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Artist: Nick DeVries


Artist: Nick Devries
Nick DeVries, MINNESOTA
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I make pots because I really can’t imagine not doing so. My work has long been about a contrast of ideas or motifs, largely a contrast between human made structures and more naturally occurring phenomena. I think about the structure or the form of my pots as being referential to architecture or in the very least referencing controlled forms that are rarely found in nature. My surfaces and colors have long been more suggestive of naturally occurring surfaces,
or surfaces that has been acted upon by the elements; sun fading, wind scalding, rusting. Through my pots I have long sought to engage in dialectic discourse between these two positions; human made or impacted and the natural world. At times these two positions interact somewhat harmoniously, and at other times the contradictions between them create conflict. I try to not privilege either position and I explore them with the visual language of clay without a defined objective, rather as a creative, emotional, and intellectual pursuit. My latest body of work emerged out of an interest in exploring new materials with the intention of finding out how material changes would affect both the final outcome of the work as well as the creative process. For years I worked primarily in porcelain with a focus on complex, layered glaze surfaces. This new work explores earthenware and a simple approach to surface design using two slips and simple newsprint stencils. The work leans more heavily into a design space, as the planes of the pots become canvas-like areas to explore. The lines and patterns more directly reference architecture or even roads and highways while the glazed surfaces continue to suggest natural surfaces like wood or stone. The exposed clay also allows for a very direct interaction with the material itself. A secondary exploration of these materials includes utilizing some of my former glazing techniques on the slipped earthenware surfaces. These pots look backwards towards previous works while moving forward with the new materials. The result of this body of work is a bold and at times direct representation of architecture while still allowing for personal reflection from an audience. The work is at once complex and direct, and due to the nature of functional pots, disarming and approachable.


EDUCATION

1997-2001 Saint Johns University, Collegeville, MN, B.A. with major in Studio Art, concentrations in Painting and Ceramics

2003 
Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN, Firing Methods - Soda and reduction firing class


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Grey Fox Pottery – Arden Hills, MN December 2002-April 2011
Senior Potter/Quality Control Manager

Edina Art Center – Edina, MN
Ceramics Instructor Winter 2008-Spring 2011

Thursday night clay studio instructor
Northern Clay Center – Minneapolis, MN
Ceramics Instructor Winter 2006, Winter 2007

Wheel instructor
Loso Pottery – St. Joseph, MN
Studio Assistant/Apprentice Summers of 1999, 2000, and 2001

Assisted studio potter Jim Loso in the daily operations of his pottery studio
Fired studio kilns: electric, gas reduction, and raku
Assisted with art shows across the Midwest


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
2019 Third National Juried and invitational Exhibition of Cups – Hudgens
Center for Art and Learning, Duluth, GA
2019 Yunomi Invitational – AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2019 4th Annual Ceramics Invitational – Radius Gallery, Missoula, MT
2019 Featured Artist – Charlie Cummgings Gallery, Gainesville, FL
2019 Edge, Focus, Design – Schaller Gallery, St Joseph, MI
2018 Exquisite Forms – Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL
2018 New Works in Clay, MN Grant Show – Ripple River Gallery, Aitkin, MN
2017 The Intimate Object – Charlie Cummings Gallery, Gainesville, FL
2017 For the Table – Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH
2017 Functional Ceramics – Wayne Center for the Arts, Wooster, OH
2017 Last Call II – Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN
2017 Texture – Schaller Gallery, St Joseph, MI
2017 Residency Exhibition – Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND
2016 The Cup, The Mug – Main Street Arts Gallery, Clifton Springs, NY
2016 Americano Invitational – Akar Gallery, Iowa City, IA
2015 Strictly Functional Pottery National 2015 – Lancaster, PA
2015 Yunomi Invitational: AKAR – Iowa City, IA
2014 Yunomi Invitational: AKAR – Iowa City, IA
2014 Pour 2014: Terra Incognito – Oak Park, IL
2013 Cherry Creek Art Festival – Denver, CO Exhibitor
2012 The Perfect Plate: Lillstreet Art Center – Chicago, IL
2012 Mug Shots: National Juried Cup Exhibition 2012
LUX Center for the Arts – Lincoln, NE
2012 Coffee, Tea or . . . ? – Terra Incognito Studios, Oak Park, IL
2012 Made For Each Other: A show of functional ceramics in pairs and sets
Studio 550 Art Center – Manchester, NH
2012 Daily Companions: Cups, Mugs, Tea Bowls – Baltimore Clay Works,
Baltimore, MD
2012 The 5 th international Texas Teapot Tournament – 18 Hands Gallery,
Houston, TX
2011 Fourth Annual Cup Show: Form and Function – Gulf Coast State College,
Panama City, FL
2011 It’s Only Clay: Bemidji Community Art Center – Bemidji, MN
Purchase Award
2011 Starbrick Clay National Cup Show – Starbrick Gallery, Nelsonville, OH
2011 Compelled by Clay: Solo Show – Ripple River Gallery, Aiken, MN
2011 Teapot Invitational – The Grand Hand Gallery, St. Paul, MN
2010 Containers 2010 – The Meyers Gallery at Muddy’s Studio, Santa Ana, CA
2007 7th Annual National Juried Cup Show – Kent State University, School of
Art – Kent, OH
2007 It’s Only Clay – Bemidji Community Art Center, Bemidji, MN
Margaret Harlow Ceramic Collection purchase award
2007 Artists of the NCC –Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
2007 Faculty Show – Edina Art Center, Edina, MN

PUBLICATIONS
2016 Pitchers, Teapots, Cups, and Mugs: Ceramics Arts Select Series
2015 Ceramics Monthly: “Divergent Aesthetics” (Cover Photo) December Issue
2013 500 Teapots Volume 2: Lark Crafts
2012 Ceramics Monthly: “Exposure” September issue

WORKSHOPS, RESIDENCIES, AWARDS
2019 Working Pots IV: Mugs Juror – James May Gallery, Algoma, WI
2018 FY 2018 Artist Initiative Grantee from MN State Arts Board
2017 June, Potters Shop Workshop: Thrown and Altered Porcelain
2017 April, Artist in Residence – Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND
2015 MATC; Workshop Madison WI
2014 Edina Art Center: Elements and Principles of Design in Clay


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