Tag Archives: Ceramic Sculpture

From The Director: Art From a Dream State

Similar to the four artists included in this exhibition, I also make artwork that floats in the realm of dreams and a questioning of reality. Many of the exhibitions that we have here (selfishly) relate to my own studio practice or ideas that I am personally interested in and it is because I find these things so interesting that I choose to share them with you through our exhibition programming.

Installation shot from Dream State (pictured: "Isle of Wight" by Lin Price and "The Dream" by Carrianne Hendrickson)

Installation shot from the exhibition (pictured: “Isle of Wight” by Lin Price and “The Dream” by Carrianne Hendrickson)

The notion of the dream state is a never ending source of inspiration and it can be both the object and the subject of an artwork. We rarely give ourselves the opportunity to let our dreams inform our waking life but much can be gained by doing so. Our subconscious mind is often holding the answers to questions that we have been asking ourselves. It is able to offer a glimpse into a personal truth or a hint at finding some kind of greater understanding. The goal in engaging with your dreams, at least for me, is to build a stronger connection between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The closer in proximity these two can be, the closer we are to realizing the benefits of dreaming.

Dream State, installation shot

“Dream State”, installation shot

The idea for this exhibition came after a studio visit with Lin Price in Ithaca. I was drawn in to her work when I first saw it in a solo exhibition at Axom Gallery two years ago. When I was talking to her about the prospect of being in an exhibition, I began to think about the sculptures of Carrianne Hendrickson—we had recently begun showing several of Carrianne’s figurative pieces in our gallery shop. Lin had one painting in particular that reminded me of a specific piece I had seen by Carrianne. It was one of the paintings shown in the exhibition at Axom Gallery.

These two pieces in particular (one of Lin’s and one of Carrianne’s) are the reason this show came together. Left: She Only Flies at Nite by Lin Price / Right: Sculptural teapot by Carrianne Hendrickson

While they are not included in the exhibition, these two pieces in particular are the reason this show came together. Left: She Only Flies at Nite by Lin Price / Right: Sculptural teapot by Carrianne Hendrickson

The moment I realized that these two artists in particular belonged in a show together was like a revelation. Two people who probably wouldn’t be in an exhibition together but desperately needed to be! One working in oil paint the other in clay, yet both traveling along the same cerebral path.

From my studio visit with Lin Price in Ithaca, NY

From my studio visit with Lin Price in Ithaca, NY

Lin’s work was a perfect fit for an exhibition called “Dream State”. Her paintings often feature a human figure engaging in some sort of mysterious activity in a nondescript environment. The colorful fields and atmospheres lend themselves to the notion of a dream or at least to a time and place that may not actually exist. Other of her paintings that do not include a figure still somehow evoke that same feeling. A feeling that something might happen or is happening just around the corner, out of frame and out of sight.

Sculptural vessels by Carrianne Hendrickson in the Dream State exhibition

Sculptural vessels by Carrianne Hendrickson in the Dream State exhibition

Carrianne’s sculptures are often layered in symbolism. Sometimes referencing known stories, other times referencing the inner world of the artist herself. To me, they often seem to suggest the moment of realization that things are not quite right. The idea that perhaps, I am sleeping and the world I am currently experiencing is in fact a dream. Examples from pieces in the exhibition include: blank stares from eyes whose head is balancing a bird’s nest, the closed eyes of a dreamer covered in snakes on a yellow striped couch, and the existence of goblins or human/animal hybrids.

Once Lin and Carrianne were secured for inclusion, I then set my sights on finding other artists to bring in to the exhibition and make it more comprehensive.

Left: From my studio visit with Matt Duquette in Buffalo, NY; Right: "The Space In Between" by Matt Duquette

Left: From my studio visit with Matt Duquette in Buffalo, NY; Right: “The Space In Between” by Matt Duquette

I was drawn in by his paintings of chickens. They have an otherworldly feeling to them but are still so relatable because of their subject matter. The paintings of Matt Duquette are often based on dreams and at least one painting in this exhibition was based on a guided meditation session.  Each of the paintings in the exhibition have the same cool, dark color palette. The atmospheric quality of these paintings presents us with situations and we have no idea how we got there. For the most part, there is no other point of reference, just a blue/black void and a light source to accompany the owls and human figures. I get the feeling that these scenes or visions are plucked right from a dream. They tell us something but that “something” is veiled and different for each of us.

