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Artist: Alea Mae

Alea Mae, IOWA
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When making work I visualize the interaction my ceramics have in everyday lives. I consider how hands will touch the pieces, the substance that will fill them, and how the objects fit inside the home. The idea of storage guides my process of making. In my own home, I have open cupboards in the kitchen. I put a lot of consideration into how the objects I interact with daily are shelved and stored. This leads to me thinking heavily on how people handle my craft, what will their reactions and interactions be? Are the pieces, when taken home, on display and in use or do they fall to the back of the cupboard? I want to produce an object that is a balance of artfully-engaging and well-crafted.

Along with the questions of placement and use I consider how I can influence perception. When deciding what decoration or surface to create, I question how I can guide the viewer’s perception. I consider how best to influence the interactions that will happen with my objects through color, image, and shape. This is especially important when making my entomology themed pieces. Each is created with the viewer's reaction in mind. I want to convey my own fascination with insects and to generate a positive reception where there might normally be disgust. By placing them behind a barrier I try to remove some of the cringe responses, and by placing them in cameo-like spaces I try to spot their best features.

I desire to make a pot that will become the go-to vessel in a home. First and foremost I make items I enjoy using. They are meant to be interacted with, used daily. With my entomology themed pieces my hope is that they are objects that can independently spark a conversation due to their uniqueness, but that they are ultimately functional ceramic-ware. My end goal is to build vessels that can take on a memory or emotion, ideally from fascination but in the case of some of my bug encasing objects, revulsion equally delights me.


September 2019 - Present 
Gallery Manager & Shipping Manager, Clay Akar, Iowa City, IA

September 2019 - Present

Artist in Residence & Studio Member, The Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, Cedar Rapids, IA

2018 -2019

Studio Manager & Resident Artist, The Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, Cedar Rapids, IA

2017 - 2018
Ceramics Resident Artist & Ceramics Teacher, The Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, Cedar Rapids, IA

2016 - 2019 
Ceramics Shipping, Intake & Retail Worker, Clay Akar, Iowa City, IA


2017 B.F.A. in Ceramics, minor in Art History, University of Iowa



2016 - 2022

"Yunomi" Invitational, Clay Akar, Iowa City, IA

2017 - 2021

"Americano" Invitational, Clay Akar, Iowa City, IA


Featured Artist, New Work, Clay Akar, Iowa City, IA

Best in Show for Ceramics, 54th Annual Snake Alley Art Fair, presented by the Art Center of Burlington, IA


Everyone knows that nothing happened in 2020, I had an amazing garden this year


"Functional Entomology 2.0," Solo Show, The Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, Cedar Rapids, IA


Emerging Artist Tent, Marion Arts Fest, Marion, IA

2016 - 2019

Emerging Artist Tent, Iowa City Arts Fest, Iowa City, IA

New Resident Artists Show, Group Show

"Functional Entomology," Solo Show, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Ceramics at the University of Iowa, Iowa Ceramics Conference, Cedar Rapids, IA
Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Show, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
College Invitational, The Figge Museum of Art, Davenport, IA

Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Show, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

AKAR, Iowa City, IA
The Iowa Ceramics Center, Cedar Rapids, IA

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