Hopefully Tomorrow

An exhibition curated by jeremy diamond and chanakarn semachai

about The show

bringing diversity to Brockway

Just like our classrooms and studio spaces, we view our gallery at BCAT as a means of communication and opportunity for learning. The gallery is a vehicle to share artwork, ideas, themes, and concepts with the surrounding community and beyond.


For this exhibition and with the help of our curators, we have invited 23 BIPOC ceramic and metal artists to share their stories, experiences, and art in an area that is vastly underrepresented. We are excited to share this exhibition with our immediate community, as well as the world virtually to observe and internalize the incredible artwork and statements. This exhibition's theme focuses around identity, cultural diasporas, and how we navigate the melting pot we exist in as a collective. We explore how our experiences have shaped us and what we wish to share with the world through our art work.


It is our hope to promote representation, equity, diversity, inclusion, and acceptance by sharing the stories of these artists in our exhibition, Hopefully Tomorrow.


For those interested in purchasing the available work for sale please contact Youth and Arts Coordinator, Liana Agnew at liana.agnew@brockwaycat.org

statements from the curators

thoughts on the exhibition

Jeremy Diamond

Contemporary craft is, in many ways, a microcosm of the broader society in which it exists. As issues regarding race become more and more tense in the US, one of the best examples of this microcosm is the underrepresentation of BIPOC artists in the field of contemporary craft: despite the diverse history of craft media and the key role people of color...More

Contemporary craft is, in many ways, a microcosm of the broader society in which it exists. As issues regarding race become more and more tense in the US, one of the best examples of this microcosm is the underrepresentation of BIPOC artists in the field of contemporary craft: despite the diverse history of craft media and the key role people of color have played in the development of those media, they are largely omitted from institutional narratives such as academia and gallery spaces.

Hopefully Tomorrow is an exhibition of metal and ceramic artwork that aims to showcase the continued, but often overlooked presence of people of color in contemporary craft. The artists included represent not only the continuation of a tradition of excellence within their media, but also the cutting edge thereof. Ceramicists and metalsmiths of color make massive contributions to their respective fields, and the acknowledgement of those contributions is long overdue.

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about Jeremy

Chanakarn "punch" semachai

Diversity is not only dividing us but also incredibly uniting us. Most time, people will only see the downsides in differences. However, they forget there are so many great things that come from subgroups of people through those differences. It creates strong, compassionate, and united communities.

Hopefully Tomorrow is a ceramics and metals exhibiti...More

Diversity is not only dividing us but also incredibly uniting us. Most time, people will only see the downsides in differences. However, they forget there are so many great things that come from subgroups of people through those differences. It creates strong, compassionate, and united communities.

Hopefully Tomorrow is a ceramics and metals exhibition highlighting artists of colors. With this hope we believe that maybe one day we will not have to label anything artwork, artists, what they make, or where they are, but be able to truly appreciate only the art itself.

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about Chanakarn

a closer look at the artists

close ups of work and artist statements

Steve Alexis

Steve Alexis is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in Wisconsin. He is currently an MFA candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, after receiving his BFA from University of Wisconsin-Stout. His work spans across jewelry, sculpture, painting, and ceramics. Alexis' has an interest in framing the communicative quality of handmade and manipulate o...More

Steve Alexis is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in Wisconsin. He is currently an MFA candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, after receiving his BFA from University of Wisconsin-Stout. His work spans across jewelry, sculpture, painting, and ceramics. Alexis' has an interest in framing the communicative quality of handmade and manipulate objects. 


Statement: My practice is the pursuit of carnal desires. To chase and search for beauty, that which arouses and stimulates the senses. I seek to convey instinctual expression through the mediums of metals, ceramics, plastics, polymers, and gemstones. To create objects that convey emotion, emphasize the process of making and to portray a sense of the instinctual nature of my work. These objects serve as the physical embodiment of personal sentiment, by which the maker and viewer may become aware and respond to them. An internal attentiveness is spurred from observing the attractive and peculiar externalities of the world. Our inherent, curious nature that compels us to observe the world is also reflected inwards. 

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Alejandro Arrioja

Alejandro Arrioja was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He is a recent graduate from the metals and jewelry program at The University of Texas at El Paso. 


