Artist Page: A. Blair Clemo
A. Blair Clemo, MICHIGAN
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My current work is primarily made from both wheel-thrown and press molded pieces combined into utilitarian forms. The visual language of wheel throwing provides me a link to contemporary studio pottery practice and references making through skilled craft. Also evident in the finished work is the repetition of using molds. The mark of the mold remains obvious in the work and reveals a serialized method of making. Combined, these ways of making question how we assess the value of one-off hand making versus more industrialized serial production.
The ornament that makes up this work begins as a press molded strip of fancy clay. As it becomes form, it is squished and distorted by the acting of scoring, pinching and assembling. What remains is a tangible display of the struggle between form and ornament. The more complex and visually assertive the form becomes the more the ornament recoils, yielding to the demands of form and utility. The illusion of meticulous ornamentation is threatened by the act of making pots.
Much of my work is glazes in a maganese saturated glaze, resulting in a metallic facade on the surface. At first glance, the viewer may expect that the object is cast from precious metal, the form and surface heavily referencing ornate silver service ware. Upon closer viewing, the facade becomes evident and calls into question how we access an objects value based on the material it is made from.
The red claybody also comments on material value. It is smooth and vitreous, qualities it shares with porcelain. The visual references in my work point to a time when objects made with porcelain were inherently more valuable than objects made from other clays. From a contemporary ceramics prospective however, value is identified more in making than in material. Red clay is my assertion that skilled craft and meaningful content are more significant than material value.
There are moments in my work of utilitarian consideration where the vocabulary of contemporary studio pottery is unmistakable. There are also moments of opulence where utilitarian concerns are second to elements of visual pleasure. These pots balance a fine line between sincerity and irony. They are sincere in their careful craft and potential for use; yet their assertion of material value and wealth is as transitory and uncertain as our own status in an unsteady world.
2010 MFA Ceramics. The New York State College of Ceramics. Alfred University
2006 BFA Ceramics. The University of Montana, Missoula Magna Cum Laude.
2003 A.A. Liberal Arts. College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls.
SELECTED RECENT PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2017 – Present Ceramics Area Head. Department of Craft and Material Studies.
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.
2017 Visiting Professor. Lead faculty for two-week intensive program. Shandong University of the Arts. Jinan, China. November/December.
2014 – Assistant Professor of Ceramics. Department of Craft and Material Studies. Present Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.
2010 - 2014 Ceramics Studio Manager/Instructor of Record, Grand Valley State University. Allendale, MI.
2017 Invited Artist Residency. One month invitational work period. Archie Bray Foundation. Helena, MT. May.
2016 Artist in Residence. Jingdezhen Taoxichuan International Studio, China. June
2014 Artist in Residence. The International Ceramics Studio. Kecskemét, Hungary. NCECA International Partnership Funded Residency. August.
2012 Artist in Residence, Zentrum für Keramik - Berlin, Germany. June – August.
2011 Artist In Residence, Da Wang Cultural Highland. Shenzhen, China. May – June.
2006-2008 Artist In Residence, Northern Clay Center. Minneapolis, MN.
SELECTED WORKSHOPS AND PRESENTATIONS
2018 University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. 2-day demonstration, lecture and critiques.
Cornell Studio. Lecture and 2-Day workshop. Dayton, OH.
Penland School of Crafts. 2-week intensive workshop. Penland, NC.
Archie Bray Foundation. 1-Day Workshop and Panel Discussion. Helena, MT
North Carolina Potter’s Conference. Presenter. Asheboro, NC
University of Minnesota – Duluth. Lecture. Visual Culture Lecture Series.
Western Carolina University. Contemporary Clay Symposium.
Chautauqua Institute. Ceramics instructor, one-week session. Chautauqua, NY.
Taoxichuan Museum of Ceramic Art. Lecture. Jingdezhen, China.
Standard Clay Company. 1 day workshop. Pittsburgh, PA
Longwood University. Lecture, demonstration and student critiques. Farmville, VA
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. 1 week intensive workshop. Gatlinburg, TN
Goggleworks Center for the Arts. 3-day workshop. Reading, PA
Illinois State University. Lecture and 2-day workshop. Normal, IL
Kansas City Art Institute. Lecture, 2-day workshop and student critiques. Kansas City, MS.
Pullen Arts Center. Lecture and 1-day workshop. Raleigh, NC.
Tyler School of Art. Guest Critic: Junior and Senior reviews. Philadelphia, PA.
Khnemu Studio. Lecture and 2-day hands-on workshop. Fennville, MI.
Virginia Commonwealth University. Lecture. Richmond, VA.
Rovin Ceramics Company. Lecture and 1-day workshop. Ann Arbor, MI.
SOLO AND TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2017 Moving Target. (Solo Exhibition) Appalachian Center for Craft. Smithville TN.
