compose his anthropomorphic characters and received widespread recognition for his work. He was featured in the 237th Annual Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London as well as the 54th Venice Biennale of 2011. Gallo continued to receive acclaim when he was named recipient of a Virginia A. Groot Foundation award in 2012, and as the focus of solo shows in 2014 and 2016 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York.
Hidemi Tokutake began her ceramic studies at the Seto Ceramic School in Seto, Japan. From this rich and historical base, Tokutake moved to Australia in 2003 where she studied at the National Art School in Sydney to complete her masters degree in ceramics. She later become a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. While she currently works and resides in Sydney, Tokutake has completed residencies at various locations across the United States and in Denmark, and has exhibited at venues in Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, China, Turkey, Indonesia, and the United States. Creating works that echo the patterns found in nature, Tokutake embraces the presence of touch by allowing her finger marks to remain on the finished works which appear as organic forms interpreted in an Abstract Expressionist style.
Leandra Urrutia earned her BFA in drawing and ceramics from Texas State University in San Marcos, and her MFA in ceramics from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. In 2007, she was honored as an Emerging Artist by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in Louisville, Kentucky, and in 2014 she was the recipient of the Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration in Memphis, Tennessee.
Since 2002, Urrutia has served as Associate Professor of Studio Art at Memphis College of Art, leading beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in clay sculpture and idea development. In addition to exhibiting her work at national and international venues, she is one of the co-founding members of the Studio Nong Collective, an ongoing international residency program comprising American and Chinese artist-educators invested in creative, cultural, and community exchange.