Bill Finger's work from the alumni exhibition at RIT

Bill Finger’s work from the alumni exhibition at Rochester Institute of Technology

I saw some of Bill Finger’s photographic triptychs in circular mats at RIT in October of 2016 and was an instant fan. His photographs are a constructed reality running in tandem with the one we live. Whether based on actual places or totally made up, these images have a feeling like trying to recall a dream. You can remember the place and where things were but something seems off. Each of his photographs chosen for this exhibition keep us in an augmented reality where we are unsure what is possible or impossible.

Desert House (Night), a photograph by Bill Finger

Desert House (Night), a photograph by Bill Finger

Imagery that relates to a house or home comes into play throughout this exhibition. Houses, room interiors, nests, these are all familiar images and are all references to places of comfort which are needed to be engaged in sleep. These places become a jumping off point to engage in something that might be unfamiliar or at times, disconcerting. While we have no say in the matter of sleeping, some of us have the ability to recall and consider our dreams. Perhaps not in the way of figuring out the meaning of the dream itself, but to see how the dream may relate to things transpiring in our everyday lives. My hope is that this exhibition can serve as a reminder of how important it is to dream and that we all might begin to look inward in an effort to gain a greater understanding of who we are and how we relate to the world. I know it has for me.


See Dream State at Main Street Arts through this Friday, February 16, 2018. You can also preview some of the work on Artsy: Artsy.net/mainstreetarts.

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Carrianne Hendrickson

Carrianne_ThenAndNow2

Left: Me when I was 10 years old, holding my cat (photo credit – Betty Rooker); Right: Working in my studio a few years later

My name is Carrianne Hendrickson and I have been practicing ceramics for 22 years. My main focus in clay is figurative and narrative based imagery that gravitates toward the unusual.

Graveyard near my childhood home

Graveyard near my childhood home

I believe my childhood experiences have had a pretty significant impact on the imagery I covet. Growing up living next to an old graveyard, and early exposure to Bosch and Bruegel paintings, may have also guided me toward developing an admiration for some of my more unusual image combinations.

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Box of my collected objects

I grew up in a rural community near Seneca Lake. I moved to Buffalo at age 17 for college, and lived there on the west side most of my young adult life. It was quite a drastic change from where I grew up. I didn’t own a car for a handful years so I traveled mainly by foot, by bike, or by bus (both day and night). A lot of unusual experiences were had because of this direct connection to the city that might not have occurred had I been in the driver’s seat of a car whizzing by everything. Eventually I had my “fill” of such experiences and bought a car.

I moved to Rochester, NY four years ago and my life is quite different now again, for unexpectedly wonderful reasons.

Work in progress and a curious studio assistant

Work in progress (including two pieces in this exhibition) and a curious studio assistant

My work in ceramics is primarily hand-built. My clay choice is usually low fire, however recently I have been working with cone 6 clay bodies and glazes.

Work in progress

Work in progress on “Child with Rabbit Ears”

I don’t usually have a completely concrete vision of what I am making when I start, but instead prefer to begin figures when the concept is more of a vague form in my mind.

The Dream (left) and The Cloud (right), two non-functional teapots included in the Dream State exhibition

The Dream (left) and The Cloud (right), two non-functional teapots included in the Dream State exhibition

You can see more of my work on my website: www.carriannehendrickson.com


Twenty-two sculptures by Carrianne Hendrickson can be seen in Dream State, on display through February 16, 2018. The exhibition also features paintings by Matt Duquette (Buffalo, NY), photographs by Bill Finger (Seattle, WA), and paintings by Lin Price (Ithaca, NY). Work from the exhibition can be previewed and purchased on Artsy.

Inside The Artist Studio with Christina Brinkman

Christina Brinkman

Christina Brinkman

I have worked as an artist is some form or another all my life.  I received my degree from Rochester Institute of Technology.  I began as a painter and printmaker, specializing in etchings and mixed media prints.  I also published a series of die-cut cards which rapidly expanded and were published under the name of Parrett Paper.  These cards were sold and distributed throughout the world in galleries, museums and high end stationery stores.  Some of these cards were chosen and published by the Museum of Modern Art.  MOMA also commissioned the design of an Umbrella and a Mobile.  Upon the sale of my company, I turned my sights back to the fine arts area and am now concentrating on porcelain vessels and sculpture.

