Bruce Kitts – Red Lodge Clay Center

Bruce KittsMissoula, Montana

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2018

Bruce Kitts was born and raised in Central Illinois where he received his BFA from SIU at Carbondale in 2009 that followed up with a two year residency at Terra Incognito in Oak Park, Illinois. He received his MA from EIU in 2012. As a member of the Illinois Artisan Program, his work has been displayed in various galleries and museums throughout Illinois. In 2015, Bruce left for the west coast where he was a studio tech and artist in resident at the Mendocino Art Center. Since then, his work has been displayed in several nationally juried exhibitions. In 2017, Bruce moved to Helena, MT to work as a studio potter and currently resides in Missoula, MT working in his home studio.

As communication plays a vital role in human relations, it functions with as much authority in the relationships between artists and their media. It is an artist’s gateway to their connection with their materials. Through this connection, a development of intellect and progress is allowed and exhibited. My choice to to work with clay is deep rooted in its responsiveness and my ability to create a dialogue with it more than any other medium.

By building the surface with heavy texture that is then emphasized through my glaze application, I welcome the viewer to this dialogue. Much like brushstrokes in a painting, texture on ceramics invites the viewer to the history of the piece. Through the combination of texture, glaze application, and atmospheric firings, I try not to let any part of the surface go without attention. My goal is to create a form and surface that forces and intrigues the viewer to closely inspect the work in its entirety.

My utilitarian work is not only meant to serve good function, it is meant to create an experience. This experience should go beyond the basic use of the object. It is meant to create an event that brings joy and a deeper understanding of the work. The work is not complete until it is put to use.

Much like my everyday life, I am just as enticed by the journey of my work as the destination. Using a vast array of materials and processes, I aim to create a surface that reflects a fascinating journey; providing a prodigious amount of information while provoking many questions as well. Through texture and form, I wish to make work that is both ergonomic and tactile. My ultimate goal is not to find a balance of aesthetic and functionality, but instead a harmonious synergy between the two that intrigues the viewer to closely inspect the work in its entirety.