Juliane Shibata (Northfield, MN) is a ceramic artist whose installation-based compositions investigate the contrast between the transience of nature and the relative stability of fired ceramics. These pieces, which incorporate both real flowers and plants, and ceramic counterparts, allude to memento mori and aim to create an awareness of the fleeting nature of our existence. Over the course of the installation, the living components gradually decay, while the porcelain emerges more boldly. Shibata’s work is informed by Japanese concepts of beauty, such as wabi-sabi’s aesthetics of imperfection and impermanence, and the profound grace of yūgen. She creates immersive environments in which color, the transformation of real botanical materials, and the rhythm of repeated forms all combine to impact the viewer.
Shibata received her BA from Carleton College (Northfield, MN) and her MFA from Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH). She has held various academic positions at Ox-Bow School of Art (Saugatuck, MI), Tennessee Tech University (Smithville, TN), Hope College (Holland, MI), the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University (St. Joseph/Collegeville, MN), and Carleton College (Northfield, MN). She has been an artist-in-residence at The Pottery Workshop (Jingdezhen, China), the College of Biological Sciences Conservatory at the University of Minnesota (St. Paul), and the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee. In 2016, she co-curated Michi – Distinctive Paths, Shared Affinity: An Exhibition of Japanese American Ceramic Artists, which traveled across the US. She received Artist Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2014, 2018, and 2020; the first place award at the 62nd Arrowhead Regional Biennial at the Duluth Art Institute; the Tile Heritage Prix Primo award at the 23rd Annual San Angelo National Ceramic Competition; and was named one of 2016’s Emerging Artists by Ceramics Monthly.
In addition to curatorial projects, community and civic engagement efforts, and publications as both artist and author, Shibata’s work has been included in over 50 invitational, juried, and solo exhibitions since 2010. Her works have been commissioned by the Four Seasons Hotel (Minneapolis, MN), Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Minneapolis, MN), and K’ul Chocolate (Minneapolis, MN) and are included in the collections of the Brown-Forman Corporation (Louisville, KY), Northern Arizona State University Art Museum (Flagstaff, AZ), the Ron Gallas Ceramic Cup Library at St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN), and the Perlman Teaching Collection at Carleton College (Northfield, MN).