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Artist: Shawn Ireland



Shawn Ireland, NORTH CAROLINA
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Bio

Shawn Ireland is a potter and painter living in Athens, Georgia. Since  1991 he has made pots with food, flowers and candles in mind. “I choose to  make pots with a foundation in folk tradition. For me, this involves using a  variety of hand processed local clays and glaze materials, single firing in a  gas/wood burning kiln, and using a kick wheel. These ingredients promote  surprises and keep my craft connected to the natural world.”  

While being influenced by pottery making traditions adopted from his  teachers, Will Ruggles and Douglass Rankin, Shawn’s pots continue to  change. He makes useful, earthy pots for the home and his travels to Europe  and South Africa have inspired a sculptural direction in the form of  zoomorphic candlesticks, vases and bowls he calls Animalware.  

“My pots are eclectic. I work quickly and playfully with the clay while  respecting the nature of my materials and tools. Whether potting or painting, I  love to be lost in the moments of making – in the search.”  

Since 1997, Shawn has exhibited his clay work in many galleries and juried  shows including the Smithsonian Craft Show and Philadelphia Museum  Show. His pots have made there way into homes all over the world. He has  been a Resident Artist at Penland School of Crafts, the Scuola Internazionale  di Grafica in Venice, Italy and the University of Georgia Study Abroad  Program in Cortona, Italy. Shawn also works with the UGA Maymester  Classics program in Europe which continues to provide an opportunity for  discovery and renewal of ancient art influences.  

Shawn and his wife, Jo, are enamored with world travel. “My work changes  after every trip. New art, gardens and good food always inspire me.” 

Shawn Ireland May, 2023

EDUCATION AND SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS 

Kutztown University, Pennsylvania, USA  

1990 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) 

Penland School of Crafts, North Carolina, USA 

Penland Award Scholarships for the following artist taught clay and painting intensives:  1991 Will Ruggles & Douglass Rankin workshop, Linda Christianson workshop,  Bill Brouillard workshop,  

1992 Randy Johnston workshop 

Penland School of Crafts Teachers Assistant Scholarship Award: 

1991 Susan Parks workshop, Charlie Malin workshop 

1992 Steve Loukes workshop, Wayne Ferguson workshop,  

George Lowe workshop 

1995 McKenzie Smith & Terry Gess workshop 

2000 Pinkney Herbert workshop 

Peters Valley Craft Center, New Jersey, USA  

Teachers Assistant Scholarship Award:  

1992 & 1995 Will Ruggles & Douglass Rankin workshop 

EXHIBITIONS  

Selected Solo & Two Person Exhibitions 

2022 Shawn Ireland. Signature Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

2018 Bandana Pottery & Shawn Ireland: Conversation & Exploration. Schaller Gallery,  St Joseph, MI 

2016 Travel, Collect, Create: A Potter’s Inspiration. Haywood Community College,  Clyde, NC 

2015 Shawn Ireland a Venezia. Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice, Italy Natural Affinity (with Ellen Langford). American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC 2014 Ireland & Murphy. Andrew Charles Gallery, Asheville, NC 

Works From Cortona, Italy. Solo Show. University of Georgia, USA

2013 Shawn Ireland Solo Show. AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA 

2011 Pots & Paintings. Solo Show. Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, NC Recent Work: Shawn Ireland. AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA 

2010 Shawn Ireland. MADE Shop, Kutztown, PA 

2009 Menageries & Madonnas. Two Person Show. American Folk Gallery,  Asheville, NC 

2007 Shawn Ireland-Potter. Crabtree Creek Gallery, Micaville, NC Recent Works: Paintings & Pots (with John Anthony). Butternut Gallery,  Montrose, PA 

2003 Shawn Ireland & Michael Kline. Bennett Gallery, Knoxville, TN 

Selected Collaborative Exhibitions 

2023 2023 Yunomi Invitational. AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA 

Animalia. Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI 

The Call of the Wild. American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC 

Perspectives 2023. OCAF Gallery, Watkinsville, GA 

2022 Animalia. Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI 

Perspectives 2022. OCAF Gallery, Watkinsville, GA 

Homescapes. American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC 

Group Show. Gay street Gallery, Washington, VA 

2021 Animals III. Schaller Gallery, Baroda, MI 

Water. American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC 

Three Person Show. Gay street Gallery, Washington, VA 

2020 NC Wood Fired: Then and Now. North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC Flora & Fauna. Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD 

Please Serve Yourself. Penland Gallery, Penland, NC 

2019 Adams, Ireland, Pittenger, Windsor-Mann. Gay street Gallery, Washington, VA Handbuilt. Signature Gallery, Atlanta, GA 

Annual Juried Exhibit. Toe River Arts, Spruce Pine, NC 

Thanksgiving Table 2019. AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA 

7th Annual Face Jug Show. American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC Functional Ceramics Show. Wayne Center for the Arts, Wooster, OH 2019 Yunomi Invitational. AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA 

Miniature Show. American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC 

2018 Bowl Show. American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC 

International Wood Fire. Schaller Gallery, St Joseph, MI 

Mint Museum Potters Invitational. Charlotte, NC 

Red Handed Invitational. Clay Lady’s Campus, Nashville, TN 

CU Copper. Schaller Gallery, St Joseph, MI 

Miniature Show. American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC

Mint Museum Potters Invitational. Charlotte, NC 

2017 Lineage: Celebrating Rock Creek Pottery. Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, NC  CRAFTED 2017. Contemporary Craft Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA 

Current Effects. Asheville Area Arts Council, Asheville, NC 

Confluence: a Woodfire Invitational. STARworks Ceramics, Star, NC FIVE. Schaller Gallery, St Joseph, MI 

