Audry Deal-McEver is a Nashville, TN native who works primarily in clay and photography. In addition to earning a degree in Ceramic Studio Arts from Ohio University, Audry’s education also includes studies at Die Burg Giebichenstein Hochschule für Kunst und Design (School of Art and Design) in Halle, Germany, and residencies at the Mary Anderson Center, Hot Springs National Park, and the University of Alaska. Over the past 6 years she has had work in over 40 solo and group exhibits across the US including venues as diverse as the American Museum of Ceramic Art, the Reece Museum of Fine Art, the Disjecta Contemporary Arts Center, the Nashville International Airport, and various nature centers/botanical conservatories. Audry currently teaches at Vanderbilt University’s Sarratt Art Studios and is an arts faculty member at Ensworth High School. She also teaches workshops, and privately out of her home studio. When she’s not teaching or making, Audry enjoys working with her husband on their 1920s home, gardening, and relaxing with her four cats.
In the wild, plants change their smell and color to help attract creatures to pollinate them, with the end goal of propagation. In the same way, artists and designers throughout history have adapted their floral symbols to attract people that will acquire and spread their new patterns and trends. What starts out as a life-like botanical illustration can evolve drastically over hundreds of years, much like the cherry blossom and the rose share common ancestry, but are now completely different flowers.
Over the past several years, I have been doing studies of the different flower symbols seen throughout the history of different cultures, and carving them onto white clay vessels as a neutral canvas. I enjoy the way the patterns and forms engage each other. Though I spend many hours looking at historical designs, I carve them from memory, adding my own interpretation while responding to the curves of my forms. My end goal is to create beautiful, utility-based forms that inspire users to engage in slow, deliberate moments of sustenance.