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Artist: Maria Dondero


Maria Dondero, GEORGIA

View Artist's Available Work

 

BIO

Maria Dondero has lived in Athens, GA for 20 years now and considers it her home. Born in Yaoundé Cameroon, the youngest of five children, her large family and travel has influenced her work greatly. A love of eating delicious food and an appreciation for how the presentation of that food adds to the experience lead her to pottery. She took her first class while living in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2000, fell in love and has been making pots and teaching ever since. Following in her family’s footsteps, Dondero continued to study and work abroad, being particularly influenced by terracotta in Italy, talavera in Mexico, and slipware in Japan.

In May 2008, she completed her MFA at the University of Georgia. After teaching adjunct Ceramics for a year, in September 2009, she opened up a studio/gallery in Athens and started making work with the name Marmalade Pottery. In January 2016, she renovated an old heating & air manufacturer into a larger studio and gallery. With the name Southern Star Studio, she rents spaces out to many local ceramicists. The studio provides space for a vibrant community of artists and a gallery to present their work. Dondero’s pots are represented in galleries all over the country, and she participates in many invitational and juried shows and online sales. She has taught at Universities and workshops nationwide. While teaching Ceramics in Italy with the UGA study Abroad program in 2022, Dondero met 3 women opening a ceramics studio in Cortona, Italy. She joined the collective, making the owners of Tuscan Clay Lab 4 mothers from Italy, France, Canada & the US. She is delighted to be the main potter on board and have reason to travel, work and teach in Italy!

In January 2012, she gave birth to twin boys and now splits her time between pottery, teaching and them. The characters she draws on her pots now tend to show up in twos… Her work focuses on functional pottery whose aesthetics draw on the age old and worldwide history of ceramics. While subtly referencing pottery traditions from around the world, Maria intuitively sketches images from her surroundings, grounding her work in the Georgia soil.

 

Artist Statement

I love pots and am honored to make pieces that people bring into their lives. I love eating and am amazed at the way a delicious meal becomes an even more beautiful experience by being served in a thoughtful, handmade dish. I love drinking tasty things and feel connected to the maker when I choose a particular cup to bring to my lips. These daily rituals creating beauty in experience are what have kept me interested in making pots for the last 20 years. I aim to create friendly pots that are warm, comfortable, loose and vulnerable. Pieces that folks will enjoy having around. 

I connect to pottery for the rich, long world-wide history of potters who have made art objects to be used in everyday life. I choose terracotta for the rich color and the likeness to Georgia Clay. I use a kaolin slip to add texture and a surface to draw back into. I respond to the form itself with imagery from my life and surroundings. I seek to balance the immediacy of quickly sketched drawings with the permanence of a piece of pottery that could be around long after I am.  

C.V.

Dondero is a professional potter participating in invitational gallery shows and teaching workshops nationwide since 2008.  In 2016 she opened Southern Star Studio, a community pottery studio and gallery. In 2023, she started an international cooperative Ceramics Studio in Cortona, Italy with 3 other mothers.

 

EDUCATION

University of Georgia / MFA, Ceramics
2005 - 2008, Athens, GA
University of Georgia / BFA, Ceramics, AB, Spanish
2001 - 2005, Athens, GA

 

EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE

University of Georgia Cortona Study Abroad / Part-time Instructor
Fall 2022, Cortona, Italy
Beginning, Intermediate & Advanced Ceramics

University of Georgia / Part-time Instructor
Fall 2021 / Fall 2018 / Summer & Fall 2014 / Spring & Fall 2013 / Summer 2011, Athens, GA
Beginning, Intermediate & Advanced Ceramics

Gainesville State College, Oconee Campus / Part-time Instructor
Spring 2011, Watkinsville, GA
Three-Dimensional Design, foundations class

Oconee County Arts Foundation / Ceramics Instructor
September 2009-2012, Watkinsville, GA
Beginning & Intermediate Throwing, Special Topic classes: Pouring & Drinking, Plates, Tiles & Platters

University of Georgia / Part-time Instructor
January-May 2009 / June-August 2009 / June-August 2008, Athens, GA
Beginning, Intermediate & Advanced Ceramics. Designed curriculums including hand-building, throwing, sculpture, glaze formulation & kiln instruction.

Good Dirt Clay Studio / Ceramics Instructor
2009-2011, Athens, GA
Beginning throwing class, & 4 week intensive workshop on cone 1 electric kiln fired loose pottery: focus on surface design, slip-work and sgraffito.