Statement: Growing in a traditional Mexican household, I was raised to believe that men were not meant to be emotional, and any display of emotion was discouraged. While my father expected me to be...More

Alejandro Arrioja was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He is a recent graduate from the metals and jewelry program at The University of Texas at El Paso. 


Statement: Growing in a traditional Mexican household, I was raised to believe that men were not meant to be emotional, and any display of emotion was discouraged. While my father expected me to be tough and macho, machismo in my Mexican culture, the matriarchs of my family accepted and encouraged the outward expression of my feelings. This rift in understanding who I am, or what I should be, only widened as I got older. Societal ideals of traditional gender roles perpetuated in my family and the community around me serve as a starting point for examining my experiences. 

Understanding that toxic masculinity exists in many cultures, my work challenges emotional expectations. Inspired by emotional taboos like depression, regret, grief, and anxiety, I aim to deconstruct and bring resolution to the issues that are often overlooked when we dismiss our human behavior. 

The intimate nature of jewelry and its physical connection to the body is vital in my work. Recognizable forms, like brass knuckles or handcuffs, become reference for format, as well as the emotional and cultural connection they provide. Expressing the many facets of human emotion, experience, and relationship also comes through my material choices and their qualities. Ideas of masculinity, strength, and even severity are imbued in concrete, while glass and acrylic provide openness and multi-layered meaning. My jewelry functions like a tool for dissecting and understanding the role society's expectations can have. 

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Lara Asam

Lara Asam has a background in metalsmithing, sculpture, and digital fabrication. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, with a double concentration in metalsmithing and sculpture, at the University of Texas El Paso. She is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in metalsmithing and jewelry at the University of North Texas. Asam's stud...More

Lara Asam has a background in metalsmithing, sculpture, and digital fabrication. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, with a double concentration in metalsmithing and sculpture, at the University of Texas El Paso. She is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in metalsmithing and jewelry at the University of North Texas. Asam's studio practice focuses on combining metalsmithing, textile, and digital fabrication techniques. 


Statement: Lara Asam's work explores intimacy, control, and restriction through wearable objects that attract, repel, and also enhance. her installation work controls movement, distance, and separation. She explores the visible and invisible boundaries of public and private interaction that question relationships of power. The architectural elements in her work allude to Islamic architecture through form and pattern, and when worn, become extensions of the body. By playing with various layers of visibility and restricting movement and spatial distance, she addresses beauty and cruelty, intimacy and isolation, desire and touch. 

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Jonathan Christensen Caballero

Jonathan Christensen Caballero is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Utah. He received his A.S. in art from Snow College, B.F.A. in ceramics and sculpture from Utah State University, and M.F.A. in ceramics from Indiana University. He has exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as the Clay Center of New Orleans in Louisiana, ...More

Jonathan Christensen Caballero is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Utah. He received his A.S. in art from Snow College, B.F.A. in ceramics and sculpture from Utah State University, and M.F.A. in ceramics from Indiana University. He has exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as the Clay Center of New Orleans in Louisiana, Standard Ceramic Supply in Pennsylvania, Carbondale Clay Center in Colorado, and Tsukuba Museum of Art in Japan. Christensen Caballero recently moved to Lawrence, KS and became the Interdisciplinary Ceramic Research Center Artist in Residence at University of Kansas. Christensen Caballero's work focuses on the human figure and advocates for the Latin American labor community. 


Statement: My art is based on my personal identity, which was formed both by watching my parents support the family through labor jobs as well as by my mother, who emigrated from Panama. My artwork narrates enduring questions of identity through the use of the human figure, pre-Columbian iconography, and mixed-media sculpture. The cost of participation in our society can then lead to questions of inclusion versus exclusion. Who benefits from the American dream? Who is allowed representation, visibility and to feel sense of belonging? The figures reveal people who contribute to society by enduring labors which often sacrifice their health and safety. My figurative sculpture critiques the oppression of Latin American laborers and advocates for my community's representation by revealing both the plight of the proletariat as well as the resilience of immigrants. 

