Mel GriffinHelena, Montana

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Mel Griffin makes ceramic wall tiles and illustrations that address the human relationship with the natural world. After earning her MFA from the University of Minnesota, she was  a visiting professor at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN, was named Emerging Artist by both Ceramics Monthly and NCECA, and won the Leap Award from the Society of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA. After spending two years as a long term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT she decided to make Montana her home. She currently lives and works outside Helena in the Scratchgravel Hills, an area full of prickly pear cactus, jack rabbits, and coyotes. While not in the studio, she enjoys trail running with her dog and searching for wildlife.

I believe that the capacity to empathize can be developed through attentive engagement with daily landscape, and that the health of that landscape affects the health of our minds. In my work, animals serve as both playful and solemn metaphors for my own interactions with the environment, as well as those of society as a whole. Through imagery and metaphor, line and clay, my work seeks to capture the viewer’s emotional interest and to rekindle her sense of wonder and discovery.