2016 Craft + Design Show. Richmond, VA 

Americano Invitational”. AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA 

Small Group Show. Schaller Gallery, St Joseph, MI 

All Fired Up! Pottery from the H&A Hayes Collection. Steffen Thomas Museum of  Art, Buckhead, GA 

Thrown Together Potters. Invited Artist, Charlotte, NC 

Hands of North Carolina. Schaller Gallery, St Joseph, MI 

Penland Clay: Shaping NC Ceramics. NC Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC 2015 Mint Museum Potters Invitational. Charlotte, NC 

Little Treasures. Schaller Gallery, St Joseph, MI 

2014 Echoes of Egypt. Andrew Charles Gallery, Asheville, NC 

2013 La Mostra. University of Georgia, Palazzo Vagnotti, Cortona, Italy 2012 La Mostra. University of Georgia, Palazzo Vagnotti, Cortona, Italy 2011 Philadelphia Museum Craft Show. Philadelphia, PA 

Early Career American Woodfirers. Woodfire Tasmania! Deloraine, Tasmania 2010 Mint Museum Potters Invitational. Charlotte, NC 

Art School at Old Church Invitational. Demarest, NJ 

30x5 Show. AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA 

2009 Mint Museum Potters Invitational. Charlotte, NC 

Art School at Old Church Invitational. Demarest, NJ 

16 Hands Studio Tour Invitational. Floyd, VA 

2008 Esposizione di Arte Visiva. Fortezza Medicea, Cortona, Italy Utilitarian Clay IV. Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Gatlinburg,TN 2007 Mint Museum Potters Invitational. Charlotte, NC 

WOOD FIRED- Curated by Ron Meyers. Signature Shop, Atlanta, GA 2006 Mint Museum Potters Invitational. Charlotte, NC 

Off the Wall. Harrison Street Gallery, Frenchtown, NJ 

2005 Mint Museum Potters Invitational. Charlotte, NC 

9th Annual Alumni Show. Kutztown, PA 

2004 Continuity-Tradition-Relationship. Earth & Fire Gallery, Vienna, VA The Fire Within. Seton Gallery, University of New Haven, CT 

2003 Folk Pottery of North Carolina. Craft Alliance, St Louis, MO 

American Craft Council Retail Show. Charlotte, NC 

2002 American Craft Council Retail Show. Charlotte, NC

2001 Potters of GA & NC. Bascomb-Louise Gallery, Highlands, NC 1999 American Craft Exposition. Evanston, IL 

Beyond the Northwest. KOBO Gallery, Seattle, WA 

1998 Smithsonian Craft Show. Washington, DC 

Vessels That Pour. Lill Street Gallery, Chicago, IL 

American Craft Council Retail Show. Atlanta, GA 

1997 American Craft Council Retail Show. Columbus, OH 

American Craft Council Retail Show. Charlotte, NC 

ARTIST RESIDENCY POSITIONS 

Italy 2015 Resident Artist & Program Coordinator, Scuola Internazionale di Grafica,  Venice. Managed and maintained studio classroom. Organized and  supervised student excursions to sites and monuments. Italian community liaison  and interpreter. 

2006-2008 Visiting Artist Intern & Resident Assistant, University of Georgia  Studies Abroad Program, Cortona. Facilitated social, academic and personal  needs of up to 100 students while managing the dorm residence facility.  Supervised student excursions to sites and monuments. 

USA 1996-1999 Resident Artist, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC 1993-1995 CORE Student Fellowship, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC  

PROFESSIONAL and TEACHING 

2023 Maymester Coordinator for University of Georgia Studies Abroad Classics  Program. Greece, Italy, France & England 

2022 Maymester Coordinator for University of Georgia Studies Abroad Classics  Program. Greece, Italy, France & England 

2012-2013 Program Coordinator for University of Georgia Studies Abroad  Program, Cortona, Italy. Facilitated the social, academic and personal needs of  up to 100 students and faculty. Supervised student excursions to sites and  monuments. Directed the Stipend Scholarship Student Program. Managed and maintained up to fifteen studios and classrooms. Italian community liaison and  interpreter 

2003 Wood Kiln Building Workshop (with Lisa Stinson) Canton Clay Works,  Canton, CT 

2003 Making & Firing Workshop, Appalachian Center for Craft, Smithville, TN 2002 Visiting Artist, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC  

1997 Wood Firing Workshop, University of Hartford, Hartford, CT 

1997 Established Shawn Ireland Pottery

SELECTED COLLECTIONS 

Public Asheville Art Museum, NC 2008 

 City of Rocky Mount Art Center, NC 2002 

Private Mr. and Mrs. John Lowry. Rocky Mount, NC  

 Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Hayes. Wilmington, NC  

 Libba Evans. Winston-Salem, NC  

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS 

The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook. Brian Noyes, 2022 The Handbuilt Potter. Melissa Weiss, 2019 

Red Truck Bakery Cookbook. Brian Noyes, 2018 

The Laurel of Asheville. October 2018 

Asheville MADE. December 2018 

North Carolina Potteries Through Time. Stephen Compton, 2017 

The Laurel of Asheville. December 2016 

The Log Book. “Creative Conviction”. Issue 65, 2016 

500 Pitchers- Contemporary Expressions of a Classic Form. 2006. Lark Books Ceramics Monthly. January & April 2004 

500 Bowls. 2003. Lark Books 

500 Tea Pots- Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design. 2002. Lark Books MEMBERSHIPS 

2009 – 2018 Penland Potters www.penlandpottery.com 2007 – 2021 Spruce Pine Potters Market www.sprucepinepottersmarket.com  2005 – 2021 Toe River Arts Council www.toeriverarts.org 2002 – 2019 Southern Highland Craft Guild www.southernhighlandguild.org 

LANGUAGES 

English, Italian 


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