University of Georgia Cortona Studies Abroad / Ceramic Studio Assistant
August-November 2006 / June-August 2002, Cortona, ITALY
Teaching assistant and studio tech in Medieval school building in Cortona

Sandy Creek Nature Center / Environmental Education Intern
August 2001-June 2002, Athens, GA

Ingles Interactivo / English as a Second Language Teacher
Fall 2001, San Luis Potosi, MEXICO
Taught all levels of English to high school and adult students in San Luis Potosi

Meadowbrook Elementary School / Teaching Assistant
1999-2000, Hartland, VT

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2023
“Pairs Valentines Show” Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI
“Potters of Madison County” Marshall, NC

2022
“American Pottery Festival” Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
“Athens Georgia Group Exhibition” Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI
“Making it Big- Large Pots by 5 Women Potters” The Signature Shop, Atlanta, GA
“All from Athens” In Tandem Gallery, Bakersfield, NC
“Pouring II, Filling the Cup” Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI
“Potters of Madison County” Marshall, NC

2021
“Ron Meyers & Friends: Athens Georgia Roundup” Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI
“The Table” The Signature Shop, Atlanta, GA
“Animal III, Reality & Mythology” Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI 

2020
“Strong, Resilient, Feminine” Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI
“Animals All Around Us” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
“Potters of Madison County” In Tandem Gallery, Bakersfield, NC
“Functional Canvas V” Charlie Cummings Gallery, Tampa, FL
“Pattern, etc.” Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI
“The Table” The Signature Shop, Atlanta, GA

2019
“Berry Bowl Invitational” The Signature Shop, Atlanta, GA
“Third National Juried & Invitational Exhibition of Cups” The Hudgens Center, Duluth, GA
“Small Favors” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA (Invitational)
“Potters of Madison County” Marshall, NC, (Invitational)

2018
“American Pottery Festival” Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN (Invitational)
“Southern Table” Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art, Demorest, GA (Invitational)
“I ♥ Ceramic Surface” Gandee Gallery, Fabius, NY (Invitational)
“Ron Meyers: Family Tree” Urban Tree, Pittsburgh, PA (Invitational)
“Functional Ceramic Exhibition”, Ohio Craftsmen Museum, Wooster, OH (Invitational)

2017
“Platter Invitational” The Signature Shop, Atlanta, GA
“Summer Swan Invitational” Swan Coach House Gallery, Atlanta, GA
“National Teapot Show X” Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC (Invitational)
“15th annual Perspectives: GA Pottery Invitational,” OCAF, Watkinsville, GA (Invitational)
“Bottoms up”, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM (Invitational)
“Cup: Intimate Object XII”, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL (Invitational)

2016
“Designed + Crafted” The Signature Shop pop up, Atlanta, GA (Invitational)
“Yunomi Invitational” AKAR, Iowa City, IA (Invitational)
“Featured Artists from New Ceramics Surface Design” Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
“Cup: Intimate Object XII”, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL (Invitational)
“Invitational Pottery & Handmade Objects Show & Sale” Hambidge Center for Creative Arts, Rabun Gap, GA
“Cup: Intimate Object XII”, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL (Invitational)

2015
“100 Artists, 1000 Cups” The Clay Studio at NCECA, Kansas City, MO (Invitational)
“The Figure in Clay” Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM (Invitational)
“Ceramix” Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, by the Signature Shop, Atlanta, GA (Invita- tional)
“The Crafted Table”, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA (Invitational)
“Clay, Form, Surface: UGA Clay Now” Hudgens Center for the Arts, Roswell, GA (Invitational)
“Designed + Crafted” The Signature Shop pop up, Atlanta, GA (Invitational)

2014
“Yunomi Invitational” AKAR, Iowa City, IA (Invitational)
“Neighbors Ceramics Exhibition & Sale”, Julie Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, AL, Juried by Chris Staley
“Steinfest”, Claymakers Gallery, Durham, NC (Invitational)
“National Teapot Show IX” Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor, NC (Invitational)
“Designed + Crafted” The Signature Shop pop up, Atlanta, GA (Invitational)

2013
“One & Only Exhibition”, John Michael Kohler Arts Center- Kohler, WI (Invitational)
“Friends and Influences: An Artist-in-Residence Invitational, Missoula, MT
“Fierce, Fragile, Influx”, Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid, NY
“Cup: Intimate Object IX”, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL (Invitational)

“Steinfest”, Claymakers Gallery, Durham, NC (Invitational)
“Yunomi Invitational” AKAR, Iowa City, IA (Invitational)
“Meyers and Dondero: Painters or Potters?”, The Kiln Gallery, Fairhope, AL
“Cup: Intimate Object XII”, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL (Invitational)

2012
“Cup: Intimate Object VIII”, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL
“10th annual Perspectives: GA Pottery Invitational,” OCAF, Watkinsville, GA (Invitational)
“C.U.P.S.,” Blue Spiral Gallery, Asheville, NC (Invitational)

2011
“Take Flight,” Aurum Gallery, Athens, GA (Invitational)
“Gifted,” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA (Invitational)
“Perspectives: Georgia Pottery Invitational” OCAF, Watkinsville, GA (Invitational)
“Pairings,” Carbondale Clay Center, Carbondale, CO (Invitational)
“Art of the Pot,” Guest Artist at Ryan McKerley’s Studio, Austin, TX (Invitational)
“La Mesa,” Tampa, FL (NCECA Invitational)
“American Pottery Festival” Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN (Invitational)

