July Featured Artists

JULY 6 – 31
Sales Gallery & Online
Mike Helke, S.C. Rolf, Olivia Tani, Jewelry: Kate Marotz

Mike Helke, S.C. Rolf, Olivia Tani, Jewelry: Kate Marotz

Mike Helke
Mike Helke received his MFA in ceramic art from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and his BFA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. A former NCC studio artist, he currently maintains a studio in Stillwater, Minnesota. Helke received a Jerome Ceramic Artist Project Grant in 2008 and the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Award in 2006. He’s an assistant professor of art/ceramics at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and has been a visiting artist, lecturer, juror, and workshop leader at clay centers and universities across the United States. In 2017, he received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, and in January 2020, Helke was featured in Ceramics Monthly with a “Spotlight Interview.” About his work, Helke says, “Each piece physically and conceptually records an animate sensibility derived from my experiences. This record is the catalyst for a call-and-response relationship that exists between maker, object, and user.”

Kate Marotz
Kate Marotz received her BFA in ceramics and BS in art education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (Menomonie). Since 2015, she has been teaching high school art while simultaneously pursuing and exploring her own studio practice. Her current work bridges sculpture and functionality with pinched stoneware objects inspired by seed pods, chrysalides, shells, and other vessels of natural origin. The surfaces of her objects are painted with terra sigillata in calm, muted versions of both earthy and jewel-toned colors. Marotz’s pieces are ridged, speckled, playful, and precarious. They emanate the energy of creatures from a biome at the junction of desert and ocean—at once feeling newborn and contemporary, treasured and ancient.

S.C. Rolf
S.C. Rolf lives and works as a studio potter in River Falls, WI, creating one-of-a-kind functional pots. His work reflects an ongoing search to unite his ideas with the generosity and the intimacy that the functional pot offers. Rolf holds multiple degrees in art and exhibits his work nationally and internationally. Rolf has received a number of national and international awards. He lectures and teaches workshops throughout the country. His work has been included in numerous publications, museum collections, and best of all, many kitchen cupboards.

Olivia Tani
Olivia Tani earned her BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Her work is driven by formal exploration and interest in the process of slab-building. During this process, Tani translates from two-dimensional “blueprint” to three-dimensional form. She blends precise building techniques with experimentation to derive her forms. Though she is a functional potter, Tani “indulge[s] in moments of excess that guide [her] formal stylization,” creating forms that serve both as functional utilitarian objects and sculptural forms. She is interested in the way that the viewer interacts with the piece and the “haptic quality of masses and volumes.” Tani is a 2017 recipient of the Fogelberg Studio Fellowship at Northern Clay Center.