Opening Reception: Friday, April 9 from 5-8 pm
Slide Show by the Artists: Saturday, April 10 at 7 pm
This exhibition is sponsored by Quarry Tile Co. of Spokane, WA. We thank them for their
continued generous support of the arts in our region.
I have come to believe that cultural
concerns are revealed in the dialog between the
archetype and the everyday. The designs and images on old porcelain collectibles,
such as figurines and fine china evoke palpable shards of memory serving history as
As archetypes, these objects inspire
me with their position in the domestic realm.
Everyday, they sit on shelves in the parts of the home where lips touch teacups,
recipes are passed down and secrets are told. In my work, I wish to reference this
kind of intimate setting and hint at new stories.
And about this new body of work:
In an effort to return the figurine to the factory, I have taken the processes available to me in
Kohler's Arts/Industry Residency Program to create a cast of characters, decorative bases and
highly detailed props. Under porcelain trees laden with hand painted flowers, narratives spin
from proverbs and old wives tales, exploring general themes of beauty, gender roles and issues
in the domestic realm.
Chris has her B.F.A. in ceramics and painting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA
M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis.
She has been Artist in Residence at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena
MT, the Jingdezhen Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute, Jingdezhen, China, the Watershed Center for
Ceramic Arts in ME, and currently at the John Michael Kohler Factory, Sheboygan, WI.
Exhibitions and Teaching Experience
Chris is currently serving as Assistant Director of the LH Project: Residency Program for the
Ceramic Arts in Joseph, OR. She has taught at the Archie Bray Foundation, the Saint Paul
Academy in St. Paul, MN and at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Her work has been shown at numerous galleries throughout the U.S. and in Jingdezhen, China
over the past four years. Some of the most recent venues are SOFA in Chicago and New
York; Ferrin Gallery in New York and Lenox, MA; R. Duane Reed Gallery, St. Louis, MO; Fifth
Element Gallery, Portland, OR; Paris Gibson Art Museum, Great Falls, MT; Sanbao Ceramic Art
Institute Gallery, Jingdezhen, China; Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, CA; The Archie Bray
Foundation, Helena, MT; Holter Museum, Helena, MT; and The Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur
*For more detail about Chriss accomplishments, go to the Artists page.
Beth Cavener Stichter
The connections between art and science have always been at the heart of my work. My
mother, a ceramicist, and my father, a molecular biologist, raised me with an appreciationfor
the world on its most minute and grandiose scale. From my mother I learned the language of
clay and the power of ideas passed through hands. My father and I spent hours staring at
the night sky, while he stretched the seams of my imagination with tales of recombinant DNA
and evolutionary battles on the microscopic scale. Every moment of my memory has been
spent investigating the natural world around me.
My interests in science and the exploration of natural systems have inspired me to study
animal form, gesture, and behavioral patterns as a way of understanding human behavior and
its impact on our environment. The human mind has been described as being divided into
reptilian and mammal behavior patterns, one being more primal and instinctual, balanced
against the other more complex social impulses. These primitive animal instincts lurk in our
own depths, waiting for the chance to slide past a conscious moment. The sculptures I
create focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated
through animal and human forms. On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic
individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts
of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality.
Both human and animal interactions show patterns of intricate, subliminal gestures that
betray intent and motivation. The things we leave unsaid are far more important than the
words spoken out-loud to one another. I have learned to read meaning in the subtler signs;
a look, the way one holds one's hands, the incline of the head, the rhythm of a walk, and the
slightest unconscious gestures. I rely on animal body language in my work as a metaphor for
these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological
I want to develop an allusion to those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and
human. I aim for something subtly feral and uneasy - the way a roomful of strangers makes
me feel. An uncomfortable relationship grows between the pieces and the viewer as familiar
human proportions are confused with those of smaller species. Something conscious and
knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions. An invitation.
Education and Awards:
Beth holds a B.A. in sculpture from Haverford College and an M.F.A. in Ceramics from
State University. She has received awards and grants from several organizations including
the Archie Bray Foundation, Edith Fergus Gilmore, and the American Crafts Council.
Exhibitions and Teaching Experience:
Beth is currently Artist in Residence, Lecturer and Instructor at the Archie Bray Foundation in
Helena, MT. She was also a Sculpture Instructor at the Cecil Academy of Art in Florence,
Italy, and Guest Artist in Residence at The Clay Studio.
Her work has been shown at numerous galleries in the past four years. Some of the most
recent venues were: Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA; Kentucky Museum of Arts and Design,
Louisville, KY; Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM; the Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT; and The
Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d'Alene, ID.
She has won awards in juried exhibitions at St. Petersburg Clay, St. Petersburg, FL; Wichita
Center for the Arts, Wichita, KS and "Feats of Clay XIV", McBean Factory, Lincoln, CA.
Look for Beth's work in the future at the River Gallery and Museum, Chattanooga, TN, June
2004; The Contemporary Crafts Gallery in Portland OR, August 2004; and the NCECA 2005
Solo Exhibition in Baltimore, MD.
Articles about Beth's work can be found in Ceramic Art and Perception, Issue 49, 2001 and
Clay Times, Nov./Dec. 1999 and Ceramics Monthly, May 1999.
Beth Cavener Stichters Website: www.followtheblackrabbit.com
*For more detail about Beths accomplishments, go to the Artists page.