Andrew Avakian – Red Lodge Clay Center

Andrew AvakianMissoula, Montana

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I was born in 1982 in Greenville, SC and raised in Raleigh, NC.  Growing up I loved playing guitar, drawing and cooking. While attending Western Carolina University I decided to channel my creative energy into clay and received a BFA in ceramics in 2005.  After graduating I was awarded a resident artist position at the Cub Creek foundation for the Ceramic Arts in central Virginia, where I started developing my own personal style and aesthetic.  In 2008 I moved back to Raleigh and continued my studio practice at Claymakers Studios in Durham where I was a studio assistant.   Recently I spent two years studying ceramics at the University of Florida as a post baccalaureate.  From 2013 to the spring of 2015 I was a resident artist at Odyssey Clayworks in Asheville NC, where I was able to transition into making art full time. I the spring of 2015 I moved to Missoula, MT with my fiancé Donna Flanery to work as a gallery assistant at the Clay Studio of Missoula and establish my own studio. I currently work out of my studio in the historic Ceretana building in Missoula Montana.

My hand built terra cotta vessels bring the richness of public architectural form into homes and individual, intimate environments. Architecture, design, abstract painting and color theory are some current ideas driving my work. Ornamentation, pattern, textures, and contrasts result from the use of different materials in building. These play a role in the layering form, texture and color in my work. Underglaze colors, terra sigillata, glazes and sandblasting add depth and a sense of passing time, age and experience.