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Artist: Taylor Sijan


Taylor Sijan
Taylor Sijan, NEBRASKA 
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Taylor grew up between the shores of Lake Erie and the woods of northern Ohio. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3-Dimensional Arts (ceramics and metalsmithing emphasis) at Bowling Green State University in 2016. After, she spent two years in Wichita, Kansas as a post-baccalaureate student at Wichita State University, studying wood and soda-fired pottery.

Taylor received a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2021. She has been recognized in juried exhibitions internationally and has received several notable awards including the International 2016 NICHE Award for Student Ceramic Sculpture, an NCECA Invitation to attend the 2019 Taoxichuan Fall Art Fair in Jingdezhen, China, and was named one of the Ceramics Monthly 2020 Emerging Artists. Although she is known for her functional, richly decorated pottery, she also enjoys small-scale metalsmithing, bookbinding, and drawing as other creative outlets.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

I craft functional pottery that is richly decorated with layers of abstracted botanical imagery. While working within the parameters of function, I explore the possibilities for expressing and evoking beauty through altered porcelain forms and lush surfaces. As a potter, I create forms that inspire curiosity and interaction through a balance of originality and suggested function. I connect myself to others through the intermediary of the vessel, conveying my reverence for plants, nourishment and beauty. People then interpret how to use my work, adding their own sentiments as it becomes part of their lives.

 

Beauty can carry us through even the darkest of times. Beauty provides a pleasurable emotion which overwhelms, gives us pause, and causes us to focus our attention. It is necessary, not frivolous, to seek such experiences and hold onto objects which evoke those moments. It is a transformative feeling which gives one’s life deeper meaning and compels us to love and cherish that which we find beautiful. I find beauty in nature, particularly in plants, and am fascinated by medicinal herbology and the cross-cultural history of utilizing plants as medicine. It is through working with plants and clay that I have been able to cultivate who I am. I decorate each pot with abstracted botanical imagery as an homage to my sentiments about beauty and my identity as a participant in these traditions.

 

Decoration increases the potential for emotional connection to a handmade object because it indicates that the object has had time and skill invested into making it unique. However, for many people, decoration can be a signifier to not touch because it implies preciousness and value. I attempt to get people to overcome this initial reaction and physically engage with the work because my pots are intended to participate in either the solitary rituals or celebratory events in someone’s life. To encourage interaction, I have developed strategies to encourage a person’s eyes and hands to move around the form, into the interior, and underneath. Every step of my process relies on layering to create visual and tactile depth to encourage this experience. My method for constructing combines throwing, altering, and handbuilding to build vessels that are then adorned with dynamic, asymmetrical surface design. Seams resulting from adding or subtracting from the form are often intentionally left to signify the handmade nature of the work and its intentional construction. I aim for complexity to inspire curiosity about how it was crafted and beckon a person in closer to investigate. The compositions on each pot feature abstracted plants in service to creating movement around the piece by weaving painted, slip trailed, and stamped motifs around the surface. My technique for layering underglaze colors involves collage with laser cut paper resists and additional hand-painted details. The resists are cut from digitally manipulated silhouettes of real plants, either pressings or photographs. This allows me to employ specific plants symbolically on my work, focusing on evoking a sense of dense foliage rather than a naturalistic representation. I create a sense of harmony by balancing quieter spaces for contemplation with abundant areas of celebratory color. Visual complexity is further explored in the translucency of porcelain as light shines through it, the sparkle and softness of sugary, crystalline glaze, and the movement of glossy glaze resulting in drips of glass off the undulating forms.

 

Education

2018 - 2021 Master of Fine Arts (Ceramics Emphasis) University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

2016 - 2017 Post-Baccalaureate in Ceramics Wichita State University Wichita, KS

2014 - 2016 Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3-D Studies Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH
- Graduated Summa Cum Laude, GPA: 3.95

2011 - 2012 Associate of Arts Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH


Teaching Experience

2020 Fall Instructor of Record - Wheel Throwing University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

Spring Teaching Assistant - Beginner Wheel Throwing University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

2019 Fall Instructor of Record - 3D Design University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

2018 Fall Teaching Assistant - Intermediate Handbuilding University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

Fall Teaching Assistant - 3D Design University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

2016 - 2017 Student Instructor - Community Build-A-Bowl Empty Bowls Wichita Wichita, KS

Professional Experience, Leadership & Abilities

2020 Spring Medici Gallery Student Manager Medici Gallery Lincoln, NE
(Experienced with patching, sanding, and painting walls and other gallery maintenance; spotting and lighting
exhibitions; hanging and removing vinyl; scheduling and working with student and alumni artists to meet their needs within a professional gallery space; and publicizing events through social media accounts and university newspaper.)

