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Artist: Guillermo Cuellar



Guillermo Cuellar, MINNESOTA
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I fell in love with the potter's wheel in college. Inspired by Bernard Leach’s "A Potter's Book,” I wanted to become a part of the historical sweep of this ancient and vital art.

Traveling in Venezuela where I was born, I came across the baskets, pots, weaving and woodwork of native Indian people. It was not only the handwork I loved but also how these objects brought people together as the focus of almost every activity. The way these people integrate their art with their lives remains an ideal to me, as I have chosen to make pots for daily use, for the preparation and sharing of food.

BIOGRAPHY

Guillermo Cuellar was born in Venezuela and currently lives in Shafer, Minnesota. He became a studio potter in 1980 after studying Art at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. Summer experience from 1984-2006 with friend and mentor Warren MacKenzie informs his studio practice to this day.

Cuellar is a full-time potter, who has given workshops from Penland School of Crafts in NC to Taller Huara Huara and Curaumilla Art Center in Chile.

Since 2009, Cuellar has been a host studio on the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour and now co-hosts with his potter daughter Alana Cuellar.  www.minnesotapotters.com 

In 2012 he was featured on the TPT series Minnesota Original and participated in the documentary Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire that explores mentorship in Minnesota. In 2023, Cuellar was one of 12 artists featured in the book Latin Art in Minnesota.

Education/Training

BA in Art (Honors), French and Geology from Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA, 1976

Shared workshop experience with Warren MacKenzie, summers 1984-2006

Self-employed as studio potter, 1980-present

 

Grants and Awards

2023 Creative Support for Individuals Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

2022 Creative Support for Individuals Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

2021 Creative Support for Individuals Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

2019 Arts Learning Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

2012 Artist Initiative Grant in Visual Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

2011 East Central Arts Council/McKnight Individual Artist Grant, Mora, MN

2006 Artist Initiative Grant in Visual Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

1997 Vicente Emilio Sojo Silver Medal for Influence in Advancement of Culture in the State of Miranda, Caracas, Venezuela

Collections

Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN

Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND

Mashiko Municipal Pottery Art Museum, Mashiko, Japan

Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA

Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, MN

Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN

Banco Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela

Galería Nacional de Arte, Caracas, Venezuela

Media

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, MN

Documentary: Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire.

Minnesota Original/Twin Cities Public Television, St. Paul, MN

Guillermo Cuellar, Episode #314.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 Subtle Variations, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

2015 For Our Daily Lives, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

2014 Guillermo Cuellar: St. Croix Stoneware, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI

2013 Strong, Gracious, Useful, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI

2010 Guillermo Cuellar Solo Exhibition, Schaller Gallery, Red Lodge, MT

2006 Guillermo Cuellar, Pottery, Raymond Avenue Gallery, St. Paul, MN

2004 Objects We Live With, AKAR, Iowa City, IA

2003 Guillermo Cuellar, Los Objetos Que Escogemos, Sala Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela

Guillermo Cuellar: Influences and Recent Work, Peter Paul Luce Gallery, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 The Persistence of Mingei: Influence through Four Generations of Ceramic Artists, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN

Pot Spot, NCECA Exhibition, Minneapolis, MN

Variations of Shino, NCECA Exhibition, Minneapolis, MN

Caravan, Concordia Art Center, St. Paul, MN

Simple Cup Invitational, Seattle, WA

2018 Earth and Water: Ceramic Art in the St. Croix Valley, The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI

Strictly Functional Ceramics National, Kevin Lehman Pottery, Lancaster, PA

Functional Ceramics Exhibition, Wayne Center for the Arts, Wooster, OH

On Wheels, Pots by Guillermo and Alana Cuellar, Chilkoot Café & Cyclery, Stillwater, MN

2017 Shino Splendor, District Clay Center, Washington D.C.

A Culture of Pots: The 25th Anniversary of the St. Croix Valley Potters, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN

Warren MacKenzie and Friends, The Grand Hand Gallery, St. Paul, MN

Latino Art Migration, Concordia Art Center, St. Paul, MN

2015 MUD MEN: Works from a Shared Studio by MacKenzie, Cuellar, Branum, TRAX Gallery, Berkeley, CA

2014 MacKenzie’s Influence in the St. Croix, ArtReach St. Croix & St. Croix Galleries, Stillwater, MN

Red River Reciprocity: Contemporary Ceramics in Minnesota and North Dakota, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND

2013 Minnesota to Massachusetts: Sharing the Fire, Lacoste Gallery, Cambridge, MA

2012 Placemakers, MacRostie Art Center, Grand Rapids, MN

Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

2011 Minnesota Nice, Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL

2009 Minnesota Traditions: Potters of the Upper St. Croix River, Roswell Art Center West, Roswell, GA

2008 Nancy MacKenzie fiber for the walls Guillermo Cuellar pots for the table, Howard Conn Fine Arts Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

2007 2006-07 Artist initiative Grantees in Visual and Media Arts Exhibition, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

4 SCORE: Guillermo Cuellar, Julia Galloway, Forrest Lesch-Middleton, Craig Petey, TRAX Ceramics Gallery, Berkeley, CA

1997 Tracing Tradition: Warren MacKenzie, Wayne Branum, Guillermo Cuellar, Barbara Diduk, Shirley Johnson, Randy Johnston, Michael Simon, Sandy Simon, Mike Thiedeman, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

¡Vivan los Artesanos! Fine Crafts from Guatemala, Panamá and Venezuela, 1997 Smithsonian Craft Show, National Building Museum, Washington D. C.