2010
“3 Athens Potters: Ron Meyers, Geoff Pickett and Maria Dondero”, The Kiln Studio & Gallery, Fairhope, AL (Invitational)
“La Mesa”, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM (Invitational)
“Perspectives: Georgia Pottery Invitational” OCAF, Watkinsville, GA (Invitational)
“3 + 3: Influence & Invitation” Terra Incognito Gallery, Oak Park, IL (Invitational)
“Small Favors” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA (Invitational)

2009
“La Mesa” Santa Fe Clay presents at NCECA, Philadelphia, PA (Invitational)
“8 Fluid Ounces” Glassell Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA (Juried/Invitational)
“Gifted” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA (Invitational)
“Cups” Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM (Invitational)
“New Work” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA (Solo Show)
“Perspectives: Pottery Line Up” Oconee County Arts Foundation, Watkinsville, GA (Invitational)

2008
“La Mesa” at NCECA, Santa Fe Clay, at the Wyndum Hotel, Phoenix, AZ (Invitational)
“Floral Explorations” Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM (Invitational)
“Unique Blend” Blueseed Studio, Saranac Lake, NY (Invitational)
“Body Double” UGA Alumni Center, Atlanta, GA (Invitational)
“Masters of Fine Arts Exhibition” Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA

2007
“La Mesa” at NCECA, Santa Fe Clay, at the Wyndham Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA (Invitational)
“8 Fluid Ounces” LSU Glassel Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA (Juried Exhibition)
“LaGrange National XXV” Lamar Dodd Art Center, LaGrange, GA (Juried Exhibition)
“Graduate Ceramics Group Show” Clayton Street Gallery, Athens, GA (Invitational)

2006
“Salt Fired Terracotta” Thompson Gallery, Athens, GA (Solo Exhibition)
“Mostra” Piazza Republica, Cortona, ITALY

2005
“UGA Grad Ceramics Group Show” Lyndon House, Athens, GA (Invitational)
“Octant” BFA Exit Show, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Athens, GA
“Clay Cup Show X” Southern Illinois University Carbondale, University Museum, Carbondale, IL (Juried Exhibition)
“Designed + Crafted” The Signature Shop pop up, Atlanta, GA (Invitational)

 

PUBLICATIONS

2020
Ceramics Monthly, Article, “Tips & Tools; Adjustable Shelving,”December 2020, p. 60-61
Studio Potter, “A Quarantine Meditation: A Feminist Celebration,” StudioPotter.org, October 2020

2019
Voyage ATL , “Art & Life with Maria Dondero,” VoyageATL.com, June 2019

2017
Ceramics Monthly, Cover Feature and article, “Pour-over Coffee; The Endless Possibilities,”
December 2017, p. 30-33
Flagpole Newspaper; Cover Feature, August 23, 2017, Volume 31 p. 9

2016
Athens Banner Herald, “New Athens Pottery Studio along Train Tracks holds Opening Sale,” May 6, 2016
100 Artists 1000 Cups, Naomi Clearly & Pete Pinell, Kirkwood Printing 2016, p. 51-52

2015
New Ceramic Surface Design Handbook, Molly Hatch, Quarto Publishing Group, 2015, p.140-141
Southern Living, “Local Guides,” June 2015, p. G12

2014
The Red and Black, “Ceramic Queens,” September 14, 2014

 

AWARDS/GRANTS/ASSISTANTSHIPS/SCHOLARSHIPS

March 2020
Athens Area Arts Council Quarterly Grant for Arts, “Connecting Arts to the Community,” Athens, GA

September 2010
Studio Assistant Scholarship at Arrowmont Craft School, Gatlinburg, TN
Full scholarship awarded to assist Ron Meyers

June 2009
Lucy Morgan Scholarship at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC
Full scholarship awarded to take Ayumi Horie’s class: “Making good work and getting it out there”

Spring 2008 / Fall 2007
Teaching Assistantship, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Full scholarship and stipend. Taught Beginning Throwing and Beginning Ceramics

Fall 2006-Spring 2007
Dorothy McCrae Ceramics Scholarship, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

 

WORKSHOPS/LECTURES

August 2020
3 Potters Symposium, Josh Copus, Fred Johnston & Maria Dondero, The Bascom, Highlands, NC

September 2018
Featured artist slide presentation at the American Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

Wise Woman Panel: “What’s the Story Morning Glory?”, Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

September 2017
“Telling stories in pottery”, Mary Olsen’s studio, Santa Fe, NM

October 2011
“Throwing Loosely,” Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth, GA

July 2011
“Expressive Pots in the Electric Kiln,” Weekend Workshop at the Kiln Studio & Gallery, Fairhope, AL

October 2010, January 2011
“Narrative Pottery: A Contemporary Spin on an Age-Old Custom” Reynolds Plantation, Dahlonega, GA & Greensboro, GA 

June 2008
“Electric Fired Terra Cotta Pots” 4 week intensive course on producing interesting firing results in an electric kiln. Good Dirt. Athens, GA

August 2006
Arrowmont Scholarship, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN Full scholarship awarded to take Jason Hess’s Anagama Woodfiring Workshop


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