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Aaron caldwell

Aaron Caldwell was born and raised in Fresno, California. He graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a BA in general studio art in 2019, and is completing his MS in Art Education from Illinois State University in December 2021. he was awarded the 2019 NCECA Multicultural Fellowship, 2019-2020 Northern Clay Center Warren MacKenzie A...More

Aaron Caldwell was born and raised in Fresno, California. He graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a BA in general studio art in 2019, and is completing his MS in Art Education from Illinois State University in December 2021. he was awarded the 2019 NCECA Multicultural Fellowship, 2019-2020 Northern Clay Center Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award, and Watershed's 2020 Kiln God scholarship. He has exhibited at Lucy Lacoste Gallery (Concord, MA), The Clay Studio Philadelphia, NCECA student exhibition in 2020 and 2021 and Baltimore Clayworks. He is also the lead organizer for Queeramics, a digital platform geared towards bringing visibility and opportunities to queer ceramic artists. Aaron has always been passionate about education, and has recently gained a growing passion for the arts. He plans on helping create and sustain art making and engaging programs in marginalized communities, in hopes of encouraging these communities to pursue art as a field of interest or a personal hobby. 


Statement: The work is primarily inspired by Black folks' history with moisturizing products for the hair and body, and the cultural significance of holding value in my hair, skin color, and the necessary tools for care. Being considered phsyically ashy (white and dry skin) or socially ashy (wack, lame, ignorant) are lingo amongst Black folk. As a result, products like lotion or coconut oil have become a staple in the Black community, so I creat objects that highlight this relationship unique to Black culture. I also employ zoomorphic forms inspired by folktales and west and central african sculpture. The sheep represent queerness. 

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Torpong choeichom

Torpong is an artist with excellent skill in painting and craftsmanship. His work is inspired by the Art nouveau movement. The sculptures he creates emphasize a smooth and flawless uniqueness, together with delicately realistic details. 

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Soojin choi

Soojin Choi was born and raised in South Korea, and she has worked as an artist in the United States since 2010. Soojin earned her BFA at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015 at Alfred University to pursue a MFA degree in ceramics in 3028. After graduate school, she accepted a residency at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN with funding b...More

Soojin Choi was born and raised in South Korea, and she has worked as an artist in the United States since 2010. Soojin earned her BFA at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015 at Alfred University to pursue a MFA degree in ceramics in 3028. After graduate school, she accepted a residency at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN with funding by Anonymous Artist Studio Fellowship. Currently, she is a long-term resident artist at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT. Her work transforms objects, figures and spaces into visual language by repeatedly layering flat and spatial surfaces. 


Statement: Human emotion comes from the interplay between people, physical space, and emotion itself. The ambivalence of human emotion occurs through unresolved and confusing situations in external and internal matters. An ambivalent moment reveals itself to me, and I depict that gray area of humanity. I recount these unsettled situations so viewers can empathetically encounter the emotions of the human forms I create. In making my work, I attempt to express the ambiguity of emotion through flat and spatial surfaces; subtle facial expression, gaze and body gesture; as well as color and brush expressions. Building the surfaces with clay allows me to seamlessly weave between dimensions and textures to articulate feelings of ambivalence. 

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Funlola coker

Funlola Coker is Nigerian by birth. In 2007 she moved to Memphis, TN to pursue a BFA in Sculpture from Memphis College of Art. She is a metalsmith, with limited production line of jewelry and the occasional household object. She is fascinated by history, the evolution of culture and storytelling. Coker's work explores her experience as an immigrant; b...More

Funlola Coker is Nigerian by birth. In 2007 she moved to Memphis, TN to pursue a BFA in Sculpture from Memphis College of Art. She is a metalsmith, with limited production line of jewelry and the occasional household object. She is fascinated by history, the evolution of culture and storytelling. Coker's work explores her experience as an immigrant; being in an unfamiliar world and blending in. She creates works that call on nostalgic memories and moments of the mundane that are held dear. Coker is currently an MFA candidate in Metal at SUNY New Paltz. 

