Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Matthews.
Michelle, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Art become an integral part of my life about 20 years ago. On a whim I took pottery classes at Foelber Pottery on Richmond Ave and knew I had found my passion. As my ceramic work literally out grew the physical space at Foelber Pottery I was directed to the MFAH Glassell School of Art.
At the Glassell clay was an art form. As a potter I felt the expectations were to create beautiful bowls on the potter’s wheel, a process I never mastered nor felt satisfied with. At the Glassell I began to build structures out of clay and never stopped.
I constantly seek challenges which add a new dimension to the works. This included participation in the MFAH Glassell School of Art BLOCK Program which involved weekly critiques by area curators, gallery owners and faculty taking my art out of the ceramic studio into a broader world of art. This year’s focus is on a self-directed art residency at La Meridiana, International School of Ceramics in Certaldo, Italy where I studied methods of introducing color into my work and the Atelierhaus Hilmsen Residency in Germany to experiment with the paper kiln as structural elements in my sculptures. With all this new knowledge I intend to explore a new direction in my work this fall.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
In my practice I sculpt in clay utilizing traditional construction processes to create forms that are both products of their contemporary moment but reference universal forms. Clay is a product of millennia of geological development; a slow accumulation of layers of sediment, compressed and modeled by the elements of wind and water. The clay I use has been discarded by other potters. It has passed through many hands, reflecting their aspirations. I am adding another layer of history to that clay, reshaping it into a finished piece.
Clay is a fascinating material. By its very nature it can be fragile fired or unfired. Yet it has permanency as witnessed by shards of pots discovered at archaeological sites. Clay has human characteristics responding to a nurturing touch.
Currently on view at Lawndale Art Center is “Sculpted,” an outdoor installation of raw clay monolith towers that will gradually deteriorate in the environment. The forms were based on the geologic formations found in the American West, a reminder of the incredible beauty in nature and our responsibility to preserve it.
How can artists connect with other artists?
There is a strong artist community in Houston. Many have come from out of state to Houston for artistic opportunities and have made Houston home. There is a true sense of family here. Recently I curated an exhibit with Jeff Forster titled “Collective Transference, Houston Area Clay”, the premise was that Houston clay is being defined by the mixture of local artists with the influx of out of state artists. This applies to all forms of art, there is huge growth and opportunity in Houston.
Connecting to other clay artists in Houston is easy, go the www.clayhouston.org to view the many opportunities available in our city.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
‘Sculpted” will be on view at The Lawndale Art Center through July 29, 2018. Visit my website at https://www.michellematthewsceramics.com/ or my studio at 4231 P Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX 77025″Appointment Only”.
- Address: Studio 4231 4231 P Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77025
- Website: www.michellematthewsceramics.com
- Phone: 713-303-1369
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @michelle_matthews_sculptures
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michelle.matthews.1447
Lauren Lohman, Will Michaels