MARCH 6 – JUNE 21, 2020
Curated by Angelica Pozo
A triaxial blend is a method of testing glaze ratios to develop new surfaces. Curator, Angelica Pozo, will parallel this concept, bringing three pairs of established ceramic sculptors together in collaboration. “Collaboration is the art of merging two or more creative energies into a powerful partnership, one that is mutually respectful/mutually responsive to each other’s input.” Triaxial Blends challenges six artists to enter the world of sculptural collaboration and to embrace the elements of surprise, negotiation, and successful navigation of equal contribution, scale, subject matter, surface treatment, and each other’s creative experience.
These six artists, Susan Beiner paired with Christine Golden; Syd Carpenter paired with Sana Musasama; and Kristen Cliffel paired with Angelica Pozo embarked on a creative sculptural endeavor supported by travel, conversation, mutual support, and written documentation throughout the evolution of each new sculpture for the exhibition. The artist collaborators involved in Triaxial Blends historically lean toward narrative or representational forms and tend to use numerous components and materials in their work. The logistics of not only the communication of ideas and objectives between artists unfamiliar to one another, but also the literal creation of each work in two studios, inescapably generated intensity and kindled a new level of creativity.
Angelica Pozo roots her work in the natural world and incorporates themes of femininity, sensuality, fertility, and spirituality. Her latest works leap from the Latin term, Lusus naturae, or “freak of nature.” She includes materials such as wire, glass, and cut nails in her works to create sculpture that seems to mock humanity and its reckless treatment of the planet and its environment. It’s as if they scoff, “We evolved past recognition and survived you, and this new and ruined earth no longer supports you, but it suits us beautifully.” Pozo earned her BFA at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1976, and her MFA in Ceramics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1978. She is currently a ceramic public art and studio artist in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as an author, juror, and instructor.
Susan Beiner explores what we perceive as authentic, or not, by embracing the unavoidable cacophony of manufactured and artificial materials in our world and introducing those elements into her ceramic work. She lends equal consideration to the installation process and creates expanses of space designed to envelop and engage the viewer. Beiner earned her BFA at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1985, and her MFA in Ceramics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1993. Her extensive career in ceramics encompasses exhibitions, both national and international, permanent collections, residencies, awards, lectures, publication, and professorship. Since 2006, she’s served as a Professor of Art at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, where in 2015 she was named the Joan R. Lincoln Endowed Professor in Ceramics.
Syd Carpenter’s work celebrates the critical importance of family, home, community, and the earth’s bounty. It often relates to the history of African-American family farmers in the South as well as their present lives and contributions. She not only has a dedicated studio practice, but she also cultivates new generations of artists through teaching. “I don’t believe artists make the decision to become artists. They are born. The hope is that they find the will to pursue their vision, an environment in which to develop, and a culture respectful of their contributions.” Carpenter earned her BFA in 1974 and MFA in 1976 at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has been a Professor of Studio Arts at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, since 1991.
Kristen Cliffel’s sculptural work and studio practice revolve around the topics of domesticity and emotional relationships. She investigates the faceted, and often conflicted, messaging we receive about home, fulfillment, expectations, and triggers, and our inherent struggle to reconcile archetypal myths with our daily realities. Cliffel earned her BFA at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio in 1990. In addition to teaching workshops at colleges and universities across the country, teaching sculpture and ceramics to school-aged children, and participating in residencies and exhibitions, she is currently a full-time studio artist in Cleveland, Ohio.
Christine Golden predominantly creates the human figure in her large ceramic works. Her narrative sculpture draws inspiration from the human experience and combines the influences of culture, adventure, drama, and stories that weave themselves through everyday life. “My sculptures are visual diaries wherein each figure becomes a psychological portrait. I am investigating that fertile ground where the historical and allegorical, and the tragedy and comedy of life intersect.” Golden earned her BFA at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah in 2005 and her MFA at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 2010. Her works have been exhibited and collected nationally, and she continues her teaching career of over 20 years through workshops and visiting artist opportunities while maintaining a dedicated studio practice.
Sana Musasama says of her work, “Making our art is the purest thing we do. There are no hidden lies. My work is my truth as I have lived it.” Her sculptures evolve from her experiences through travel; through her humanitarian work with the Apron Project reintegrating girls and young women survivors of sex trafficking; and through history and women’s studies. Musasama earned her BA in Ceramics and Education at The City College of New York, New York in 1974 and her MFA at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, New York in 1987. She currently holds positions at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City; New Jersey City University, Jersey City, New Jersey (Adjunct Professor, Ceramics); Hunter College, New York City (Associate Adjunct Professor, Ceramics); Jamaica Art Center, New York City (Instructor); and Facing History High School, New York City (Visiting Artist, Ceramics).