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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.

EDUCATION
2009
MFA, Ceramics, School for American Crafts
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
2001
BFA, Sculpture, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

RESIDENCIES
2011-2013
Archie Bray Foundation, “Matsutani/Windgate Fellowships/ Artits-in-Residence”, Helena, MT
2012
Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Fall Visiting Artist, Newcastle, ME
2010
Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, "Salad Day's Artist-in-Residence", Newcastle, ME

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2014 - Present, Lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2013-2014
Visiting Lecturer/Instructor, Alberta College of Art & Design, Calgary, AB, Canada
2011
Visiting Lecturer, Foundations/Art Dept., Drawing I, SUNY Brockport, Brockport, NY (Spring Semester)
2010
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
2009-Present
Studio Manager/Instructor, Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, Rochester, NY
2007-2009
Instructor of Record/TA, Ceramics, School for American Crafts, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
2008
Teaching Assistant, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, “Making History”
Julia Galloway & Margaret Bohls, Halifax, NS, Canada (Summer Session)
2007-2008
Graduate Assistant, Office of the Chair, Julia Galloway, School for American Crafts, RIT, Rochester, NY
2004-2007
Instructor, Ceramics, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL
2002-2007
Studio Coordinator/Instructor, Ceramics Dept., Park District Highland Park, Highland Park, IL

LECTURES & WORKSHOPS
2013
Presenter/Lecturer, 1,000 Miles Apart, Ceramic Conference, Calgary, AB, Canada
2012
"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
2011
“Visiting Artist Presentation”, School for American Crafts
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
2010
“Visiting Aritst Lecture”, Well’s College, Aurora, NY
2008
“Artist Lecture”, Rochester Institute of Technology, College of Imagimg Arts
& Sciences, Creative Sources Foundations Program, Rochester, NY
2007-2009
“Ceramic Art History: What’s New Is Old”, Cont.Ed/School for American Crafts, Rochester Insitute of Technology, Rochester, NY

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2015 AKAR, Sean O'Connell, Iowa City, IA
2014
Alberta College of Art + Design, “In Service”, Calgary, AB, Canada
Mudfire Studios, "New Work,", Decatur, GA
2012
Clay Art Center, "Anecdote", Port Chester, NY

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2013
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
2012
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
2011
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
2010
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
2008
Anna Leon Owens Gallery, “Making History”, Halifax, NS, Canada
2007
Market House Craft Center, “15th Strictly Functional Pottery National”, Lancaster, PA

PUBLICATIONS
2013
The Art of Contemporary American Pottery, Online Edition, Author: Kevin A. Hluch
2012
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
2010
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

AWARDS, GRANTS & FELLOWSHIPS
2013
Emerging Artist, Ceramics Monthly, May 2013
2012
Windgate Fellowship, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2011
Matsutani Fellowship, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2010
Grant: Special Opportunity Stipend, Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, NY
2007
Potters Group Award, Strictly Functional Pottery National, Lancaster, PA
2004
NCECA Cups of Merit, Award, Indianapolis, IN


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