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eiair (Hassakorn Hirunsirichoke)

Eiair (b. 1992) is an artist based in Bangkok who loves to make delicate things especially from ceramics. After he got a Bachelor of Industrial Design in 2015. Still feeling the felt the urge to do ceramics, he got to began creating works within the limits of his space and tools. Eiair always seeks new experiences, and has had opportunities to be a re...More

Eiair (b. 1992) is an artist based in Bangkok who loves to make delicate things especially from ceramics. After he got a Bachelor of Industrial Design in 2015. Still feeling the felt the urge to do ceramics, he got to began creating works within the limits of his space and tools. Eiair always seeks new experiences, and has had opportunities to be a residency artist and exhibit his works in Taiwan, Philippines, China, and USA. Now he is focusing on the techniques to create more complicated forms of his ceramic works. 


Statement: Are tiny lives valued? In the world that civilization is the most worthy artifact, smaller creatures seem to lose their value just because they do not fit in such environment. These miniature creatures represent how fragile and delicate the nature is. When the nature beings find it hard to live among us, I speak out for them through their aesthetic that inspires me. Hopefully the values goes back to them. 

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Shaunia grant

Shaunia Grant is an object maker, born and raised in the border town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Her identity as a queer woman of color informs her perspective as a maker. She graduated from New Mexico State University in 2020 with her BFA in Studio Art. Currently she is attending Lamar Dodd School of Art at University of Georgia, pursuing her MFA. 


Sta...More

Shaunia Grant is an object maker, born and raised in the border town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Her identity as a queer woman of color informs her perspective as a maker. She graduated from New Mexico State University in 2020 with her BFA in Studio Art. Currently she is attending Lamar Dodd School of Art at University of Georgia, pursuing her MFA. 


Statement: Shaunia Grant's work references familiar objects of childhood birthday parties through a critical lens. She thinks of the birthday no one came to, the lack of tickets to get any prize, the toy that breaks. Many of these experiences hinge on the lack of control that we have in childhood. As we grow older we gain control, but often lose our sense of play. Shaunia's works create a space where recollection of childhood is melded with the knowledge of never being able to fully return. 

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Felicia jordan

Felicia was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the performing and visual arts and went on to graduated from UNT with a BFA in Sculpture. She is currently pursuing a MFA at UNT in metalsmithing and jewelry. 


Statement: My art is centered around the human body and its strengths and weakness. I am pri...More

Felicia was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the performing and visual arts and went on to graduated from UNT with a BFA in Sculpture. She is currently pursuing a MFA at UNT in metalsmithing and jewelry. 


Statement: My art is centered around the human body and its strengths and weakness. I am primarily focusing on two specific ailments: Alzheimer's/ dementia and cancer. My parents had/ have been afflicted with these diseased and my research is for me to grasp the physical, mental, and emotional traumas they experience and finding a way to visualize it. I have also started to expand my research into the significant trauma the disease has affect me as their daughter and a witness to their journey. While the diseases are harsh and damaging, the visual want to create are beautifying the trauma as a way of finding the positive in dark circumstances. Metal working is my primary method of investigating these themes, but I have branched out into different medias such as ceramics, 3-D prints, as well as new media explorations like audio and video additions. Cancers are quickly duplicated, damaged cells and Alzheimer's is believed to be the reproduction of a protein in the brain, so the new medias are chosen for their ways of duplications and repetition 3-D printing allows for me to create replicated objects efficiently and modify them in the same way cells multiply and mutate in the body, similuar to that of cell division and duplication in the human body. 

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Krisaya luenganantakul

Krisaya Luenganantakul was born and raised in Thailand. In 2019, she earned her Ph. D. degree from the College of Planning and Design, Institute of Creative Industries Design at National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. In her research, she focused on exploring vegetable fibers to create ceramic art objects. Krisaya also completed her MFA in cer...More

Krisaya Luenganantakul was born and raised in Thailand. In 2019, she earned her Ph. D. degree from the College of Planning and Design, Institute of Creative Industries Design at National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. In her research, she focused on exploring vegetable fibers to create ceramic art objects. Krisaya also completed her MFA in ceramics and ceramic sculpture at the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York in 2004. She became a member of IAC in the International Academy of Ceramics in 2017. Krisaya has had her artwork shown in national and international exhibitions. Recently, she was invited to participate in the 26th edition of one of the oldest and leading art fairs in Asia, Art Taipei, International Art Fair Exhibition, in which her ceramic artworks were exhibited at the Mu Mu Gallery, in the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition, Taiwan. She had the opportunity to particpate in the Arcticlay 6th Symposium and Exhibition "Paperclay and Porcelain" at Arctic Ceramic Centre, Posio, Finland in 2016. Currently, Krisaya is a full-time lecturer at the Product Design Department, Monfort Del Rosario School of Architecture and Design at Assumption University, Samutprakan, Thailand. 


