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Artist: Mike Gesiakowski


Artist: Mike Gesiakowski
Mike Gesiakowski, ILLINOIS
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 In my work I investigate the process of physical and cognitive degradation by using the construct of architecture to question our perceptions of memory and our concept of place. I draw inspiration from degraded and weatherworn buildings and their ornamentation: aged stone and terra cotta facades, fractured adornment and other architectural components left to the elements. My aim is to capture the unperceived intricacy of this ongoing process of deterioration.

 My work presents narratives of the impermanence of memory, and by creating a connection with man-made structures I’m looking to reveal the correlations between architecture and our recollections, that being the slow erosion of both over long periods of time. The degraded forms and surfaces are metaphors for our individual memories and how these decay over the course of a lifetime, obscuring the line between veritable facts and the accuracy of our own recollections. The bright, enlivened surfaces offer a contradiction to this state of decline, as memories are altered and embellished through imprecise remembrance. Similarly, the two-dimensional imagery in the work is a flattened representation of the three-dimensional ornament found within architecture of the last century. This diminished dimensionality conveys the transformative aspects of our experiences from real world existence to the stored information in our minds.

 The engagement between the deteriorated forms and the obscured surfaces suggest a temporal and spatial connection to our own brief, chronicled existence.

 

EDUCATION
Masters of Fine Art/Ceramics – Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL 2015

Bachelor of Fine Arts/Design – Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 1998

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
2016-Present Ceramics Instructor, John Burroughs School, St. Louis, MO

2015 Beginning Ceramics, Instructor of Record, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL

2014 Beginning Sculpture, Instructor of Record, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL

2003-2007 Adjunct Instructor of Art, Kishwaukee College, Malta, IL

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2015 Crafted, Curator, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL

2013-2014 Gallery/Marketing Assistant, GA position, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL

2012-2013 Studio Technician, GA position, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL

2012 Anagama Kiln Build, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

2010 Catenary Train Kiln Build, Mill Creek Pottery, Gresham, WI

2009 Demonstration Workshop, Kishwaukee Community College, Malta, IL

APPRENTICESHIPS/ RESIDENCIES
2013 Artist in Residence, Wingate Scholar, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

2010-2011 Apprentice to Simon Levin, Mill Creek Pottery, Gresham, WI

EXHIBITIONS
2017 Louis’s Legacy: Artists Respond to Louis Sullivan, Edwardsville Art Center, Edwardsville, IL

Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Last Call II, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN

2016 Beyond the Brickyard, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

Lineage: 41 Years of SIUE MFAs, 50th NCECA Conference, Kansas City, MO

Southern Miss Ceramics National, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS

Waubonsee Invitational, Emergent Gallery, Aurora, IL

Sculpture on Campus Revisited, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL

2015 30 x 5, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Rebuilding Perception, MFA Thesis, Edwardsville Art Center, Edwardsville, IL

Apprentice Lines, 49th NCECA Conference, Pawtucket, RI

NCECA National Juried Student Exhibition, 49th NCECA Conference, Providence, RI

SIUE MFA Exhibition, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL

Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

2014 Small Works, Wood River, IL

Archie Bray Resident Exhibition, 48th NCECA Conference, Milwaukee, WI

NCECA National Juried Student Exhibition, 48th NCECA Conference, Milwaukee, WI

30 x 5, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

MFA Invitational, St. Charles Community College, St. Charles, MO

Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

SIUE MFA Exhibition, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL

2013 Iowa Seeds, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA

Ceramics Exhibition, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL

SIUE Ceramics Invitational, Greenville College, Greenville, IL

Resident Artist Exhibition, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

SIUE MFA Exhibition, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL

2012 SIUE Graduate Exhibition, St. Louis Community College - Meramec, St. Louis, MO

Drink This!, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA

It’s Only Clay, Bemidji Community Arts Center, Bemidji, MN

American Apprentice, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT

The Perfect Plate, Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL

2011 Cup Invitational, Clay on Steele, Algoma, WI

2010 Strictly Functional Pottery National, Market House Craft Center, East Petersburg, PA

Tea Bowl National, KC Clay Guild, Kansas City, MO

2009 The Vessel Interpreted, Kishwaukee College, Malta, IL

Muddy’s Wood Fire Classic, Myers Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

AWARDS
David C. Huntley Founder’s Award

SIUE Friends of Art Honor Award in Studio Arts

Martha Holden Graduate Award in Ceramics

John & Kay Kendall Ceramics Award

Carey G. Orness Award in Sculpture

PERMANENT COLLECTIONS
Archie Bray Foundation, Permanent Collection, Helena, MT

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Permanent Collection, Edwardsville, IL
    


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