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Artist: Sean O'Connell

Artist: Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell, ILLINOIS
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I make tableware and other domestic objects. I appreciate the constraints and anchored nature of working exclusively in one material with the certainty of purpose conveyed by utilitarian pots. Within those limitations I search for a sense of beauty, self-expression, and common experience. My forms focus on creating a space for their intended use as well as acting as a canvas for patterns. This vocabulary is largely influenced by historic and current ceramic art, contemporary design, and my own few novel additions. I use pattern as a means of thinking through the visual and formal elements of aesthetic function. What is most
compelling about pattern is the potential fluidity of its meaning and content, it requires only one small graphic element used in repetition to become something that equals more than the sum of its parts. The sources of my patterns are not genre-specific, but instead focus on a commonality and sensibility that conveys dynamic movement or kinetic possibility juxtaposed to quietness and open space.

The results of these influences are not literal translations, but, intuitive combinations of decorative motifs and utilitarian forms. In addition, it is equally important that my work is used in the home, at mealtimes, or for any purpose that asserts their role as accessories of service. Through these fundamental elements I intend each object to serve the purpose of expression within the context of utility.

MFA, Ceramics, School for American Crafts
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
BFA, Sculpture, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

Archie Bray Foundation, “Matsutani/Windgate Fellowships/ Artits-in-Residence”, Helena, MT
Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Fall Visiting Artist, Newcastle, ME
Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, "Salad Day's Artist-in-Residence", Newcastle, ME

2014 - Present, Lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Visiting Lecturer/Instructor, Alberta College of Art & Design, Calgary, AB, Canada
Visiting Lecturer, Foundations/Art Dept., Drawing I, SUNY Brockport, Brockport, NY (Spring Semester)
Visiting Lecturer, Art Dept., Ceramics I / Senior Thesis Adviser, Well’s College, Aurora, NY (Fall Semester)
Visiting Lecturer, Art Dept., Ceramics I & II, Corning Community College, Corning, NY (Fall Semester)
Instructor, University of Rochester, Memorial Art Gallery/Creative Workshop, Rochester, NY
Studio Manager/Instructor, Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, Rochester, NY
Instructor of Record/TA, Ceramics, School for American Crafts, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Teaching Assistant, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, “Making History”
Julia Galloway & Margaret Bohls, Halifax, NS, Canada (Summer Session)
Graduate Assistant, Office of the Chair, Julia Galloway, School for American Crafts, RIT, Rochester, NY
Instructor, Ceramics, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL
Studio Coordinator/Instructor, Ceramics Dept., Park District Highland Park, Highland Park, IL

Presenter/Lecturer, 1,000 Miles Apart, Ceramic Conference, Calgary, AB, Canada
"Artist Presentation" University of Montana, Missoula, MT
"Materialize: Understanding the Ceramic Surface" Workshop. Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME
"Artist Lecture" America Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
“Visiting Artist Presentation”, School for American Crafts
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
“Visiting Aritst Lecture”, Well’s College, Aurora, NY
“Artist Lecture”, Rochester Institute of Technology, College of Imagimg Arts
& Sciences, Creative Sources Foundations Program, Rochester, NY
“Ceramic Art History: What’s New Is Old”, Cont.Ed/School for American Crafts, Rochester Insitute of Technology, Rochester, NY

2015 AKAR, Sean O'Connell, Iowa City, IA
Alberta College of Art + Design, “In Service”, Calgary, AB, Canada
Mudfire Studios, "New Work,", Decatur, GA
Clay Art Center, "Anecdote", Port Chester, NY

Parkland Art Gallery, National Ceramics Biennial Invitational, Champaign, IL
AKAR, 30 X 5, Iowa City, IA
18 Hands Gallery, NCECA 2013, Houston, TX
AKAR, “Yunomi Invitational 2013”, Iowa City, IA
Archie Bray Foundation, “Windgate Fellowship Exhibition”, Helena, MT
Archie Bray Foundation, “Resident Exhibition”, Helena, MT
Ferrin Gallery, “Teapots 2012”, Pittsfield, MA
Northern Clay Center, “American Pottery Festival”, Minneapolis, MN
Weston Museum of Art, “Functional Ceramics”, Santa Barbara, CA
Foster/White Gallery, NCECA 2012: “Table of Content”, Seattle, WA
Charlie Cummings Gallery, “Intimate Object VII”
Carbondale Clay Center, “The Clay Table”, Carbondale, CO
The Clay Studio, “Gifted”, Philadelphia, PA
Kolva-Sullivan Gallery, “ABF Residents”, Spokane, WA
Terra Incognito Gallery, “Skin”, Oak Park, IL
Crimson Laurel Gallery, “Source-Material”, Bakersfield, NC
Archie Bray Foundation, “Fellowship Exhibition”, Helena, MT
Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, “Then & Now: Salad Day’s Artists”, Damariscotta, ME
Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, “Serving Bowls”, Damariscotta, ME
Archie Bray Foundation, “Resident Exhibition”, Helena, MT
AKAR, “Yunomi Invitational 2012”, Iowa City, IA
Silvermine Arts Center, “Crafts USA ‘11: National Crafts Triennial”, New Canaan, CT
The Clay Studio, “Gifted Invitational”, Philadelphia, PA
Red Lodge Clay Center, “Featured Artist”, Red Lodge, MT
Lill St. Art Center, “3rd Lill St. International: Below the Surface” Chicago, IL
Market House Craft Center, “19th Strictly Functional Pottery National” Lancaster, PA
The Clay Studio, “Cups & Coffee”, Philadelphia, PA
Greenwich House Pottery, “Yunomi: The Other Tea Vessel”, New York, NY
AKAR, “Yunomi Invitational 2011”, Iowa City, IA
University of Arkansas, “Drawing the Line: Utilitarian Pots”, Fayetteville, AR
The Clay Studio, “Gifted II Invitational”, Philadelphia, PA
Society of Arts & Crafts Boston, “Our Cups Runneth Over”, Invitational, Boston, MA
Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, “History In the Making”, Rochester, NY
NCECA Philadelphia, “Watershed Residents”, Philadelphia, PA
Anna Leon Owens Gallery, “Making History”, Halifax, NS, Canada
Market House Craft Center, “15th Strictly Functional Pottery National”, Lancaster, PA

The Art of Contemporary American Pottery, Online Edition, Author: Kevin A. Hluch
Ceramics Art & Perception, Issue 89, by Janet Koplos, “Anecdote” Solo Exhibition Review
Ceramics Monthly, Article, “Poetics of Utility”, December, Volume 59, #10, pg. 38
PANI Magazine, Featured Artist, Poland
Ceramics Monthly, “Upfront”, Novembe
Ceramics Monthly, “Upfront”, June-August, pg. 22
Access Ceramics, http://accessceramics.org/results/artist/377/
ArtAxis, http://artaxis.org/ceramics/oconnell_sean/sean_oconnell.html
500 Platters, Lark Books, Sterling Publishing CO., Asheville, NC

Emerging Artist, Ceramics Monthly, May 2013
Windgate Fellowship, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
Matsutani Fellowship, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
Grant: Special Opportunity Stipend, Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, NY
Potters Group Award, Strictly Functional Pottery National, Lancaster, PA
NCECA Cups of Merit, Award, Indianapolis, IN

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