Statement: Clay is the material that amazes me. Clay can change its form such as hard, soft, liquid, and small particles as our mind is inconstant, flowing, flexible, and uncertain. Touching clay is like meditation. Understanding the characteristic of materials paper and clay and repeating each circular form connects my spirit to nature. The similarity between paper and clay is that both are from natural resources. Nevertheless, when heated, these two substances go through different transformation processes, where paper disappears, and clay stays and becomes stronger. I see this process as the metaphor of life. 

Flower and Shellfish: one is form the soil: another is from the sea, Both are from different places, but they connect in nature and support each other somehow. 

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NICOLE MCLAUGHLIN

Nicole McLaughlin was born and raised in Massachusetts but spent much of her early childhood in Mexico. As a first generation Mexican-American, she is heavily influenced by her multicultural upbringing and her childhood memories of visiting her mother's hoe town of Cuernavaca, Mexico. Nicole received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, MO. She has exhibited nationally, internationally and has work in several private collections. Currently, she serves as the Ceramics Teaching jFellow at Tabor Academy in Marion, MA. Nicole continues to draw inspiration from Mexican ceramics, textiles, and cultural traditions in hopes of showing how her life has been shaped by a collision of two cultures. 

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Guadalupe navarro

Guadalupe completed his MFA at the University of Georgia and is currently faculty of art at Georgia Gwinnett College and Instructor of metals and enameling at the Spruill Center of the Arts. He has also been named 40 under 40 next Generation of American Artists and has been include din Jams publication in 2018 and 2020.


Statement: I use my work to expr...More

Guadalupe completed his MFA at the University of Georgia and is currently faculty of art at Georgia Gwinnett College and Instructor of metals and enameling at the Spruill Center of the Arts. He has also been named 40 under 40 next Generation of American Artists and has been include din Jams publication in 2018 and 2020.


Statement: I use my work to express the environment I was raised in. Growing up Mexican-American, I have a different perspective from most of my colleagues. I display a cultural portrait in which I present the imagery and feelings of growing up as a first generation American. I confront issues that I personally witnessed growing up - such as undocumented immigrants, and Mexican drug culture. I hope to express the Mexican culture in a positive light as well as bringing the issues within the culture to the forefront of craft arts. 

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virgil ortiz

Virgil Ortiz is one of the most avant-garde artists of his time. Through his exploration of working with clay and various media–graphics, fashion, film, and video, Ortiz fuses historical events with sci-fi and fantasy, yielding imagery that is both provocative and futuristic. Raised in a creative environment filled with storytelling, collecting clay, ...More

Virgil Ortiz is one of the most avant-garde artists of his time. Through his exploration of working with clay and various media–graphics, fashion, film, and video, Ortiz fuses historical events with sci-fi and fantasy, yielding imagery that is both provocative and futuristic. Raised in a creative environment filled with storytelling, collecting clay, gathering wild plants, and producing figurative pottery, he remains influenced by his grandmother and mother, renowned Cochiti Pueblo potters. Ortiz’s works are exhibited in museum collections around the world, including the Stedelijk Museum-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; Paris’s Fondation Cartier pour I’art Contemporain; the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian; the Virginia Museum of Fine Art; the Denver Art Museum; and the Rockwell Museum. Historic events like the 1680 Pueblo Revolt may not immediately spring to mind when you think of science fiction, but blending the two has occupied Ortiz for some time — think Star Wars. In May 2015, Denver Art Museum curated Ortiz’s solo exhibit, Revolt 1680/2180: Virgil Ortiz. Set against Ortiz’s graphic murals, the exhibition featured 31 clay figures and invited visitors to immerse themselves in a storyline that Ortiz has been working on for two decades. The storyline transports the viewer back more than three hundred years to the historical events of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. It then hurtles forward through time to the year 2180, introducing a cast of characters along the way. In October 2018, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center opened Revolution — Rise Against the Invasion, a continuance of Ortiz’s epic story arc, Revolt 1680/2180, — a mash-up of Puebloan history interpreted with sci-fi fantasy iconography relatable to Native and non-Native youth alike. The events of the Pueblo Revolt are little known among most Americans today; however, it is an important and pivotal era of New Mexico’s history. Ortiz’s mission continues to create global awareness that Pueblo communities are very much alive and have a level of vitality that speaks to generations of strength, persistence, brilliance and thriving energy.