Spring President - Clay Club University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

2019 Fall Vice President - Clay Club University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE
(Responsible for coordinating with professional visiting artists, the School of Art, Ceramics department, and Ceramics students to facilitate booking travel and accommodations, demonstrations, lectures, and critiques.)

Fall Glaze Formulation Technician University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE
(Experienced with raw ceramic materials, clay and glaze formulation, firing, and testing; extensive experience
with developing and firing glazes in electric, gas, and atmospheric kilns; troubleshooting glaze flaws; glaze
development and material theory.)

Spring Gas Kiln Maintenance / Construction University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE
(Experienced with leading a team during construction of gas burner systems, construction of hard and soft
brick gas kilns, kiln maintenance and repair, and cutting steel; general understanding of gas kiln design theory and
safety.)

2018 - 2020 Electric Kiln Technician University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE
(Experienced with computerized and manual sitter L&L and Skutt kiln maintenance and diagnosis; replacement of
elements, thermocouples, and switches; basic rewiring and electrical theory.)

Secretary - Clay Club University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

2016 - 2018 Event Operations Assistant & Guard Ulrich Museum of Art Wichita, KS
(Led teams of students to set up and work during large public events within the Museum, such as
opening receptions, artist lectures, tours, and outdoor children’s fairs; shuttled patrons to/from events.)

Secretary - Ceramics Guild Wichita State University Wichita, KS

2017 Student Manager of Volunteer Operations Empty Bowls Wichita Board Wichita, KS
(Coordinated student volunteers for Empty Bowls Wichita charity events such as promoting, demoing, and teaching
techniques at outdoor fairs, local public schools, and the Ulrich Museum of Art; responsible for soliciting donations
from restaurants for charitable causes; organized a large group of volunteers during the event; and worked with the
Kansas Food Bank board to organize ceramics-related events to their benefit.)

2016 - 2017 Contributing Artist, Volunteer, Instructor Empty Bowls Wichita Wichita, KS

President - Student Metals Art Council Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH

Trip Coordinator - Clay Club Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH
(Responsible for coordinating with students and the School of Art for booking accommodations and travel to/from the
2017 National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts Conference, and working with students to secure individual
grant funding to attend the event.)

2015 Publicist - Clay Club Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH
(Produced content for social media marketing and branding on Instagram, Facebook, and online websites;
developed promotional materials through photography, Adobe Lightroom, Illustrator, and Photoshop.)

Secretary - Student Metals Art Council Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH

Assistant & Intern Experience

2019 Assistant to potter Dan Finnegan (5 days) St. Croix Pottery Tour St. Croix, MN

Assistant to potter Kenyon Hansen (2 weeks) Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Deer Isle, ME

2018 Assistant to potter John Cohorst (1 week) SAW Studio Carbondale, CO

2017 Workshop assistant to potter Todd Hayes (2 days) Wichita State University Wichita, KS

Assistant to potter Brenda Lichman (3 months) Wichita, KS

2015 Intern for sculptor John Balistreri (4 months) Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH

Artist Residencies
2017 - 2018 Artist in Residence - Ceramics (August - July) Wichita State University Wichita, KS

Workshops, Lectures & Demonstrations
2022 (Forthcoming) 1-Week Workshop, Layered Surface Pocosin Arts Columbia, NC

(Forthcoming) 2-Day Hands-on Workshop Saratoga Clay Arts Center Schuylerville, NY

2021 (Forthcoming) 2-Hour Workshop, Layered Surface Pocosin Arts (Virtual) Columbia, NC

