WINNIE OWENS-HART is a cultural researcher, ceramic artists, author, curator and documentary filmmaker –
Videos Produced: Style & Technique-Four Pottery Villages and The Traditional Potters of Ghana-The Women of Kuli
Her life’s work and passion revolves around the creative process, the historical significance of clay workers globally – especially the "invisible artist"
Selected Published articles –
A Chance of Birth, 42-49 (New Hampshire: The Studio Potter Journal, 2013) Volume42 No2
A Global View: Embracing A Non-Western Approach to Making, 106, 107, 119, 144 (Colorado: NCECA Journal, 2011) Volume 32
Ceramics: From Africa to America, REVIVALS! Diverse Traditions 114-118 (New York: Harry Abrams, 1994)
Traditions: Ipetumodu, The International Review African American Art, 58-60 (Virginia: Hampton University, 1994) Volume 11 No.2
Selected Exhibitions Curated–
Visual Voices: Truth Narratives, NCECA 2018 Annual Exhibition, Contemporary Craft Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
Influences: Contemporary African and African American Art, Hodson Gallery, MD
“Reconstructing the Shards”, Blackburn Gallery, Washington, D.C.
“Ceramic Traditions: 20th Century African American Artists”, Contemporary Art Center, Kansas City, MO (NCECA)
Owens-Hart has over four decades of national and international exhibitions with work in the collections of the Smithsonian, universities and private collections.
Her honors include –
*Kohler, Resident Artist
*McColl Center - Resident Artist
*Renwick Fellow, Smithsonian Institution
* Faculty Fellow, Smithsonian Institution, Faculty Research Program
*National Endowment for the Art, Individual Craftsmen Fellowship
*Honorary Board Member, Renwick Museum, Smithsonian
*Lifetime Achievement in the Craft Arts Award – Women’s Museum and Hand Workshop
Matt Jones was born in 1971 to South Carolinians living in Rochester, MN, where his father was completing a medical residency at the Mayo Clinic. He was raised in the Carolinas and graduated from Porter-Gaud High School in Charleston, SC before studying Art and Ceramics at Earlham College, where he graduated with honors in 1994. Jones then worked for 3 years as an apprentice with two master potters: Todd Piker in Cornwall Bridge, CT and Mark Hewitt of Pittsboro, NC before moving to the beautiful Sandy Mush Valley (just west of Asheville), where he built his pottery in 1998 and has worked ever since. He and his wife have two children.
Jones is primarily recognized as a wood fired functional potter who has rooted himself in North Carolina’s vernacular forms and glazes but pushes the decorative work to create elegant wares of near universal appeal, borrowing liberally from other traditions and drawing inspiration from his current and childhood landscapes. His pottery ranges from tableware to very large decorative vessels for the home and garden. His work is collected throughout the southeast and beyond, selling wares primarily at “Kiln Openings” held at his home twice each year.
Kevin Snipes is an American artist born in Philadelphia and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a B.F.A. in ceramics and drawing from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1994 and concluded graduate studies at the University of Florida in 2003. Snipes has been awarded numerous awards and artist residencies including fellowships at The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, GA, The Clay Studio in Philadelphia; Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in New Castle, ME; A.I.R. in Vallauris, France and C.R.E.T.A. Rome. Snipes received a Taunt Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana in 2008 and a McKnight Residency award from Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN in 2011. In 2014, he was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Other awards include the Purchase Award at the 2009 NCECA Clay National Biennial, an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council in Columbus and a Marie P. Cowen Fellowship in ceramics from Worcester Center for Crafts in MA. Snipes has exhibited both nationally and internationally, as far away as Jingdezhen, China. He currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kevin Snipes’ artwork explores concepts of otherness. Through his use of multi-faceted narratives he challenges the viewer to consider Snipes employs techniques of narrative drawing and craft, to form objects that cross the boundary between sculpture and painting. His works are a combination of atypical pottery forms, quirky figurative drawings and contemporary vernacular language. His pieces are influenced by traditional and nontraditional art forms including street art, architecture, contemporary painting, art history and even children’s toys and drawings. His work has an underlying sophistication based in existentialist thought, creating a dynamic body of work that is both culturally transcendent and personally identifiable.
KEITH "LITTLE BEAR" BROWN
Catawba Indian Traditional Potter, Keith Brown grew up on the Catawba Indian Reservation during the 1950s and 1960s. As a young boy Keith remembers watching the elders making pottery. During his teenage years, Keith often stayed with his Grandmother Edith Brown. It is during this time that he started to help his grandmother prepare her clay and fire the finished pottery pieces.
In 1976 after returning home from the Army, Keith was a participant of a pottery class taught by his grandmother and other elderly women of the tribe. These women were the principle potters of the people. Keith was responsible for digging and preparing the clay and firing the finished pottery pieces. During this class, Keith produced his first piece of pottery.
In the mid 1990s after finishing a career in the Army, Keith returned home and got a job working as Exhibits Coordinator for the Catawba Cultural Center. Working with the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project allowed Keith to once again work and learn the pottery tradition from the elders of the tribe.
Keith worked for ten years with the Catawba Cultural Center, It is during this time that Keith emerged as a master potter of the Catawba Nation.
Over the last twenty years Keith has done pottery demonstrations, taught and displayed his work at numerous festivals, schools, universities and art centers throughout the southeast. He has worked as an artist in residence in schools and universities. His work is sought by collectors, universities and art centers.
CHIEF BILL HARRIS
Long before becoming Chief of the Catawba Nation, Bill Harris felt drawn to traditional Catawba pottery. His grandmother, Georgia Harris, was a master potter who was instrumental in carrying on the long-standing Catawba pottery tradition. A recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Georgia Harris passed her knowledge of the pottery process down to her grandson. He was 18 when he started to learn the art form, and she taught him every step of the process – from digging the clay to firing the pot.
Harris digs the clay for his pots today in the same riverbanks he learned as a teenager. Since the 1970s, Harris has actively cultivated his knowledge by learning aspects of the art from other Catawba potters. During the past 15 years, Harris has focused more of his efforts on making pottery. He serves on the Piedmont Craftsman Art Guild, and his work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the region.
Harris is also passionate about sharing his knowledge with others and encouraging the long-term viability of the pottery tradition. He teaches classes for both adults and children at the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project, takes small groups to dig clay, and teaches members of his family at home.
The Catawba Cultural Preservation Project has named him a Master Potter, an honor only given to those who have been recognized by their peers as outstanding practitioners of the tradition. As Chief of the Catawba Nation, Harris has the opportunity to speak to schools and community groups about the tribe. He uses these opportunities to impart the importance of the pottery tradition and other aspects of Catawba culture.