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Artist: Grace Sheese


Artist: Grace Sheese
Grace Sheese, ILLINOIS
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The things we are most familiar with can bring comfort and joy to our lives. Yet, often they become invisible to us, ever-present but hardly noticed. Functional pottery is inextricably bound to the familiar. It surrounds us, an integral part of food and family. The objects I make are functional objects meant to be touched, held and used everyday. But I strive to make them in such a way that they are not invisible and that they should be noticed, because they can say something new everyday.

The shapes I create start with are simple and familiar. From there, I alter the form; add bits of oddities, bobbles and protrusions that demand a bit of attention, that disturb the familiar without disturbing the function. The additions and alterations take advantage of the fact that these objects are to be handled. By modifying the terrain and texture of my forms, I use tactile cues to pique the interest of the user, to remind them that this object is not ordinary, and that it is worth closer examination.

Each piece I make tells a story. They are small stories about the everyday, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes wistful. The animals, the objects, and the subject matter I use are common and ordinary because it grounds the narrative in the familiar. Evoking the archetypes of the sheep, the fox, the rabbit and the pig allows me to tell stories about universal interactions, situations, and emotions with my work. By combining these recognizable elements in an unexpected and unfamiliar way, I can leave my tales open to interpretation. My narrative unfolds across the inside, outside, and even the underside of my work. I use the whole piece to invite further exploration. I make my work to be touched, held and used everyday but also to be worthy of notice, of being considered, and being reconsidered.


EDUCATION
Illinois State University, MFA - Ceramics, 2012
College of William and Mary, BA - Ceramics and Elementary Education, 1997

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Presenter, Process Room, NCECA, Milwaukee, WI, 2014
Visiting Artist, Illinois Community College, Peoria, IL 2012 & 2013
Visiting Artist, Union Project, Pittsburg, PA, 2013
Juror, 81st Annual McLean County Amateur Art Competition-Exhibition, 2008

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Adjunct Professor, Illinois Central College, Peoria, IL, 2014 - present
Ceramics Instructor, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL 2012-present
HALO Ceramics Instructor, Heartland Community College, Normal, IL, 2014
Instructor of Record, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 2010-2012
Teaching Assistant, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 2009-2012
Ceramics Instructor, Maude Kerns Art Center & Amazon Community Center, Eugene, OR, 2005 – 2007
3-D Art Teacher, Jones Elementary, Bryan TX, 1999-2001

AFFILIATIONS
National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Member, Communications Committee Member
ArtAxis.org, juried on-line ceramics community
accessCeramics, curated on-line ceramics image collection

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Endless Days of Summer, Illinois Central College, Peoria, IL, 2014
New Work, MudFire Clay Works, Atlanta, GA, 2013
Play, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL, 2013
MFA Thesis Exhibition: Measured Moment, Gallery Two, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 2012
Structure and Surface, Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts, Eugene, OR, 2006
Texture, Form & Function, Wells Community Cultural Center, Lafayette, IN, 2002

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2015
Candyland, MudFire, Athens, GA
Yunomi 2015,AKAR, Iowa City, IA
NCECA Gallery EXPO (18 Hands), Providence, RI
The Functional Canvas, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL

2014
Holiday Treasures, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL
Intimate Cups IV, Clay Mix, Fresno, CA
Plate, MudFire, Athens, GA
CRAFTED, Society of Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA
Our Cups Runneth Over, Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA
Ecovisions, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL
Cup: The Intimate Object X, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL
Featured Artist, 18 Hands Gallery, Houston, TX
NCECA Gallery EXPO (Red Lodge Clay Center), Milwaukee, WI
Featured Artist, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
Yunomi 2014,AKAR, Iowa City, IA
WithIn, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL
On the Surface, Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL

2013
Three Sides of a Coin, Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR
Holiday Treasures, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL
Strictly Functional Pottery National, Market House Craft Center, Lancaster, PA
Bowl Show, Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MA
Cup Show, Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MA
Winterfest 2013, Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, MD
21st Century Sketchbook, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
Define Drawing, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL
Small Favors VIII, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, CA
Ceramacon, Blue Line Arts, Rosevill, CA
Configuration, Jan Brandt Gallery, Bloomington, IL
12th Annual Cup Show, Kent State University Downtown Gallery, Kent, OH
Coffee, Tea #2, Terra Incognito Studios and Gallery, Oak Park, IL
Vase Forms, The Arts Alliance of Georgia & Studio 101, Woodstock, GA
Out of the Blue, The Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula, MT
Drink This!, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA
Functional/Dysfunctional, Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL

2012
Holiday Show, Jan Brandt Gallery, Bloomington, IL
Holiday Treasures, McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL
In Our Neighborhood, McLean County Art Center, Bloomington, IL
5th Annual Cup Show, Amelia Center Gallery, Panama City, FL
Fine Contemporary Craft Exhibition, ArtSpace, Raleigh, NC
Beyond the Brickyard, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Craft Forms, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Last Call II, St. Petersburg Clay Company, St. Petersburg, FL

1997-2011
Cups and Coffee, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2011
TEA, McLean County Art Center, Bloomington, IL, 2011
Student Biennial, University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, IL,
2010
Small Favors IV, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2009
Holiday Treasures, McLean County Art Center, Bloomington, IL, 2009
National Juried Cup Exhibition, LUX Center for the Arts, Lincoln, NE, 2009
Ink, Paper, Clay, Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR, 2009
Cup: The Intimate Object VI, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL, 2009
Made in Clay, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY, 2007
Gifted: Part I, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2007
Potter’s Festival, Crow Valley Pottery, Eastsound, WA, 2007
Flower Power: Vessels of Containment, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2007
The New Aesthetics of Ceramics, Robert E. Wilson Gallery, Huntington University, Huntington, IN, 2007
Attention to Detail, Lower Columbia College Gallery, Longview, WA, 2007
Gifted, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2006
Mastery in Clay, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2006
ClayFest 2006, Christal DeHaan Fine Arts Center, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, 2006
Cup: The Intimate ObjectIV, Charlie Cummings Clay Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, 2006
The Cup, Sacramento Metropolitan Art's Commission, Sacramento, CA, 2006
History in the Making, Genesee Pottery, Rochester, NY, 2006
From Our Perspective, Oakland Community College, Farmington Hills, MI, 2006
Mayors Art Show, Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR, 2006
Patterns in Clay, Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY (Patterns in Clay Award), 2006
Poetry of a Cup, Territorial Vineyard, Eugene, OR, 2006
Tea Cups, Tea Bowls and Tumblers, Susan Maasch Fine Art, Portland, MA, 2006
Cup: The Intimate Object IV, Charlie Cummings Clay Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, 2005
In Our Cups, Lockhart Gallery, Geneso, NY (Shane Shanahan Purchase Award), 2005
Mayors Art Show, Jacobs Gallery, Eugene, OR, 2005
Cup: The Intimate Object III, Charlie Cummings Clay Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, 2004
Senior Exhibition, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (Presidential Purchase Award), 1997

PUBLICATIONS
Hall, Sherman. "Exposure." Ceramics Monthly, February, 2013, p. 24
Hemachandra, Ray. 500 Vases :Ccontemporary Explorations of a Timeless Form. New York: Lark Crafts, 2010
Beach, Polly. “The Gallery.” ClayTimes, (July/August 2006)
Hall, Sherman. "Emerging Artists 2006." Ceramics Monthly 54, no. 5 (May 2006): 33.

COLLECTIONS
The President’s Collection, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA


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