SOLIDARITY IN CLAY

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.

 Visibility always matters. 

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. 


Kenesha Sneed

 Photo from  Tactile Matter

Photo from Tactile Matter

Kenesha Sneed of Tactile Matter makes playful, of-the-moment ceramics and other design work for the home with a sense for color and composition that will stand the test of time (not that it doesn't also make us drool when we scroll past it on our Instagram feeds).

 Kenesha in her workshop

Kenesha in her workshop


Kahlil Irving

 Sculpture by Kahlil Irving

Sculpture by Kahlil Irving

Kahlil Irving is a ceramics-based sculptor working in St. Louis who makes large scale work that aims to "challenge historical notions of colorism, structural barriers that separate communities, and objects that exist in and around the urban environment."


TURIYA GROSS

turiya.jpg

Turiya Gross makes functional pottery in upstate New York that draws from decorative and folk art traditions.


SAM HARVEY

 Work from Sam Harvey

Work from Sam Harvey

Sam Harvey is a practicing artist and co founder of Harvey/Meadows, a ceramics gallery in Aspen, CO.  Harvey's work is sometimes sculptural, sometimes functional, sometimes both, and always gorgeous, and immersive.

 Sam Harvey

Sam Harvey


ROSA AND WINTON EUGENE

 Pottery by Eugene

Pottery by 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.  


OSA ATOE

 Pottery by Osa.

Pottery by Osa.

Osa Atoe makes functional ceramics in her Baton Rouge studio that honor the ancient lineage of ceramics and highlight the beauty in simple, minimally adorned surfaces.


Kevin Snipes

 Come Hither by  Kevin Snipes

Come Hither by Kevin Snipes

Kevin Snipes is a Pittsburgh-based artist who makes unexpected and dynamic clay forms adorned with playful, figurative illustrations.


Theaster Gates

 Theaster Gates and his team in his Chicago studio.  Image courtesy of the New York TImes.

Theaster Gates and his team in his Chicago studio.  Image courtesy of the New York TImes.

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.