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Artist: Adero Willard



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Artist Statement

A unifying thread in my work is the exploration of ordered chaos on my surfaces, constructing layer upon layer of colorful spinning circles, flipping  flowers, meandering vines, industrial grids, and geometric planes. 

Red clay is an important part of my palette: it is the skin of the pot and provides  a rich base as the first layer of the surface. Using engobe and underglazes -which like jars of paint allow me immediate access to color — I paint shapes with wax on each layer. These areas become windows through which different layers of decoration interact. The intricate visual dialogue I create presents endless possibilities for exploring identity, metaphor, materiality, and design.

A love of clay and a Passion for color and pattern is what fuels my work as a ceramic artist and potter. As a Black woman of color, the complexities of my African American, Native American, and European ancestry are intrinsically woven into an ornate visual language made of abstracted shapes, divided space, and layered pattern and color. This language provides me with endless possibilities, through the clay form and surface, to express concepts of identity, history, materiality, and design. Working with clay is as much a desire to create, as it is a commitment to nurture a love of the arts and of the handmade in myself and others.



Adero Willard lives as an artist and educator in Western Massachusetts. She received a BFA at Alfred University in 1995 and MFA at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2006. She completed a one-year residency at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Maine. Nationally and internationally, Adero has exhibited work in solo and group galleries, craft shows, and pottery invitationals. Her work has been featured in a number of publications and books on ceramics. She has worked as a professor of ceramics at Holyoke Community College since 2011. Since 2014 she is one of the cofounders of Pots on Wheels a mobile clay education outreach project and the organizer of an Empty Bowls projects at Holyoke Community College.



08/2020 to 05/2021, Visiting assistant professor of ceramics at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University

01/2011 to 05/2020, Professor of Ceramic Art at Holyoke Community College – HOLYOKE, MA

01/2014 to 05/2020, Ceramic Technician - Holyoke Community College – HOLYOKE, MA

01/2014 to Current, Community Outreach Projects
Pots On Wheels And Holyoke Community College – HOLYOKE, MA
Co-founder, Pots On Wheels / POW!
Mobile ceramic outreach project (2014–present)

01/2015-01/2019, Voluntary faculty to organize Empty Bowls project at Holyoke Community College Introducing ceramics to non-artists while raising funds for food bank



05/1995, Bachelor of Arts: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary
NY State College of Ceramics At Alfred University - Alfred, NY

04/2006, Master of Fine Arts: Ceramic Art
Nova Scotia College of Art And Design - Halifax, Nova Scotia

2008, One Year Residency : Ceramics Salad Days Residency
Watershed Center For Ceramic Art - Newcastle, Maine


2021- upcoming
Above Board: A tableware show. NCECA -March 2021
Invited member of Artaxis- Professional and educational resource
Co-curator for Rochester Flower City Pottery Invitational -2021

Passages. Solo show. Boston Sculpture Gallery. January 13- February 13 2020
Concept in Clay: Artists of color. October 26, 2020-February 28, 2021.

Clay Art Center, Portchester, NY.
Strictly Functional Pottery National- Juror’s choice award for decorative surfaces September -October
Red. Schacht Gallery. Saratoga NY. February 1- March 14
State of the Art


Ceramics Invitational: Masters of Material, Giertz Gallery at
Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois, Nov. 11, 2019 to Feb. 1, 2020
Objects of Desire, Red Clay Lodge Nov. 8-Dec. 2020
Pattern Play, Widener Gallery Austin Arts Center Trinity College. Oct, 17-December 7.
Philadelphia Potters, 2nd annual pottery tour April 26-28
Alleviating Quiet: Decorative Clay Vessels, Solo Show, Sept 7-Oct. 6 Cotuit Art Center,
Cotuit MA
Alleviating Quiet: Clay vessels and wall pieces, Solo show, District Clay Center,
Washington DC, May 25th- June 23
Watershed Salad Days Pottery Invitational, July 13th

Centri-Petal Speak, Solo Show, Dundas, Ontario
44th Old School Pottery Invitational ( Demarest NJ)
Flower City Pottery Invitational ( Rochester NY)
Red Handed Symposium, Nashville, TN

Flower City Pottery Invitational ( Rochester NY)
Smithsonian Craft show, Washington DC

42nd Old School Pottery Invitational ( Demarest NJ)
Flower City Pottery Invitational ( Rochester NY)
Featured Artist Surface Show, Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Solo Exhibition Wesleyan Potters (Middletown, CT)
Visiting Artist & Solo Exhibition Anna Leonowans Gallery at Nova Scotia College of Art
and Design (Halifax, NS)
Group Exhibition 100 Cups, The Clay Studio / NCECA (Kansas City, MO)

41st Old School Pottery Invitational ( Demarest NJ) Flower City Pottery Invitational (
Rochester NY)
Invited Artist Objective Clay (online exhibition)
100 Teapots VII, Baltimore Clay Works (Baltimore, MD)
Graphic Clay, Baltimore Clay Works
Greenscapes: of/in/from the Garden, Clay Art Center (Portchester, NY)
State of Clay: Pushing the Boundaries, Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA)

40th Old School Pottery Invitational ( Demarest NJ)
In Full Bloom, Baltimore Clay Works
Faculty Show, Taber Gallery (Holyoke, MA)
Speaking of Color, Dow Studio (Deer Isle, ME)
Intimate Cups IV, Clay Mix Gallery, (Fresno, CA)

20/20 Vision, Dow Studio (Deer Isle, ME)
Truly, Madly, Deeply, Stable Gallery (Damariscotta, ME)

Pots At Rest, Philadelphia Clay Studio
9th Annual Pottery Invitational, Artisan Gallery (Paoli, WI)
The Art Of Dining, Krikorian Gallery (Worcester, MA)
Contemporary Clay Invitational, J. Ferguson Gallery (Farmville, VA)
The Box: Inside and Out, Stable Gallery (Damariscotta, ME)
Made in the USA, Dow Studio (Deer Isle, ME)

Solo Exhibition Swatches, Ferrin Gallery (Pittsfield, MA)
Exhibitor Smithsonian Craft Show (Washington, D.C.)
63rd St YMCA (NY,NY)
District Clay Center (Washington D.C.)

Truro Center for the Arts (Truro, MA)

Peters Valley (Layton, NJ)
Art at the Old Church (Demarest, NJ)
Lunenburg Center for the Arts (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia)
Truro Center for The Arts (Truro, MA)

Pittsburg Center for The Arts (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mudflat Pottery School (Somerville, MA)
Truro Center for The Arts (Truro, MA)
Upcoming -2021/2022
Black hands in Clay
Donald Clark & Chotsani Dean

New Ceramic Surface Design

Molly Hatch (2015)

Graphic Clay: Ceramic Surface & Printed Image Transfer on Clay
Jason Bige Burnett (2015)

Ceramics Artist's Handbook: Glazing Techniques
Anderson Turner August, editor (2014)

Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist's Guide to Glaze and Color
Brian Taylor & Kate Doody (2014)

Electric Kiln Ceramics: A Guide to Clay, Glaze, and Electric Kilns; 4th edition
Richard Zakin, Frederick Bartolovic & Sherman Hall (March 2014)

Inspired By Cloth and Clay-Article written by Adero Willard & Soren Johnson
Pottery Making Illustrated (Sept./Oct. issue, 2014)

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