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Artist: Adam Posnak


Artist: Adam Posnak
Adam Posnak, ARKANSAS
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My fascination with pottery is rooted in a non-Cartesian belief in the power and
agency of objects. Objects have the ability to transcend the intent of both maker and user, and handmade pottery is a quintessential form with which to capitalize on this potential.
The border between objects and symbols is porous, if not non-existent, and I search high and low for living systems which investigate and illuminate the object/symbol coefficient. I utilize participant-observation in research and favor experience over objectification, as advocated by the term “Primalism,” coined by art historian Robert Farris Thompson: “…primalism lets us measure just how far we've traveled -- how far we've been pulled forward -- from the devouring primitivism of the past.” Robert Farris Thompson, Art in America, July 1997.

I have investigated belief systems as varied as Freemasonry, Western Esotericism and Aghori Hinduism, only to name a few, and have been particularly inspired by West and Central-African traditions and the various African-Diaspora, creole religious-cultural practices of North, Central and South America. Having been initiated and participating in multiple traditions, all of my work reflects inspiration from and makes reference to these traditions. I have a continuing research project studying the making and religious use of Vodu ritual pottery of the Ewe people in the Volta Region of Ghana.

I make pottery informed by these traditions, as well as pots specifically for ritual use made in collaboration with religious practitioners, and have explored a third body of work that establishes an authentic setting in which to present ritual pottery, and contextualizes its use within particular traditions.

Adam Posnak (b. 1973) grew up in Macon, Georgia. His great- grandfathers were blacksmiths, his grandfather a woodworker, and his mother a studio potter. Posnak holds an MFA from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, and a BA from Macalester College, St. Paul, MN. Adam teaches Ceramics and Foundations at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and his home and pottery studio is in West Fork, Arkansas.

EDUCATION
1999 Master of Fine Arts, Studio Art/Ceramics: Louisiana State University

1996 One Year, Post Baccalaureate: Kansas City Art Institute

1995 Bachelor of Arts, Studio Art/Ceramics: Macalester College
Teaching

Present-2002 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, Lecturer

2002-2001 Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, Instructor

2002 University of Miami, Miami, FL, Instructor

2001 Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, Visiting Assistant Professor

2000 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, Visiting Assistant
Professor

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
2017
“Simple Cup,” Kobo Gallery, Seattle, WA
“Beer Vessels,” District Clay, Washington, DC
“Mug Shots: Celebrating Ceramics,” Verum Ultimum Gallery, Portland, OR
“A Hard Swath To Mow,” exhibition by University of Arkansas Ceramics
Faculty, Belger Crane Yard Studios, Kansas City, MO

2016
“Spooky Ol’ South,” small group exhibition, DZNR Gallery, Fayetteville, AR
“The Cup, The Mug,” (invited artist), Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY
“Coupled,” New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, New Harmony, IN
“Yunomi Invitational,” AKAR, Iowa City, IA

2015
“Contemporary Ceramics 1015,” The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
“Ashes to Ashes: Religion in Contemporary Ceramic Art,” The Clay Studio,
Philadelphia, PA
“Memories and Mourning: Contemporary Cremation Urns,” The Clay
Studio, Philadelphia, PA
“(Everyday) Interpretations: Cindy Arsaga, Joe Morzuch and Adam
Posnak,” Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock, AR

2014
“Fundamento,” solo exhibition, sUgAR Gallery, Fayetteville, AR
“Prenda and Sopera: The Vessel in African and African Diaspora Religion,”
solo concurrent independent exhibition, NCECA conference, Pritzlaff
Building, Milwaukee, WI
“Art of the Pot,” invitational exhibition and sale, Austin, TX
“National Teapot Show,” invitational exhibition, Cedar Creek Gallery,
Creedmoor, NC

2013
“Suns, Stars, Snakes, and Skulls,” solo concurrent independent exhibition,
NCECA conference, Next Wall Gallery, Houston, TX
“Art of the Pot Plus,” Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX
“Outpour,” invitational, Artcetera Gallery, Grayslake, IL
“Yunomi Invitational,” AKAR, Iowa City, IO

2012
“The Garden,” solo exhibition at The Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO
“Source Material,” invitational, Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, NC
“Politically Charged,” invitational, Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC
“Yunomi Invitaional,” AKAR, Iowa City, IO
“The Cup,” invitational, ARTcetera Gallery, College of Lake County, IL

