Presenters 2024

Symposium presenters come from a wide variety of media and from all walks of creative life including those in academia, emerging artists, international icons and working makers at various points in their careers.

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Our 2024 Presenters

Russell Bauer

Come and see a “Juicing Performance”.

I focus my art practice on the basic human needs of food, water, and shelter as those realities apply to and are revealed in contemporary society. Central to my work is the development of open-source agricultural technologies and the use of spectacle as a means to capture intrigue. I utilize a range of materials—from ceramics, oil paint and gold leaf, acrylics and laminates, to electrical hardware and programming, in the creation of food-producing systems. The juxtaposition of open source and abstract imagery facilitates my exploration of our participation in socially constructed systems as they extend into our environment.

Russell lives in Los Lunas, New Mexico.

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Andy Cooperman

Making an object, for me, is really a compulsion that begins with the need to more fully understand, experience, or come to terms with something.  The things that I make are a manifestation of how I know the world: dense and multi-layered cohesive wholes built from disparate parts. As a maker of Craft, I above all want to make something that is conceptually and formally sound and that challenges as it engages. A slow burn that offers more the more that it is considered.

For the past few years, I’ve been moving back and forth in scale between jewelry and smaller sculptural objects. The challenge is to infuse the larger work with the sensitivity toward form, material and—especially—detail that characterizes my smaller-scale objects.

Andy continues to work and do freelance workshops and lectures while living in Seattle.

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Marilyn Koch

I am a trained silversmith that has incorporated special FX and electronics in my work after realizing that my concepts regarding human autonomy and legacy needed more than what a typical jewelry studio has to offer. Hence, the value of hybridizing craft.  Craft schools across the US such as Penland, Arrowmont, Haystack etc. have studios based on traditional mediums.  These mediums can be found in a number of high school or college art classes; ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, glass blowing, basket weaving, etc… While they have incredible history and dominate the craft market, introducing other skills and materials not often associated with craft can expand the possibilities of craft and art making. Her work, usually uncanny and absurd, are objects based around her existential quandaries.

Marilyn Koch is the Jewelry and Small Metals Professor at Cal Poly Humboldt State University in Northern California. 

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Paula Kovarik

For me making art is about curiosity and exploration, winding roads and dead ends. It’s about the process not the product. I’ve learned that taking risks with my life, my medium, and my thoughts bring depth to the work. I make art with thread and fabric. Stitching is my second language. It reveals inner thoughts and outer barriers. I strive to follow its path without preconceived notions on where it is taking me. As I work I am sensitive to surprises, allowing the line and images to tell me more than I think I know. My aim is to react and reconsider as a piece evolves. I use the quilted form for its approachable and tactile quality. I like the contrast: soft and textured, a strong line against a giving surface. I believe that artists have an important role in society. We make the invisible visible and the unsaid revealed. I stitch to say things without words.

Paula is a full-time artist and fiber art workshop teacher living in Memphis.

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Andrea Moon

I create sculptures that are personally meditative, repetitive with pattern, and orderly in structure building with many small clay parts to create a structure slowly and methodically.

When I complete a form, I focus on glazing a color palette that does not interrupt the beauty of the many connected parts to create depth and interest by layering meaning into the clay through surface information. When I am creating my sculptures, I am interested in the repetitious act of practice and seeking a pattern of control or a physical order that exposes small questions of stability and instability through form.

Andrea pursues her studio practice and holds the position of lecturer in ceramics at Washington University in St. Louis, served as the residency and communications coordinator of The Red Lodge Clay Center, the director of the international artist residency at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China and the director of education at Craft Alliance.

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Millee Tibbs

I am interested in the discrepancy between what we see and what we know. I am drawn to photography because of its ubiquitous presence in our culture and its duplicitous existence as both a representation of reality/scientific documentation of a moment in time or and a subjective construction of reality. I am interested in the space where these qualities contradict each other and coexist simultaneously. My recent work expands several lines of inquiry that I have been developing throughout my artistic practice: an interest in the material properties of the photographic object; the malleability of the illusionistic qualities of the photographic image and photography’s role in the production of iconic imagery, which through its simplification of the subject matter and overuse, becomes cliché. I am particularly interested in the space where the real and the manipulated overlap.

My work has evolved into an investigation of idealized landscape imagery – the kind that is easily consumable and often commodified. I am fascinated with the landscape genre and its language, the aesthetic imposed onto the land through photographic framing and the historical rhetoric inherent in these images. My work questions the illusion of photographic space and its relationship to landscape representation.

Tibbs is an associate professor of photography at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Learn more about Millee

Andy Villarreal

My abstract expressive paintings draw inspiration from the Yucatán Peninsula cultures of Mexico. The themes I will discuss in the presentation will be Warriors and Rituals of Meso America. This talk will celebrate the indigenous cultural of the Yucatan and my interest and inspiration found in the region’s history, social order, architecture, mythology, religion and rituals.

Andy lives and works in San Antonio, Texas and holds a Bachelor of Art Degree from Corpus Christi State University 1978, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Arizona State University 1983 with concentration in Painting.

Patti Warashina

As an icon in contemporary ceramics, Patti will talk about her career in ceramic art that spans 55+ years.

The human figure has fascinated me for most of my 55+ year art career.  My sustaining interest in the human figure is likely due to the fact that my own body is the closest resource from which I draw my ideas.  The use of the body gives affirmation to my own daily existence and serves as the subject of my own “visual diary” which, for me, is a reminder, reflection, and observation of personal time and the civilization in which I live. 

I frequently draw my inspiration from daily life and have an abnormal interest in the absurdity and foibles of human behavior.  The political and social problems that exist in the world throughout history seem to provoke visual images which often inform my work.  These figures have become the actors in my introspective narratives.

Patti works and lives in Seattle WA.

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Joshua White

History has shown us time and time again that we take what we want. We couch our imperialism in terms of progress, divine right, or manifest destiny, but it comes to the same thing. I love science and the expansion of human knowledge, space travel, and exploring the unknown. But I question the idea of terraforming another planet and looking for an escape route while we exploit and destroy the resources of our home, the messianic messages of billionaires who want to save our species, and the commercialization of space travel. Of course, that isn’t the whole story.

Images created by brilliant scientists and engineers with technology that allows us to see the surface details of a planet 100 million miles away, are curious, beautiful, and represent a sense of wonder.

Joshua lives and works in western North Carolina, where he is an Associate Professor of Art at Appalachian State University.

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Cedra Wood

Different materials and techniques are used to create site-specific sculptural cryptids. Built initially as models to populate my paintings, these creatures—made from pine cone scales from the Sierra Nevada, desiccated fish bones from the Salton Sea, Lint gathered from Lehman Caves, camel hair, salt, and more—have grown into a body of work in their own right. I’m invested in wild and inhospitable places and human relationships with those places. That interest has led me to generate imagery for paintings and drawings through physical and immersive experiences in an ecosystem. Most recently, I have created labor-intensive props and costumes out of natural materials that are gathered from specific sites. My allegorical paintings and drawings, the final flowering of this process, explore the personification of landscape—as seen in myth, narrative, hallucination, or the corner of the eye.

.Cedra currently lives and works in Albuquerque.

Learn more about Cedra

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