2-Hour Workshop, Layered Surface Pocosin Arts (Virtual) Columbia, NC

2-Hour Workshop, Layered Surface Pocosin Arts (Virtual) Columbia, NC

2-Hour Workshop, Layered Surface Pocosin Arts (Virtual) Columbia, NC

2-Hour Workshop, Layered Surface Pocosin Arts (Virtual) Columbia, NC

2-Hour Workshop, Pouring Vessel Pocosin Arts (Virtual) Columbia, NC

Guest demonstrator, Cups of All Kinds Rat City Studios (Virtual) Seattle, WA

Guest demonstrator, Liqueur Sets Rat City Studios (Virtual) Seattle, WA

2020 Lecture, “How I Use Instagram for Creative Business” Lux Center for the Arts Lincoln, NE

2019 Lecture, Technical Assistant Artist Talk Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Deer Isle, ME

Demonstration, Layered Surfaces on Clay Sheldon Museum of Art Lincoln, NE

Lecture, “Shining Light on Photo Editing” 2019 NCECA Conference Minneapolis, MN

Lecture, “Shining Light on Photo Editing” University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

2017 Demonstration, Throwing Open Streets ICT Wichita, KS

2016 Lecture, Post-Baccalaureate Artist Talk Wichita State University Wichita, KS

2010 Lecture, Artist Talk Port Clinton Artists' Club Port Clinton, OH


Awards, Grants & Fellowships

2020 Hixson-Lied Emergency Relief Grant University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

H-L Graduate Student Creative Activity Grant University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

Ceramics Monthly 2020 Emerging Artist Ceramics Monthly Magazine Westerville, OH

2019 Best Use of Color, Strictly Functional 2019 Amaco, Lancaster Creative Factory Lancaster, PA

NCECA Invitation to Taoxichuan Fall Art Fair JAEA International Arts Centre Jingdezhen, China

Worth Student Travel Grant University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

H-L Graduate Student Travel (International) Grant University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

H-L Graduate Student Travel (Domestic) Grant University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

H-L Graduate Student Creative Activity Grant University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

Matthias Lloyd Spiegel Scholarship Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Deer Isle, ME

2018 - 2021 Edgren Fellowship University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

Kimmel Fellowship University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

Hixson-Lied Fellowship University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

2018 Hixson-Lied Graduate Student Presentation Grant University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

Arts and Design Advocates Grant Arts and Design Advocates Wichita, KS

Anderson Ranch Scholarship Anderson Ranch Snowmass, CO

2016 Athena Society Regional Artist Grant Athena Art Society Toledo, OH

NICHE Award for Student - Ceramic Sculpture NICHE Magazine Baltimore, MD

Medici Circle Grant Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH

2015 Junior BFA Talent Award (2015-2016) Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH

Honorable Mention in Ceramics Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH

 

Exhibitions (* denotes juried exhibition)

2021 (Forthcoming) 2021 Yunomi Invitational Clay Akar Iowa City, IA

Ramen + Rice | The Idiosyncratic Bowl FOCUS Gallery, Penland Penland, NC

The Ceramics Forum: 10 Years Towards the Dialogue 2021 NCECA (Virtual) Cincinnati, OH

Solo Exhibition: Artist: Taylor Sijan Clay Akar Iowa City, IA

Solo Exhibition: Growth (MFA Thesis) Eisentrager-Howard Gallery Lincoln, NE

2020 2020 Americano Invitational Clay Akar Iowa City, IA

* Material Mugs V: Underglaze Companion Gallery Humboldt, TN

Grads Against the Wall Turbine Flats Lincoln, NE

Collaborative Companions III Companion Gallery Humboldt, TN

Solo Exhibition: Panacea Medici Gallery Lincoln, NE

2019 2019 Americano Invitational Clay Akar Iowa City, IA

C3: Cultivating Ceramic Collaboration Lux Center for the Arts Lincoln, NE

Two-Person Exhibition: Flora & Fauna In Tandem Gallery Bakersville, NC

Gifted Lux Center for the Arts Lincoln, NE

Breath from Afar Taoxichuan Art Center Jingdezhen, China

* Strictly Functional Lancaster Creative Factory Lancaster, PA

Faculty and Assistant Exhibition Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Deer Isle, ME

