March Featured Artists

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Samantha Purze, Joe Singewald, Betsy Williams, Joel Willson
Jewelry Spotlight: April D. Felipe

Samantha Purze, Joe Singewald, Betsy Williams, Joel Willson
Jewelry Spotlight: April D. Felipe

Samantha Purze
Samantha Purze describes her process of making as a combination of engineering and collage—bringing a blueprint to life through careful and spontaneous joining. Her surface decorations suggest abstract maps separated from any specific meaning or identification. In their ambiguity, these drawings reference circuitry, calligraphy, sheet music, and other languages of tangible and intangible movement and connections. Purze is passionate about providing communities with artistic opportunities and education through non-profit arts organizations while continually developing her own studio practice. Purze currently teaches ceramics at the Art Barn School of Art in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Joe Singewald
Joe Singewald grew up in northeast Iowa where he discovered handmade pottery. Singewald says, “Something rather powerful can occur when handling or using a handmade object. There is a connection between user and maker that cannot be duplicated elsewhere in day-to-day life. Knowing a favorite potter created, held, and pondered the very piece in my hands is remarkable. While holding vessels that are hundreds of years old, I love imagining the unknown maker, the space the piece was created, the materials used and the world at that time. Potters before me who gathered clay, formed, and fired influence and inspire my work today.” Since 2014, Singewald has been the art department studio technician at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University in central Minnesota. He lives and maintains a studio in Cold Spring, MN with his wife and three daughters.

Betsy Williams
Betsy Williams started her career as a money market trader at a Japanese bank in Manhattan. She ultimately left that job for a ceramic apprenticeship in Karatsu, Japan, under Yutaka Ohashi and has been a potter since. Williams writes, “Individual pieces, modest in scale, are at the heart of my work. I concentrate on unobtrusively conveying a sense of liveliness (as in the mystery and experience of being alive). To my mind, the best pots are both understated and outspoken and seem both new and familiar at the same time.” Williams and her husband, stone sculptor Mark Saxe, currently own Rift Gallery in Rinconada, New Mexico.

Joel Willson
Joel Willson grew up in Pakistan and Germany. He has completed apprenticeships with S.C. Rolf (River Falls, WI) and Michael Kline (Bakersville, NC) and is currently the Fogelberg Studio Fellow at Northern Clay Center. Willson approaches ceramics from a lifelong belief in the strong connection between humanity, dirt, and the earth. His pots are generally soda fired and faceted or decorated with geometric shapes including repeating arcs and lines. The patterns on his surfaces are inspired by sacred geometry and art deco designs, with different aspects highlighted or obscured by atmospheric effects.

April D. Felipe
April D. Felipe is interested in the idea of adornment and the relationship between jewelry and the user. Felipe utilizes jewelry as a means to move through patterns and colors more freely. Jewelry provides an additional multidisciplinary approach outside of her ceramic sculpture practice. Felipe is a co-founder of The Color Network and has been a resident and Windgate Scholarship recipient at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana. She was also a 2017 Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist. Felipe currently lives in Albany, Ohio, where she maintains her studio practice and teaches at community arts centers in her region.