2011
“Uncommon Ground,” presented by NCECA at the Arvada Center, Arvada, CO
“Cups and Coffee,” invitational, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia
“Creatures of the Night,” invitational exhibition, MudFire Gallery, Decatur, GA
“2011 NCECA Biennial,” Tampa, FL
“Yunomi Invitaional,” AKAR, Iowa City , IO
2010 “The Decorated Pot: Studio Pottery Invitational,” Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
“Strictly Functional Pottery National,” Market House Craft Center,
East Petersburg, PA
“Small Favors V,” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2009
“TNNUA Pottery Festival,” Tainan National University of the Arts, Tainan, Taiwan
“Now + Again,” ddp gallery, Fayetteville, AR
“Teapots: Functional, Formal, Narrative,” Foster Gallery,
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

2008 “Lillstreet International,” (Juror: Sam Chung), Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL
“Dinnerware Invitational”, Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL
“Cup and Mug Invitational: Consider the Cup,” The Artisan Gallery, North
Hampton, MA
“Legacy II,” Alfred G. Glassel Gallery, L.S.U., Baton Rouge, Louisiana
“8 Fluid Ounces,” L.S.U. School of Art Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA
2007 “Eat With Your Eyes,” The Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
“Plates and Platters: Salon Style,” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2006
“Gifted,” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
“40 under 40,” The Clay Place, Pittsburgh, PA
“Mastery In Clay: 2006,” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
“Teabowl Exhibition,” University of North Texas, Denton, TX
“Tea Time: The Art of the Teapot,” Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI
“30/30,” Lillstreet Art Center’s 30 th Year Aniversary Exhibition, Chicago, IL

2005
“Adam Posnak,” Solo Exhibition, Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI
“Tea,” Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC
“Five plus Five,” Earth and Fire Gallery, Vienna, VA
“Hot Stuff/Clay Tigers: LSU 1970-2005,” The Signature Shop, Atlanta, GA
“Steamin’,” Gallery Materia, Scottsdale, AZ
“Adam Posnak and Machiko Munakata,”
Lill Street Art Center, Chicago
“Contemporary Teapots: Object as Subject,” curator Leslie Ferrin,
Craft Alliance, St. Louis, MO
“For The Table,” Invitational Exhibition, Santa Fe Clay
“8 Fluid Ounces,” L.S.U. School of Art Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA

2003
“NCECA 2003 Clay National Exhibition,” R.B. Stevenson Gallery, San Diego, CA
“Feats of Clay XVI,” Lincoln Arts, Lincoln, CA
“Tea for Two or Twenty,” Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
“Jackpot!” Contemporary Arts Collective, Las Vegas, NV
“3 rd Annual Juried Cup Show,” Gallery 138, Kent State University, Kent, OH
“NCECA Endowment Silent Auction,” San Diego, CA
“18 th Annual Greater Midwest International Exhibition,” Central Missouri
State University, Warrensburg, MO
“An Affinity for the Cup,” Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA

2002 “Manifestations II: Form and Function,” Denise Bibro Fine Art, Inc.,
New York, NY
“Red Heat: Contemporary Work in Clay,” Alexandre Houge Gallery,
The University of Tulsa
“Living With Form,” selections from Arkansas craft collectors, Museum of
Decorative Arts, Little Rock, AR
“Artists of Northwest Arkansas,” The Art Center of the Ozarks,
Springdale, AR
“Cup: The Intimate Object,” Charlie Cummings Clay Studio, Fort Wayne, IN

Recent Lectures
2017 J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

2016 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

2015 Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

2009 Tainan National University of the Arts, Tainan, Taiwan

RESIDENCIES
2009 Sept-Dec, Tainan National University of the Arts, Tainan, Taiwan

AWARDS
2013 Individual Artist Fellowship, Arkansas Arts Council, 2013

WORKSHOPS/PANELS
2009 Workshop, sponsored by Boston Mountain Potter’s Association, Fayetteville, AR

2008 Workshop and Lecture, sponsored by Ceramic Art Students Association,
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

2007 “Distillation of Art and Family,” panel, NCECA Conference, Louisville, KY

PUBLICATIONS
2017
“Pots as Textbooks,” Ceramics Monthly, December, 2017
“From Arkansas to Ghana: The Clay is Still Red,” The Studio Potter,
Summer/Fall, 2017

2013 “To Serve the Divine: Making Pottery for African and African Atlantic
Religions,” The Studio Potter, Summer/Fall, 2013

2006 Ceramics Monthly magazine

GALLERIES
The Clay Studio, 139 N 2 nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Lill Street Art Center, 1021 West Lill Street, Chicago, IL, 60614


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