Indelible Sink Salon Studio Lincoln, NE

* Off Center: 3rd Annual International Ceramic Show Blue Line Arts Roseville, CA

* Small Favors The Clay Studio Philadelphia, PA

First-Hand Northwestern University of Missouri Maryville, MO

2018 MEDICI 25th Anniversary Exhibition Eisentrager-Howard Gallery Lincoln, NE

Gifted: Annual Winter Show Lux Center for the Arts Lincoln, NE

VAP Annual Exhibition University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

Wichita National 2018 Ceramic Invitational Reuben Saunders Gallery Wichita, KS

* Thrown and Altered Clay Arts Vegas Las Vegas, NV

* Last Call III Companion Gallery Humboldt, TN

* 6th Central Time Ceramics Exhibition Bradley University Galleries Peoria, IL

* 11th International Texas Teapot Tournament TEAplusART Gallery Houston, TX

2017 Perception and Process City Arts Wichita, KS

* Mug Shots Lux Center for the Arts Lincoln, NE

Wichita National 2017 Ceramic Invitational Reuben Saunders Gallery Wichita, KS

* Cup: the Intimate Object XIII Charlie Cummings Gallery Apex, NC

* Wichita National All Media Exhibition Mark Arts Wichita, KS

* Serve It Up Clay Arts Vegas Las Vegas, NV

* First Annual Dog's Eye Gallery Mug Show Dog's Eye Gallery San Marcos, TX.

* Off Center: International Ceramic Art Show Blue Line Arts Roseville, CA

* Purposeful Pottery Blue Line Arts Roseville, CA

* Images on Clay Clay Arts Vegas Las Vegas, NV

* 7th Annual Art & Earth Exhibition Berkeley Art Works Martinsburg, WV

2016 Empty Bowls Wichita Invitational Exhibition Reuben Saunders Gallery Wichita, KS

* KACA Material Mastery Exhibition Regier Friesen Gallery Hesston, KS

Things Could Get Messy Reuben Saunders Gallery Wichita, KS

Spring Woodfire Exhibition Gustin Gallery South Dartmouth, MA

* Art from the Heartland Indianapolis Art Center Indianapolis, IN

* Ohio Designer Craftsmen Best of 2016 Ohio Craft Museum Columbus, OH

BFA Thesis Exhibition Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH

* NICHE Awards Finalist Exhibition American Made Show Baltimore, MD

2015 * 8th Annual Gulf Coast State Cup Show Amelia Center Gallery Panama City, FL

* Contents May Vary Pewabic Detroit, MI

* Northwest Ohio Community Art Exhibition Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH

 

Exhibitions Coordinated, Curated & Juried

2019 Coordinator, C3: Cultivating Ceramic Collaboration Lux Center for the Arts Lincoln, NE

Coordinator, Indelible Sink Salon Studio Lincoln, NE

2016 Juror - Forging Ahead Bowling Green Public Library Bowling Green, OH


Publications

2020 Schwartzkopf, Deb. “Artist Feature: Taylor Sijan”; Creative Pottery: Innovative Techniques and Experimental
Designs in Thrown and Handbuilt Ceramics., 2020, p. __ (photos and text).

Ceramics Monthly: “Recipes: Low to High”; Ceramics Monthly, November 2020, p. 62 (photo and text).

Ceramics Monthly: “Emerging Artists”; Ceramics Monthly, May 2020, p.34 (photos and text).

2019 Ceramics Monthly: “Exposure”; Ceramics Monthly, November 2019, p.13 (photo and text).

NCECA Journal 2019: “Shining Light on Photo Editing”; NCECA, 2019, p. 169-171 (photos and text).

2016 Ceramic Arts Yearbook 2017: "2016 NICHE Awards"; Ceramics Monthly, 2017, p. 47 (photos).

Collections

Taoxichuan Art Center Museum Jingdezhen, China

 

Gallery Affiliations

Clay Akar Iowa City, IA

Eutectic Gallery Portland, OR

In Tandem Gallery Bakersville, NC

Lux Center for the Arts Lincoln, NE

Career-Related International Travel

2019 Traveled to Shanghai and Jingdezhen, China (1 week)

Professional Memberships
2020 International Ceramic Artists Network

2016 - Present National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts

2015 - 2016 Society of North American Goldsmiths

 

 


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