Artist Spotlight: Maia Homstad, Fogelberg Studio Fellow

The Emerging Artist Residency program encompasses two unique fellowships, designed to provide up to four ceramic artists with an opportunity to be in residence for one year at Northern Clay Center, where they can develop their own work, as well as exchange ideas and knowledge with other ceramic artists. 

Maia Homstad is a 2018 Fogelberg Studio Fellow. We checked in with her, a third of the way into her residency, to see how things were going in practice. Remember you can apply to be part of the residency program until April 12, 2019. If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please contact Jill Foote-Hutton, Coordinator of Artist Services & Storytelling at jillfootehutton@northernclaycenter.org

NCC: Would you please share how your expectations of the residency have or haven't changed since you started in September?
MH: I think I sort of expected the residency to be more isolating in a way- like I would automatically go into this super productive monastic mode- but that definitely hasn't happened (at least not yet). So I'm glad to not feel so isolated, because my creative process is more robust when I can bounce ideas and talk shop with my studio mates. And instead of just cranking the same pieces out in production mode, I'm thinking a lot about how to develop a studio practice that's a more "work smarter" approach, so I spend a lot of time with my sketch book.

NCC: What are you currently working on in your studio?
MH: Mentally, I'm working on how to build big in different ways. I've been doing a lot of research and scheming on different approaches to this, and ways to go about it without breaking the pieces (or my body). Physically, I've just finished making a few commissions and am diving into holiday gifts- some sweet little functional pieces. My ulterior motive with these is to also use them to test new surface approaches for upcoming exhibitions!

NCC: What new questions have evolved in your research?
MH: So many new questions! Should I be using paper clay? How, literally, do I want to interpret "Scandinavian Design?” Can someone please invent a self-mixing glaze? Am I too old for this? How can I convince a gallery to let me use fire in my exhibition? What does success mean in the world of contemporary functional ceramics? 

NCC: Are any future goals revealing themselves yet to you? If so, what are they?
MH: I am really loving the designing/thinking stages of this process, so I don't know if that means more exhibitions- or just a hope that someone will pay me to sit around and think up more designs!

NCC: How are you managing a balance between the opportunity the residency is providing and a day job?
MH: It's been tricky to set regular studio hours, but I try to come in for at least a little bit every day. Since I work at a retail art gallery, things should ease up after the holidays and then I can spend more time at the studio.

NCC: What is the most surprising plus about the residency at NCC and how are you using it to your advantage?
MH: I've been pleasantly surprised at the PR opportunities, and have tried to participate in as many as possible. It's been fun (and a little weird) to go from being a quiet and private potter to having the title "Resident Artist at NCC!"

NCC: What has been the most unexpected challenge at NCC and how are you devising solutions to make an effective plan to overcome the challenge?
MH: My biggest challenge is that time is moving too fast! My plan after the holidays is to set regular studio hours with a calendar of tasks. It's been good to spend these first few months thinking and planning, and soon it's time to do more making. 

NCC: Any other updates we should be keeping on our calendars?
MH: I'm participating in three shows for NCECA: One is with NCC, of course, and that's going to be great. Another one is called Legacy Ware: Dinner with Dock 6 Pottery (I work at the retail gallery there and proposed this show so that our employee artists could exhibit how their pottery has been influenced by working for/with Dock 6 owner Kerry Brooks.) And the third show is called Hops, Hounds, and Heroines which is a show put on by the Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists at Lakes and Legends Brewery, and a portion of the proceeds will go to a women's shelter and a dog rescue organization.