1996 Una Década de Arcilla, Sala Angelmó, Santiago, Chile

XXIII Salón Nacional de las Artes de Fuego, Sala de Exposiciones Braulio Salazar, Valencia, Venezuela

1995 Diez Presencias – Las Artes del Fuego en Venezuela, Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela

Intercambio 3, Cerámica en Pequeño Formato, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

Workshops Given

2015-19 Adamah Clay Studios, Dodgeville, WI

2015-18 Grand Marais Art Colony, Grand Marais, MN

2017 Taller Huara Huara, Santiago, Chile

2016 Penland School of Crafts, Bakersville, NC

Marshalltown High School, Marshalltown, IA

2015 Grand Marais Art Colony, Grand Marais, MN

The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI

2014 Centro de Arte Curaumilla, Curaumilla, Chile

2013 Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire, Arts Center of St. Peter, St. Peter, MN

White Bear Center for the Arts, White Bear Lake, MN

2011 Minnesota Potters: Sharing the Fire, Workshop 1, Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, MN

9th Annual It’s Only Clay National Juried Competition and Exhibition, Bemidji Community Art Center with Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN

Taller Huara Huara, Santiago, Chile

2009 Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester, MN

1998 Taller Huara Huara, Santiago Chile

1991-97 Venezuelan Arts of Fire Association (AVAF), Caracas, Venezuela

1982 Sala Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela

Related Experience

2019 Presenter, NCECA, Minneapolis, MN

2012-18 Board Member, Art Reach St. Croix, Stillwater, MN

Grant review panelist, Artist Initiative Grants FY 2018, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

2016 Grant review panelist, Artist Initiative Grants FY 2017, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

Presenter, Grupo Turgua Experience, Foro Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela

2013 Presenter, Last Chance Gallery, Lutsen, MN

Presenter, White Bear Center for the Arts, White Bear Lake, MN

Visiting Artist, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT

Juror, St. Anthony Park Arts Festival, St. Paul, MN

2012 Grant review panelist, Cultural Community Partnership Grants FY 2013, Minnesota State Arts Board, St. Paul, MN

Juror/Curator, Northern Lights Exhibition, White Bear Center for the Arts, White Bear, MN

2011 Juror/Curator, 9th Annual It’s Only Clay National Juried Competition and Exhibition, Bemidji Community Art Center with Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN

 

Publications

Barbieri, Nelly

El Movimiento Cerámico en Venezuela.

Caracas, Venezuela: Consejo Nacional de la Cultura, 1999.

Ceramics Monthly

Studio Visit: Guillermo Cuellar. Ceramics Monthly, (April 2011: 36-39): Charles Spahr, Westerville, OH, 2011.

Cuellar, Guillermo

Comforting & Enriching. Pottery Making Illustrated (January/February 2019: 22-26): Guillermo Cuellar, Westerville, OH, 2016.

Faceting Thrown Forms. Pottery Making Illustrated (May/June 2016: 12-14): Guillermo Cuellar, Westerville, OH, 2016.

DeSmith, Christy & Hanus, Julie K.

The Open Door & The Disciples. American Craft (December/January 2015: 46-63): Christy DeSmith & Julie K. Hanus, Minneapolis, MN, 2015.

Franklin, William G.

Latin Art in Minnesota, Conversations and What’s Next. (Chapter 5: 93-109): Edina, MN: Afton Press, 2023.

Hluch, Kevin A.

eBook: The Art of Contemporary American Pottery. January 1, 2012.

Ide, Kosuke

Minnesota Mingei, The Legacy of Potter Warren MacKenzie. Subsequence, Arts and Crafts for the Age of Eclectic, (Volume 2: 64-73): Cubism Inc., Tokyo, Japan, 2019.

Koplos, Janet

What Makes a Potter, Functional Pottery in America Today. (Chapter 5: 40-43): Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 2019.

Koplos, Janet

Potteryland. American Craft, (Spring 2023), 42-29.

MacKenzie, Nancy and Warren

Guillermo Cuellar, una nueva dirección.

ESTEKA, Revista de Cerámica Contemporánea. (9:16-18). Santiago, Chile: Huara Huara 1932, 2010.

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

Intercambio 3. México, Puerto Rico, Venezuela. Cerámica en Pequeño Formato. Puerto Rico: Museo de Arte contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, 1995.

Smithsonian

15th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show and International Loan Exhibit, “Vivan los Artesanos”. Washington D. C.: The National Building Museum, 1997.


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