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Artist: Kevin Snipes

Artist: Kevin Snipes
Kevin Snipes, ILLINOIS
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Kevin Snipes was born in Philadelphia, but grew up mostly in Cleveland. He holds a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and did MFA work at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, Florida. From there participated in several artist residency programs, including the Clay Studio, in Philadelphia and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, in New Castle, Maine he was also a visiting artist at Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge. Kevin was recently awarded the year long Taunt Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation in 2008, in Helena, Montana. Kevin combines his love of making unconventional pottery with an obsessive need to draw on everything that he produces, creating a uniquely dynamic body of work.

I am continuously fascinated by the concept of duality. Duality of course, refers to two things which are intrinsically bound together, made of the same stuff. Yet those things are also inherently in opposition with each other. This is nothing new. Such things as lightness and darkness, and day and night, can only exist by acknowledgment of their oppositions and duality. But what I find most interesting is the way that we define one side of the duality is by describing what it is not. In other words, we can only know a thing by defining its opposite. How is it possible to describe what lightness is, for instance, without referring to the concept of darkness, or to describe what rigidity is without describing softness? These thoughts are my starting point in the act of creating.

There are many types of dualities in my work. Look closely and you will find, not just the obvious binaries of male and female drawings on opposing sides of my clay vessels, but also subtler means of communicating my fascination with this two folded view of life. It is my goal that by creating multiple layers of dualities I can develop provocative narratives in each piece.

I often use written text in the form of cartoon-like word bubbles, or notation-like scribbling to give the viewer clues into the unfolding stories. People I know become quirky child like representations of themselves, and fodder for true or completely bogus tales. I like to think of my work as “sweet and spicy”; not too much of either, with a good dash of humor. There is an uncertain sense of edginess or mystery that offers the viewer just enough information, so that they can extrapolate his or her own stories.

As an artist, and as a member of a historically marginalized group, I find that I tend toward nontribalism. Rather than creating art that speaks of love or victimization of African Americans, I speak of the problems underlying the recognition of difference. I work on a personal, intimate level that encourages an almost private investigation of the objects that I make. This act of confrontation that encourages only a single viewer with a single object sets up a dialog, in the nature of subject-to-object relationships and becomes a metaphor for the concept of otherness.

Master of Fine Arts in CeramicsUniversity of Florida, School of Art and Art History Gainesville, Florida
Concentration & Summer StudentPenland School of Crafts Penland, North CarolinaStudied with Ron Dale, Brad Schwieger, Mckenzie Smith Terry Gess
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics with Drawing MinorCleveland Institute of Art Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio

Visiting Artist in Residence Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio Fall semester lecturer and working artist
2 Day Workshop Rhode Island School of Design, Fall semester, slide presentation, demos and graduate critiques
Artist in Residence Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MassachusettsMarie P. Cowen Fellowship recipient
Instructor Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MassachusettsBeginning Wheel Work
Instructor University of Florida, Gainesville, FloridaCeramics: Form and Surface, handbuilding ceramic vessels, Fall 2002 GTA assignment
Fine Arts College Council Representative for the University of Florida’s student run Potters’ Guild
Resident Artist Artist-Invite-Artists Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, New Castle, Maine
Adjunct Professor The University of Akron, Akron, OhioCeramics II, Beginning wheeling throwing class for undergraduate students
Ceramics Teacher Cleveland School of the Arts, Artist-in-Residence ProgramCleveland Public School System, Cleveland, OhioDeveloped and taught curriculum for studio based classes in pottery and sculpture for grades 6th-10th
Teaching Assistant Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland OhioIndividual work with ceramics students, maintenance of ceramic shop

Marie P. Cowen Fellowship in Ceramics Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester Massachusetts
Graduate Minority Fellowship University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Director’s Choice Award Cain Park Arts Festival, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Katherine and Lee Chilcote Foundation Award Drawn Together Exhibition, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Scholarship Recipient Summer Workshop, Michael Simon Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Gund Competition Candidate Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Annette MacNeil Watson Award Cleveland Institute of Art, Ceramics Merit Award, Cleveland, Ohio
OX-BOW Fellowship School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Summer program, Saugatauk, Michigan
Full Scholarship Recipient Blossom Summer Workshop Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Program with Kirk Mangus, Marie Woo & John Gill
June Sherrow Award Excellence in Drawing, Cleveland State UniversitySelectedExhibitions
Lillstreet Art Center Chicago, IllinoisThe Contemporary Cup Curated by Ralph Scala
Florida Craftsmen inc. St Petersburg, FloridaDaily: Courting and Keeping the Muse Curated by Susan Andrews and Carolyn Fellman
Charlie Cummings Clay Studio Fort Wayne, IndianaThe Intimate Cup lll Juror: Peter Beasecker
Worcester Center for Crafts Worcester, MassachusettsTen Hands: CurrentArtists in Resident Show
Santa Fe Clay Santa Fe, New MexicoThe Drawn Surface Jenny Mendes, Ron Meyers, Kevin Snipes & Jason Walker
Louisiana State University, School of Art Gallery Baton Rouge, Louisiana 8 Fluid Ounces
The Society of Arts and Crafts Boston, MassachusettsPortraits2004
Baltimore Clayworks Baltimore, MarylandDiversity in Unity: Contemporary African American CeramicsCurated by David MacDonald and Winnie Owens-Hart
Society of Contemporary Crafts Pittsburg, Pennsylvania Transformation 4: Contemporary Works in CeramicsShow catalog printed
University of North Texas Art Gallery Denton, TexasCeramics 2003 Juror: Doug Casebeer
Exploding Head Gallery Sacramento, CaliforniaAn Affinity for the Cup Juror: Richard Hotchkiss
The Publication’s Art Gallery 999 San Diego, California NCECA27@999: A Teapot Invitational Curator: Heather O’Brien
Centre Gallery University of South Florida, Tampa, FloridaGraduate Ceramics from the University of Florida
Sandusky Cultural Center Sandusky, Ohio (K)NOW CLAY2000The Wayne Center for the Arts Wooster, Ohio Functional Ceramics 2000
2000 & 1998
Cleveland Institute of Art Cleveland, OhioDrawn Together, Annual Exhibition of Alumni Art
Avanti Gallery Cleveland, OhioCleveland Institute of Art Alumni Exhibition 1999NCECA Columbus, OhioStorefront Installation Project
The Clay Studio Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaTiles
1998 &1997
Gordon Beale Frank Gallery Cleveland, OhioThe Quintessential Mug
1997 & 1996
Gordon Beale Frank Gallery Cleveland, OhioThe Tea Party
Arrowmont School of Crafts Gatlinburg, TennesseeUtilitarian Clay II: Celebrate the Object
University of Akron Akron, OhioAncestral Voices, Afro American Artists
Pro Forma, Murray Hill Art Walk Cleveland, Ohio Secrets and Menaces Drawings on Clay: Kevin Snipes/Preston Williams

500 Figures in Clay, Lark Books
Evolving a Tradition, The University of Florida Ceramics Program, Ceramics Monthly May p. 38
Functional Ceramics 2000 Ceramics Monthly, October p. 37
Utilitarian Clay II Ceramics Monthly, January p.48

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