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Artist: Zak Helenske


Artist: Zac Helenske
Zak Helenske, WASHINGTON
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I am a potter who is interested in the development of form and the exploration of pattern. These two priorities drive one another, pattern responds to form, and, in turn, form hones to the strength of the pattern. When they fit, it is very clear, and the work progresses in this way. Balance, proportion, depth, and space decide the success of the object, and by highlighting the drawn pattern with porcelain brushwork, the dimensionality of the materials completes the link between form and pattern.

I look to industrial and architectural situations for formal references and social observations for conceptual connections. I use geometry as a language to communicate ideas of space, proximity, occupation, and structure. Proximity is the nearness of objects in time, space, and relationship. By layering patterns on top of each other, I draw maps that help define or bend an orientation. Rather than measuring the distance between, I am interested in the nearness of things; of people, of cultures, and of objects. Pots are some of the things that connect us across cultures and across time. This perspective drives my process.

 Pots have a versatility depending on their placement in our homes, adorning our spaces and contributing to our stories. They are a part of our domestic infrastructure, facilitating rituals of beauty, nourishment, and gathering. I am interested in the history these objects carry and the sentiment gained from their usefulness. I am charmed by the anti-monumental, and challenged by the spatial balance between pottery, architecture, and community.

EDUCATION
2014 MFA, Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Crafts, Ceramics and Ceramic Sculpture, Rochester, NY

2009 BFA, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
2017 New Work, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA (Solo)(September)

2017 Yunomi Invitational, Clay AKAR, Iowa City, IA

2017 Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philladelphia, PA

2017 Last Call II, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN

2017 50 years of Pottery Northwest, NCECA, Portland, OR

2017 Proximity: Assembled Pots, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA (solo)

2016 Lillstreet Holiday Show, Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL

2016 Mugshot Monday, Lillstreet Art Center, Chigago, IL

2016 Pottery Northwest Retrospective, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

2016 Clayfest Northwest, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

2016 Irons in the Fire, Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN

2016 Strictly Functional Pottery National, Market House Craft Center, Lancaster, PA

2016 CHEERS, Medalta, Medicine Hat, Alberta, CA

2016 Coffee and Clay, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

2016 Clay? VI, Kirkland Arts Center, Kirlkland, WA

2016 Working Pots, James May Gallery, Alagoma, WI

2016 Resident 8x8, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

2015 Mugen/Infinity, Pottery NorthWest, Seattle, WA

2015 Steering Committee Exhibition, Trim Tab, Birmingham, AL

2015 Clay Collects Clay, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

2014 XIV International Casting Exhibition, Akademia Sztuk Pienknych, Gdansk, Poland

2013 Records of Resistance and Vulnerability, Powerhouse Gallery, Birmingham, AL (Solo)

2012 MFA Thesis Exhibition: Verse, Gallery 311, Hungerford Heights, Rochester, NY (Solo)

2009 BFA Thesis Exhibition: Organic Progression, Memorial Union Gallery, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (Solo)

PROFFESIONAL EXPERIENCE
2017 Committee Member, National Clay Week: NW Open Studios

2015-2020 Board Member, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

2015 Visiting Artist/Visiting Lecturer, School of Art, 3D4M, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

2015-2017 Artist in Residence, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

2015 Steering Committee Member: Demonstrations, National Conference on Cast Iron Art, Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL

2014 Visiting Artist, XIV International Casting Workshop, Akademia Sztuk Pienknych, Gdansk, Poland

2013-2014 Artist in Residence, Foundry Manager, Ceramics Studio Manager, Sloss Arts, Birmingham, AL

2013 Artist in Residence, Assistant Foundry Manager, Sloss Metal Arts, Birmingham, AL

2013 Steering Committee Member: Demonstrations, National Conference on Cast Iron Art, Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL

2012 Resident Artist/Instructor, Redbird Studio and Gallery, Columbia, SC

2011-2012 Instructor, Ceramics, School for American Crafts, RIT, Rochester, NY (Instructor of Record)

2010-2012 Studio Assistant to Rick Hirsch, Rochester, NY

2011-2012 Crucible Projects: Mobile, AL, Rochester, NY, Lake Charles, LA, Montevallo, AL

2011-2012 “Mano” Project, School for American Crafts, RIT, Rochester, NY 2010-

2012 Studio Manager/Technician Clay Department, School for American Crafts, RIT, Rochester, NY

2011 Visiting Artist, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 2010

2011 Iron Foundry Charging Crew/Cast, Second Act of Matthew Barney’s Ancient Evening: “KHU”

PANELS/LECTURES
2015 Lecture: Artist Talk, School of Art, 3D4M, University of Washington, Seattle WA

2015 Lecture: Artist Talk, Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA

2014 Lecture: Artist Talk, Akademia Sztuk Peinknych, Lodz, Poland

2014 Lecture: Artist Talk, Akademia Sztuk Peinknych, Gdansk, Poland

2013 Lecture: Glaze Chemistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham,AL

2013 Moderator/Panelist, Heat + Alchemy = Transformation, Sloss Arts

2012 Panelist, Mano Project, School for American Crafts, RIT

2012 Lecture: Artist Talk, State University of New York Geneseo, Geneseo, NY

2011 Lecture, Aluminum Casting, Fine Art Studio, RIT, Rochester, NY

2011 Lecture: Artist Talk, Mcneese State University, Lake Charles, LA

2011 Panelist, Material Integration, National Conference on Cast Iron Art, Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL


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