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Kyungmin park

Originally from South Korea, Kyungmin earned her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Georgia in 2012 and her BFA from the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2008. Currently, Kyungmin is an Assistant Professor of 3D studio Art at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. Park was a long-term resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in ...More

Originally from South Korea, Kyungmin earned her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Georgia in 2012 and her BFA from the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2008. Currently, Kyungmin is an Assistant Professor of 3D studio Art at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. Park was a long-term resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana where she earned 2014-2015 Matsutani Fellowship and 2015-2016 Windgate Fellowship. Park has won multiple awards; her most recent recognition being from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) for, which granted her the 2016 Emerging Artist of the Year Award; Ceramic Monthly Magazine also gave her that same designation in 2015. 


Statement: Kyungmin Park is a figurative ceramic sculptor drawing inspiration from childlike perspectives. Contrasting the darker emotions and restricted psyche of adulthood with the boundless consciousness of children, Kyungmin's sculptures confront the view with uncomfortable juxtapositions, encouraging reflection upon personal expectations and narratives. Kyungmin largely uses handbuilding techniques to construct her figures out of porcelain, a material she prefers for its ability to contrast starkly with bright and colorful decoration. 

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shih, pei yu

Pei Yu received her MFA from the Crafts and Design Department at the National Taiwan University of Arts, Taiwan in 2020, and her BFA from the Department of Arts and Design at the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan in 2014. 


Statement: My works with illustrational child style and present to the abstract story. I use "frame" as my title to interpreted...More

Pei Yu received her MFA from the Crafts and Design Department at the National Taiwan University of Arts, Taiwan in 2020, and her BFA from the Department of Arts and Design at the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan in 2014. 


Statement: My works with illustrational child style and present to the abstract story. I use "frame" as my title to interpreted the way of how people live. Not only the social frame from others, but also the frame from ourselves. Everyone is deeply influenced by those intangible "frames". i found that all of us are stuck in the same box inevitable, so I try to dig deeper to find the true self."

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Tyler Quintin

Tyler Quinton is currently a long-term artist in residence at the Morean Center for Clay in St. Petersburg, FL. Prior to this; her completed work-study, internship and assistantship positions with various artists and craft schools across the county. Tyler received a BFA from Washburn University in 2016 on a full tuition merit scholarship. Washburn aff...More

Tyler Quinton is currently a long-term artist in residence at the Morean Center for Clay in St. Petersburg, FL. Prior to this; her completed work-study, internship and assistantship positions with various artists and craft schools across the county. Tyler received a BFA from Washburn University in 2016 on a full tuition merit scholarship. Washburn afforded him the opportunity to explore work across a variety of mediums, which eventually led to a transition from drawing to ceramics. These foundations have provided Tyler with sensitivity towards material choice and interdisciplinary thinking in her approach to clay. Tyler's work has been exhibited in numerous national and international exhibitions, including venues such as the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Art (Helena, MT) and the San Angelo Museum of Art (San Angelo, TX). Recently, Tyler was a presenter for the international online ceramics conference, The Ceramics Congress. His work is featured in the permanent collections of the Mulvane Art Museum (Topeka, KS) and the San Angelo Museum of Art (San Angelo, TX).


