Ted NealMuncie, Indiana

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Born and raised in rural upstate New York, Ted has received degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (MFA 1998), Utah State University (BFA 1995), and Brigham Young University Idaho (AAS 1991). After graduate school Ted taught as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He moved back to Logan, Utah in 2001 to take the position of technology instructor and studio coordinator for the ceramics area at Utah State University. (2001-2006) His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including: NCECA Clay National Columbus, OH, Mastery in Clay The Clay Studio Philadelphia, PA, Forms and Shapes: The Useful Teapot AKAR Gallery Iowa City, IA, Mineralogy and Metallurgy: The Multi-media Ceramic Vessel University of Louisville, Louisville KY. Ted is currently a studio artist and Assistant Professor of Ceramics and area head in the Art Department of Ball State University in Muncie Indiana.

The current sociopolitical and economic environment has led me toward exploring consumption and the use of natural resources as themes in my work. I choose the ceramic vessel as a means to marry industrial form, contemporary iconographic symbols with my thoughts about our consumer culture. I enjoy the interplay of roles between the utilitarian form as an object for eating and that of a conceptual vehicle for expression about global consumption. The objects serve as subtle reminders of the true cost of the things that we use.

The recent resurgence of environmental discussion in the public domain seems to me more directly related to the increase in out of pocket expense than sincere concern. Less apparent than personal monetary costs is awareness of the environmental costs associated with the production, processing, shipping and pollution caused by overuse of natural resources. Our patterns of consumption are so ingrained that change seems difficult and associated problems feel insurmountable. Often we seek to disconnect ourselves from the negative aspects of our behavior but it is my hope that this work prompts viewers to think about such issues in relation to their own lives.