Here's the thing: Black history should be placed at the center of any and all considerations of U.S. history rather than regarded as a separate category only to be officially honored during the shortest month of the year, but...! We’re also fully here for any opportunity to celebrate the countless ways in which Black and African Americans have built, shaped and enhanced American life.
Acknowledging the enduring marginalization and systemic violence toward Black Americans’ is an essential step toward racial justice and social wellness. But just as important, we think, is acknowledging, showcasing, studying, and purchasing work made by Black and African American Artists.
The clay world is largely dominated by white voices like ours, despite the presence of so much inspiring, boundary-pushing work being made by Black artists and other artists of color. Below, a list of Black and African American ceramicists we love, making work that's functional, sculptural, playful, boundary-pushing, useful, redemptive, and more.
ROSA AND WINTON EUGENE
Collaborators and married couple Rosa and Winton Eugene make functional work in their Cowpens, SC studio that both honors and updates Southern ceramics traditions. The couple has been a mainstay at the Catawba Valley Pottery + Antiques Festival, the first show EF Founder Alex Matisse attended as a young apprentice with potter, Mark Hewitt.
Theaster Gates is a city planner, performance and installation artist, social mobilizer, urban renewer, and potter. Based in Chicago's South Side, Gates' work shows how art/craft/culture can be activated to bring social change and revitalize disenfranchised communities.