Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, mid-career artist Christa Assad is best known for her Re-objectification series — teapot designs based on objects and buildings from American industry. Assad explains the inspiration for her pieces: Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, I was strongly influenced by the Steel City’s dying industry and the grit of these oft-abandoned sites. Tagged with graffiti and other remnants of trespassers and squatters, the physical remains of these sites serve as archaeological artifacts in the study of human behavior and societal evolution.
A teacher, traveler and full time ceramicist with an MFA from Indiana University, Assad’s work is in the permanent collections of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Ceramic Research Center at Arizona State University Museum, and The Penn State Fulbright Scholar Collection. She was named, “Ceramic Artist of the Year,” in 2012 by Ceramics Monthly. Assad is represented by Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art (WA), Ferrin Contemporary (MA), and Harvey Meadows Gallery (CO).
Clayton Bailey received a B.S. Degree in Art Education in January 1961, and continued at the University of Wisconsin graduate program in ceramics /sculpture. Harvey Littleton hired him as studio technician and ceramics instructor. In 1962 Bailey received an M.S. Degree in Art and Art Education. He attended the Toledo Museum of Art Glassblowing Seminars with Harvey Littleton as a scholarship student. In 1963 Bailey built a glass furnace and annealing kiln. Bailey moved from glassblowing to ceramics, inspired by the abstract expressionist work of Peter Voulkos. Bailey was a visiting artist at U.C. Davis in 1967 and moved to Northern California permanently in 1968. In 1970 he started teaching at California State University-East Bay and is now Professor Emeritus. His ceramic and mixed media robots and sculptures are highly indicative of the quirky and robust sense of intelligent humor that pervades his work.
Susan Beiner received her MFA from the University of Michigan in 1993 and BFA from Rutgers University in New Jersey in 1985. Currently, she teaches ceramics in the Herberger School of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and has received several awards and residencies. Beiner’s ceramic work has been exhibited at The Mint Museum of Craft and Design in North Carolina, the Limogues Foundation, Bernardaud, France, Princessehof Keramiekmuseum in the Netherlands, Wustum Museum of Fine Art in Wisconsin, San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts, as well as numerous galleries and universities around the country.
Paul Mathieu has been a student of ceramics since 1972, in Montreal, Calgary, Stoke-on-Trent in England, and San Francisco and Los Angeles in the USA, where he received a Master of Fine Art degree (MFA) from UCLA in 1987. He has taught ceramics since 1976 in Montreal at the college and university levels, but also in Mexico and in Paris at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. Since 1996, he has been teaching in Vancouver in the Faculty of Visual and Material Culture at the Emily Carr University.
His work has been shown internationally in numerous important exhibitions, among them Mino, Japan in 1992, 1994 and 2002, and in Korea, Taiwan, Italy, England, Australia and all over the USA and Canada. He has received numerous prizes, including the “Grand Prix des Metiers d’Art” in 1985, the Chalmers Award in Crafts in 2000 and the Sadye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Crafts and the Governor General Award in Visual Arts in 2007. His work has been exhibited in 21 individual exhibitions since 1978, in various cities in Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver) and the USA (New-York, Los Angeles, Chicago).
Beth Lo was born in Lafayette, Indiana, to parents who had recently immigrated from China. She studied Art under Rudy Autio and assumed his job as Professor of Ceramics at The University of Montana-Missoula’s School of Art when he retired in 1985. She has exhibited her work internationally, and has received numerous awards including The University of Montana Provost’s Distinguished Lecturer Award in 2006, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship Grant in 1994, the Montana Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship in 1989, and an American Craft Museum Design Award in 1986.
Born in Tracy, California, he earned a BA degree from Humboldt State University in 1975. In 1978, he earned an MFA at the University of Washington in Seattle. Soon after, he settled in New York when Minimalism was dominant in the art scene. Some of his work such as “Lizard Slayer,” reflects that movement. He taught briefly at New York University and the Parsons School of Design. In the late 1980s, he turned from polychrome clay to cast metal and then began to incorporate both mediums. Generally he sees his work as “reverence for high art, affection for folk art, nostalgia for nature, and curiousity about other cultures.”
James Tyler is famous for his colossal Brickhead installations that are influenced by some of the world’s great ceramic heritages and reminiscent of the temple carvings of Angkor Wat or the great Toltec heads of Central America. While the heads of these cultures often symbolized their connections with the spirits they worshipped, Tyler chooses to represent all of humanity with his heads, outside of cultural considerations — they are meant to represent “everyman” and “everywoman.”