Timeless: A. Blair Clemo and Blake Jamison Williams (2-person exhibition) Pewabic Pottery. Detroit, MI
Time: A. Blair Clemo and Jason Hackett (2-person exhibition) Wolpert Gallery, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Gatlinburg, TN
2014 Savoir-Unfair (Solo Exhibition). Khnemu Gallery. Fennville, MI.
A. Blair Clemo & Israel Davis. (Two Person Exhibition) C2C Gallery. Grand Haven, MI.
A. Blair Clemo: New Work. (Solo Exhibition) Schaller Gallery. St. Joseph, MI.
2012 Gilt/Guilt. (Solo Exhibition) Zentrum für Keramik - Berlin, Germany.
2010 Deco- MFA Thesis Exhibition. Fosdick-Nelson Gallery. School of Art and Design, Alfred University, Alfred, NY.
SELECTED RECENT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Cut & Constructed. (Invitational). Red Lodge Clay Center. Red Lodge, MT. (Upcoming)
Yunomi Invitational 2018. AKAR Gallery. Iowa City, IA.
Growlerfest. (Invitational). Curated by Ferrin Contemporary. Brewhouse Association, Pittsburgh, PA.
Alternate Endings: Contemporary Ceramic Bookends. (Invitational). Carnegie Museum of Art. Pittsburg, PA
Ceramicidal Tendencies: The Intersection of Punk and Clay. (Invitational). Bunker Projects. Pittsburg, PA.
Jing Piao: A Dialog with the World – Chinese and Foreign Pottery Exhibition. (Invitational, Curated by Zhu Legeng.) China Ceramics Museum. Jingdezhen, China.
National Cup Invitational. Santa Fe Clay. Santa Fe, NM
Art of the Cup. (Invitational). Ogden Museum of Southern Art. New Orleans, LA.
Dream House 2017. (Invitational) Peninsula Fine Arts Center. Newport News, VA.
Objective Clay. M.T. Burton Gallery. Surf City, NJ
Core Sample: Additional Findings. (Curated from Museum Collection). Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred, NY.
Visiting Artist Exhibition. (Invitational). Archie Bray Foundation. Helena, MT.
Featured Artist Exhibition: May. (Invitational) Archie Bray Foundation. Helena, MT.
La Mesa. (Invitational) Curated by Santa Fe Clay. Portland, OR.
Objective Clay at NCECA (Juried NCECA Conference Gallery Expo). Portland, OR.
North Carolina Potter’s Conference Exhibition. (Invitational) Randolph Arts Guild. Asheboro, NC
Call & Response. (Curated from Museum Collection). Tweed Museum. Duluth, MN.
Slurp! Honoring the Ramen Noodle Bowl. (Invitational) Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design. St. Louis, MO.
Major Mud Revisited. (Invitational) Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL.
Winter Salon. (Invitational) Cerbera Gallery. Kansas City, MO.
Homegrown Talent. (Invitational) District Clay Center. Washington D.C.
30X5 Invitational. AKAR Gallery. Iowa City, IA.
Contemporary Clay: A Survey of Contemporary American Ceramics. (Invitational)
Fine Arts Museum, Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC.
UCVII: Celebrate the Object, Past Presenter Exhibition. (Invitational) Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Gatlinburg, TN
Objective Clay at NCECA (Juried NCECA Conference Gallery Expo). Kansas City, MO
The Clay Studio: 100 Artists 1000 Cups. Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA. NCECA Kansas City, MO
REDhot (Invitational) Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art. Kansas City, MO.
Objective Clay. Knauer Gallery, West Chester University. West Chester, PA
Pour it Up (Invitational). Red Lodge Clay Center. Red Lodge, MT
Profit Margin (Invitational). Charlie Cummings Gallery. Gainsville, FL.
White Ware (Invitational) Schaller Gallery. St. Joseph, MI.
New Ceramics in the Old Dominion. University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA.
Ways of Making 2015 (Invitational). Goggleworks Center for the Arts. Reading, PA.
Ahead of the Curve: Creative Thinkers/Unconventional Makers (Invitational). Dowstudio Gallery. Deer Isle, ME.
Arrowmont Presenter’s Exhibition (Invitational). Gatlinburg, TN
Greenscape (Invitational). Clay Arts Center. Port Chester, NY.
VCU-Haul (NCECA Exhibition). Providence, RI
Objective Clay at NCECA (Juried NCECA Conference Gallery Expo). Providence, RI.
Sip (Invitational). Red Star Studios. Kansas City, MO.
Dining and Discourse (Invitational). Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, TX
Crafting the Cocktail: Handmade Objects & Implements for Modern Libations.
(Invitational) Craft in America Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Breakfast (Invitational). The Clay Studio. Philadelphia, PA.
Paper/Plate (Invitational). Lawrence Arts Center, KS.
Winter Show 2014 (Invitational). Greenhill Center for Art. Greensboro, NC.
Cup: The Intimate Object X (Invitational). Charlie Cummings Gallery. Gainsville, FL.
Ways of Making (Invitational). Goggleworks Center for the Arts. Reading, PA.
Featured Artist Exhibition. Red Lodge Clay Center. Red Lodge, MT.
6th Cousins in Clay (Exhibition and Sale). Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, NC
Objective Clay at NCECA. (Juried NCECA Conference Gallery Expo). Milwaukee, WI.
Red Lodge Clay Center Gallery Expo. NCECA Exhibition. Milwaukee, WI.
Taming Nature (Invitational). NCECA Exhibition. Milwaukee, WI.
White Gold (Invitational). Racine Art Museum. Racine, WI.
Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artists (Invitational). 18 Hands Gallery, Houston, TX.
8 Fluid Ounces (Invitational). Shaw Center for the Arts, Baton Rouge, LA.