Statement: The work that I make focuses on my experience navigating life as a Korean-American, as well as the formulation of my identity through Internet culture. Vessel forms represent the day-to-day experiences of the body, where animals illustrate cognitive experiences. Growing up, I had a typical American upbringing. Despite this, I experienced consistent reminders of my otherness through Asian jokes, stereotypes, and that all too common question of "what kind of Asian are you?" Taking inspiration from wire frame models in 3D software, I recreate traditional Korean ceramic forms through intricate clay structures. The end results are vessels that act as self-portraits that discuss the disconnect between my physical appearance and my cultural upbringing. The vessels, which are traditional in form, form the surface area on which to apply traditional decoration. This becomes a metaphor for the contrast between my physical appearance and my lack of Korean language and culture. As an American, I have a hard time feeling a deep connection to a specific culture because we are a melting pot. In many ways, the Internet provided a replacement for this lost connection. The Internet can be an amazing place to explore identity because your experiences there can be anonymous through avatars. I utilize animals to act as my own avatars to tell personal narratives. Parts of these animals are deconstructed into wire frames to communicate the idea of a rendered, artificial moment. In contrast, I want the emotions of the avatars involved to communicate the authenticity of the experience. 

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George rodriguez

Born and raised in the border city of El Paso, TX, George Rodriguez creates humorous and decorative ceramic sculpture addressing his identity and community. Brought up by his mother and four older sisters, George quietly observed the love and hard work needed to maintain his family and community. George hold a BFA in ceramics from the University of Te...More

Born and raised in the border city of El Paso, TX, George Rodriguez creates humorous and decorative ceramic sculpture addressing his identity and community. Brought up by his mother and four older sisters, George quietly observed the love and hard work needed to maintain his family and community. George hold a BFA in ceramics from the University of Texas El Paso and went on to receive an MFA from the University of Washington in 2009. His world curiosity grew as a recipient of a Bonderman Travel Fellowship where he traveled the world through most of 2010. His work can be found in the permanent collection of the National Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago and the Hallie Form Museum in Salem, OR. He has received numerous award including the Museum of Northwest Art's Luminaries' Patti Warashina Award for emerging Artists. George is represented by Foster/White Gallery in Seattle, WA. 


Statement: I work with an ancient material to address my contemporary experience. Ceramics is an art form uniquely tactile and malleable. I employ this material in its most traditional sculptural capacity to present complex social issues of inclusivity, community, and self-reflection. Through the creation of guardian figures, tomb sculptures, and shrines, I depict my community current and forthcoming. I hope to bring these objects - ancient relics that transcend time - into the present. They carry hope and loss, acceptance and challenge, ornament and simplicity. I love decoration! I enjoy how heavy decoration can seem parasitic, yet it beckons to be adored and looked at. Decoration adds a layer of stimulation to an object. It's intended to give pleasure. The more itently you look, the more rewarding it will be. 

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sishi wang

From Shenzhen, China, Sishi Wang is pursuing her MFA at Indiana University of Bloomington, IN. and she holds a BFA degree in Metalsmith and Jewelry Design from East Carolina University, NC. Wang draws inspiration from both architectural details and botanical forms as she creates her work. She enjoys observing line and shapes in daily life. 


Statement: ...More

From Shenzhen, China, Sishi Wang is pursuing her MFA at Indiana University of Bloomington, IN. and she holds a BFA degree in Metalsmith and Jewelry Design from East Carolina University, NC. Wang draws inspiration from both architectural details and botanical forms as she creates her work. She enjoys observing line and shapes in daily life. 


Statement: My work is rooted in the formal traditions of enameling and silversmithing. I transform my observations, experiences, and memories into small vignettes made of metal and glass. I believe that all things are growing and disappearing. One day we will be gone, just like the natural world and objects around us. I believe that our memories and experiences are the most meaningful parts of life. 

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ger xiong

Ger Xiong was born in Thailand and immigrated to the United States in 1993 as Hmong refugees of the Vietnam War. He received his Bachelor of Fire Arts with an Emphasis in Metals and Jewelry at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater in 2017. He is currently a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at New Mexico State University projected to graduate in Sprin...More

Ger Xiong was born in Thailand and immigrated to the United States in 1993 as Hmong refugees of the Vietnam War. He received his Bachelor of Fire Arts with an Emphasis in Metals and Jewelry at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater in 2017. He is currently a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at New Mexico State University projected to graduate in Spring 2021. Ger recently received a ten month Fulbright Fellowship from 2019- 2020 to research and collaborate with Hmong artisans working in silversmithing and textiles in Chiang Mai, Thailand through the University affiliation of the Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai University. 


