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Artist: Samuel Newman


 

Samuel Newman, OREGON
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Artist Statement/Bio

We all have an origin story, mine begins in Western Pennsylvania and the rolling hills of Appalachia.  Growing up in a diminishing steel town, a blue-collar work ethic with themes of practicality and community were core values that informed my childhood.  I was first introduced to clay as a business major at Penn State.  My studio ceramic classes always felt like the most natural way to spend my time in contrast to the business classes I was immersed in.  Working with my hands, making practical objects, and relying on my peers to problem solve felt natural.  In 2014, life brought me to Portland, Oregon and to this day working with clay, nurturing a studio practice, and building community resonates with the values that define my childhood.

As a craftsman, I revel in the act of making.  Learning how to control clay leads to discovery which unfolds a narrative of creativity.  I draw inspiration from this narrative of creativity.  Learning how to capture the softness of clay, how to harness atmosphere to mark my ceramic wares, and the experience of using a well-made functional object feeds my narrative of creativity.   If a photograph captures a memory, a Suay Original captures the experience of creativity.  

My creative journey has allowed me to discover a growing repertoire of how to control clay.  I typically start by throwing forms with an eye for dynamic proportion.  These proportions are then accentuated by altering the form on the wheel or in a leather hard state.  Through creative discovery, I learn from mistakes by iteration which transforms a mistake into a gesture with the intent of capturing the magic of atmospheric firing.   

For me, the handmade objects that I create capture a deep sense of meaning.  Sharing these tokens of my experience with others is an expression of community building.  Community is built through shared experience and understanding.  Finding moments of pause and joy in exploring a hand-crafted object that is meant for practical use creates a medium for conversation and mental reflection.  My hope is that by creating unique objects of beauty, I will create opportunities for meaningful connection and introspection through the daily activities that we all have in common.

Education

PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY • UNIVERSITY PARK, PA | Bachelor of Sciences, Management

CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTE OF ART • CHAUTAUQUA, NY | Studio ceramics

 

Professional Experiences in Ceramics

OREGON POTTERS ASSOCIATION (OPA) 2019 – 2021 | Community Organizing

President • 2020-2021 Group facilitation, direct development activities, program planning, member outreach and recruitment, strategic visioning

Membership Chair • 2018-2019 Membership database maintenance, membership onboarding, committee leadership

 

RADIUS COMMUNITY ART STUDIO

2019 - 2021 | Ceramics Instructor | curriculum design, Intermediate | Advanced student instruction, Gas kiln technician, group facilitation

 

Accomplishments

OREGON POTTERS ASSOC. • AUG 2018 – CURRENT

Led organization of 500+ members to develop educational programs, professional development, group sales, and community programing with a focus on community building through the unifying element of clay.

▪ Individually developed community studio partnership program that increased new membership acquisition.

▪ Fostered partnership with the historic East Creek Anagama wood kiln to provide professional development opportunities and expanded access to clay facilities.

▪ Developed and project managed OPA’s Online Demonstration Project resulting in a digital library of educational content and more than $7,000 in added revenue.

▪ Recruited thought leaders to join OPA in our collection vision

 

Exhibitions

COMPANION GALLERY: Last Call IV, Last Call V, Last Call VI

OREGON POTTERS ASSOCIATION SHOWCASE

SALT AND STONE CERAMICS – MUG MADDNESS


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