'Among the Meadows', Handbuilt Porcelain, Glazed

‘Among the Meadows’, Handbuilt Porcelain, Glazed

Handbuilt Porcelain Vessel

Handbuilt Porcelain Vessel

'Fraternal Twins', Handbuilt Porcelain, Glazed, Gold Leaf

‘Fraternal Twins’, Handbuilt Porcelain, Glazed, Gold Leaf

Handbuilt Porcelain Vessel, Glazed

Handbuilt Porcelain Vessel, Glazed

Artist Satement I am guided by touch, engagement with the material.

Nature, memory and organic form bring direction and orientation.

It tries to be sympathetic with the natural world.

It is usually white, the absence of color, the sum of all colors.

White reflects simplicity, purity, nakedness, lightness, death, calm or stillness.

Without the distraction of color, one considers the outline, the interior and exterior space, the proportions and relationships of the form.

The shadows and the space around become an integral part of the work, the light reflecting surfaces and edges, the energy of what is and isn’t there.

I am never certain of its destination but it is often within the boundaries of the vessel form.

Sculpture tries to sneak in. And it wants to take over.

Handbuilt Porcelain, Blackened Steel, Unglazed

Handbuilt Porcelain, Blackened Steel, Unglazed

Handbuilt Porcelain Vessel, detail, Glazed

Handbuilt Porcelain Vessel, detail, Glazed

Seaform Series, Handbuilt Porcelain, Unglazed

Seaform Series, Handbuilt Porcelain, Unglazed

I have studios located in Rochester, NY and in Fort Lauderdale, FL and divide my time between the two.  My work is included in museum, public, private, and corporate collections, and am currently represented by Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC.

My website is christinabrinkman.com


Stop by Main Street Arts to see Christina’s work in our fourth annual “Small Works” exhibition (juried by Cory E. Card, former curator at View Arts Center in Old Forge, NY). The exhibition runs through January 4, 2018 and can be previewed onlinestore.mainstreetartsgallery.com

Q & A with Virginia Torrence

The Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational at Main Street Arts will feature functional and sculptural ceramic work by 13 artists from the region. This invitational represents some of the most exciting contemporary ceramic work being made in upstate New York.

The exhibition will be held July 11–August 29, 2015.
Online purchasing will begin in mid-July.

Virginia Torrence

Alfred ceramic artist Virginia Torrence

Virginia Torrence

Q: Where are you from originally and where are you now?
A: I am originally from Midland Michigan and spent four years in Detroit Michigan attaining my BFA. I am now living in Alfred New York attending graduate school.

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a ceramic artist?
A: I started focusing on ceramics during my senior year of High school and then went on to major in ceramics/crafts in undergrad at the College for Creative Studies.  Although I used many other materials during that time I always preferred working with clay.

Q: Did you make other types of artwork before finding ceramics? Do you currently make other work?
A: I have found that I have a knack for drawing as well and I definitely find myself incorporating that into my current practice. I also dabble in using fiber at times and have recently been using paper pulp in a verity of ways within my sculptures.

Q: Do you have an artistic hero or an artist you look up to?
A: Eva Hesse

Q: What is your largest source of inspiration?
A: I would say that my largest sources of inspiration are literature, music, and my own writing. I read a lot of poetry, philosophy, and surrealist texts.

Q: Do you look forward to opening the kiln? Or do you wince at the thought of something going wrong in there?
A: Most of my current work is only fired once. I found that I want to bring the piece as close as I can to what I want using terra sigillata which is applied when the works are bone dry. When I open the kiln, of course I wince at the thought of disasters, but for the most part I can learn to cope with what I find using other materials. I try to view things that don’t come out exactly right as an opportunity to do something else to them.

Q: What is it like being a ceramic artist in Upstate NY?
A: I am really enjoying my time in Alfred. My classmates are really wonderful and I am learning so much from this experience. Upstate New York is stunning and I enjoy hiking and swimming in the warmer months.

Q: Where else are you showing your work this summer or fall?
A: Hmmm, I am not sure… I am not really actively searching for opportunities to show my work right now while I am getting my degree, but I will be having my thesis exhibition in the summer of 2016 in Alfred. I have nothing else lined up at this point, but would love to.

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Where can people see more of your work/follow you?
Website: www.virginiatorrence.com 
Instagram: @virginiaroset

Check out the previous Q & A with ceramic artist Hannah Thompsett.