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Artist: Michelle Ettrick


Michelle Ettrick, PENNSYLVANIA

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Artist Statement

I was a non-English speaking 13-year old when I arrived in the United States in 1982. Life in Brooklyn, New York was a stark contrast to my early memories of Panama and the simple joys of climbing trees and playing with my friends while my mom was nearby hanging clothes on the line. As an Afro-Latina, I struggled to find a community that would accept me and where I felt I belonged.  My own identity was regularly challenged by others who judged me by the texture of my hair or the fact that I spoke Spanish fluently and struggled to communicate in English. When judged by adults and my peers, my hair was “too good” to be considered black and the color of my skin was too dark to be speaking Spanish. In addition to the hardships, I have many fond memories of my time in New York.  Brooklyn is where I learned about double dutch and cooling off from the New York summer heat in the open fire hydrants. 

I love being a maker and clay is my medium of choice. Clay is a very personal material to me. When I put my hands in the clay and my fingers get lost in the mixture, for the moment, we become one. I stretch pull, pinch and form shapes where I leave evidence of my having been there. I follow up by drawing on my work where I embrace my natural curly hair, heritage, womanhood and at times current worldly struggles.  My artwork is a record of my experiences as an Afro-Latina American.

 

Bio

Michelle Ettrick is an Afro-Latina ceramic artist living in Pennsylvania. She was born in the Republic of Panama. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 13 leaving behind her language and culture. She grew up in Brooklyn and years later moved to the Bronx. A single mom at 28 years old, Michelle moved her young family to Florida in search of a better life for her children. During this time, she encountered many struggles and after many years of fighting to survive, homelessness. After this low point, she and her two young adult children all enrolled in college in 2011. While attended the College of Central Florida, Michelle discovered her unending love for clay. In 2015, she was accepted to the University of Florida where she received her BFA in Ceramics.  In 2016, Michelle was awarded the Multicultural fellowship by the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts (NCECA.)  She completed her Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at Penn State University in 2019. Michelle now teaches at Penn State Altoona and maintains a productive studio practice. Her work has been shown in nationally in the United States.

 

Shows:

2021 - Yunomi Invitational, CLAYAKAR, Iowa City, IA (upcoming)

2021 - Autobiography, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL - Solo Show (upcoming)

2021 - TEXT Messages, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN - Invitational (upcoming)

2021 - The Table, Above Board Ceramics, New Haven, CT - Invitational

2021 - Last Call, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN - Invitational

2021- Mug Madness, Saltstone Ceramics, - juror

2020 - Cups: The intimate Object XVI, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL - Invitational

2020 - Materials Mugs V: Underglaze, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN, - Invitational

2020 - Part Time Professor of Art  Pennsylvania State University, Altoona PA Campus

2020 - Summer is Served: Plates, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL - Invitational

2020 – Criss Cross (CXC) Online Showing and sale –(Called NCECA Show) Group Show

2019 - Part Time Professor of Art  Pennsylvania State University, Altoona PA Campus (Current)

2019 - Osaze Was a Freedom Fighter, HUB Roberson Galleries, State College PA – Group Show

2019 - Cups: The intimate Object XV, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL – Invitational

2018 - Never Give UP – Solo Thesis Exhibition- Pennsylvania State University

2019 - Penn State Donors - Penn State Presidents House, State College PA- Invitational

2019 - Ceramic Artist of Color exhibition, Minnesota African American Museum, NCECA 2019

2019-  Mugshot 2, Mojo Coffee Gallery, NCECA 2019, Minneapolis Minnesota

2019 - Keystone Clay: West, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore MD - Invitational

2019 - Student Ceramic Showcase, Palmer Museum, State College, PA - Invitational

2019 - Pentacullum 2019, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts – Invitational

2019 – Amaco-Brent 50th Anniversary NCECA Contest. 2nd Place Winner. NCECA 2019

2018 - Clay Café, Patterson Gallery, Pennsylvania State University - Group Shop

2018 - Cups: The intimate Object XIV, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL - Invitational

2018 - Slip & Stick , University Park, PA - Workshop

2018 - Standard Container Show, NCECA, Pittsburg, PA

2018 - Fall Semester Instructor, Art80 Introduction to Ceramics. Penn State University, University Park, PA

2018 - Summer Instructor, Art80 Introduction to Ceramics, Penn State University, University Park, PA

2017 - Spring Semester, Art30 Sculpture for non-majors, Penn State University, University Park, PA

2017 - Studio Tech, managed assistants, mixed clay, glazes. Penn State University, University Park, PA

2017 - First Year MFA Show, Zoller Gallery, University Park, PA - Group Show

2017 - Fake Nuz, The Hush Room, State College, PA - Group Show

2017 - Fine Arts College Council Juried Arts Exhibition, University Gallery, Gainesville, FL

2017 - Cups: The intimate Object XIII, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL - Invitational

2016 - Fall Semester Studio Monitor, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL

2016 - Spring Semester Studio Monitor, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL

2016 - Cups: The intimate Object XII, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL - Invitational

2016 - Trading Spaces Exhibition, Grinter Gallery, Gainesville, FL

2015 - Cups: The intimate Object XI, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL - Invitational

2015 - Juried student art show, College of Central Florida, Webber Gallery, Ocala, FL

2014 - Cups: The intimate Object X, Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL - Invitational

2014 - Juried student art show, College of Central Florida, Webber Gallery, Ocala, FL

 

Languages:

English/Spanish

 

Education:

Pennsylvania State University 

MFA 2017-2019

 

University of Florida

​BFA – Ceramics

2015-2017 

College of Central Florida

Associate of Arts

 


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