The erasure of Hmong history and culture has long been a part of our identity. As stateless people, we are continuously living within various dominant nation states; learning their culture, language, customs, and history. Through my Hmong America experience, my work looks at the navigation and negotiation of cultural identity through the lens of assimilation, migration, and colonization, reflecting loss, commodification, and the resilience of being Hmong. Materials that represent the power of the nation states are disrupted by stitching on top of it, our Hmong cultural identity markers; fluorescent colors, patterns, symbols. Jewelry, adornment, objects, and textiles have been a tool of storytelling and documenting our history and culture throughout our migration. My work seeks to connect the past to the present and is essential to show how I balance between cultures while holding onto the importance of my Hmong identity within a dominant American society. 

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Shiyuan xu

Shiyuan Xu was born in Hangzhou, P.R. China, currently lives and works in Chicago, She received her BA (Ceramics) from China Academy of Art in 2012, and an MFA (Ceramics) from Arizona State University in 2016. Shiyuan is a 2017 Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist and 2021 Emerging Artist Fellow. 


Statement: My work is inspired by the research of scientifi...More

Shiyuan Xu was born in Hangzhou, P.R. China, currently lives and works in Chicago, She received her BA (Ceramics) from China Academy of Art in 2012, and an MFA (Ceramics) from Arizona State University in 2016. Shiyuan is a 2017 Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist and 2021 Emerging Artist Fellow. 


Statement: My work is inspired by the research of scientific and microscopic phenomena ranging from single-celled organisms in the ocean to diverse plant seeds on land, and to cells, the building blocks of all life form. My fascination with shapes, patterns, structures and textures of those microorganisms stimulates my creation. I reinterpret these visual elements into sculptural forms revealing the intricacy and fragility of the hidden world. In D'Arcy Thompson's 'On Growth and Form', the form of an object is a 'diagram of forces'. I see the structure of these micro life forms as traces of their growth and response to the internal and external force. It is about movement, time, and space. It records the way they move and grow. The way they react to the surrounding environment by interacting, altering, evolving, and adapting to generate infinite new forms. I hand-build structures with porcelain paperclay, and I use unconventional processes to apply glazes on the sculptural pieces. The materials allow me to push the boundaries of fragility and strength, simplicity and complex, order and chaos. Meticulously, the thin skeletal lines are weaved into a harmonious volume. I see the rich history of porcelain as a part of my identity and use the classic Chinese ceramic color palette as one of the references of my work. Being an outsider in America, my experience offers me a new perspective to reflect my own cultural heritage. The regular and irregular structures and layers of my piece blend in with the memory of my sensations and personal experience. The repetitive and labor-intensive process seems to be a therapy to ease my anxiety and sense of uncertainty while facing constant challenges in the intersections of two cultures. my pieces are in many ways like living organisms. Absorbing and evolving, the reflections of my own life path. The work is an abstraction of the complexity and delicacy of life itself and my own roots. 

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YINGQI PUFFY ZHAO

Yingqi Puffy Zhao is a contemporary jeweler, educator and GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional. She hold an MFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University Bloomington, and a BFA in Crafts with a concentration in Metals from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Zhao is a University of Illino...More

Yingqi Puffy Zhao is a contemporary jeweler, educator and GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional. She hold an MFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Indiana University Bloomington, and a BFA in Crafts with a concentration in Metals from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Zhao is a University of Illinois 2016 Bronze Tablet Scholar, and a 2017-2019 Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory Scholar. Her work has recently been published in books including Handouts from the 21st Century Part III, and magazines including 2019 Jewelry and Metalsmithing Survey. 


Statement:

A red seed in my palm [enter]

A red net on my arm [enter]

The red darkens [enter]

The red alone [cursor]


I am drawn to microscopic structures of living forms. The idea that of creatures are perceived by human eyes could be entirely different from the imagery revealed by a microscope and makes me ponder whether I am able to capture the reality of anything merely through direct observation and visual reproduction. I begin researching the expansive subject of microscopy from an origin point of cell, while reflecting on what composes my flesh and bone. Instead of depicting the familiar human form that is exposed to the naked eye, I choose to present imagined segments, altered versions, and memorized episodes of human form from cell perspective, which are processed by the microscope in my head. 


The red awakes [enter]

The red burns out [enter]

Their red sings in silences [enter]

Their red smiles like a child [period]

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