Karl SchwiesowEllensburg, WA

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Karl is currently a Long-Term Artist In Residence at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana. In 2017 he was selected as the Ceramic Artist in residence at the Sonoma Community Center in Sonoma California, after which he was a Summer Fellow at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena Montana.

His current studio practice is focused on abstract ceramic sculpture and found materials. He maintains other passions in art and art making, including painting, design, mixed-media sculpture, and teaching. He has exhibited ceramic works throughout the United States and his works are represented at the Red Lodge Clay Center Gallery, The Archie Bray Foundation’s North Gallery, the Sonoma Community Center, The Montana Museum of Art and Culture, and private collections. He holds a BFA in Sculpture and Ceramics from Sierra Nevada College and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Montana. ​

My work is a break-down of what I know of a thing though a synthesis of found and manipulated objects in conversation with ceramic forms. I take note of the original function and concept of things, but become unfamiliar through contextual shifts. I deconstruct and reconstruct vernacular. Found objects and ceramic forms begin to exist with equal measure of industrial, domestic, or structural association with an overlay of organic touch. I cut, combine, layer, pinch, attach, stitch, perforate, bind, suspend, clamp, lift, peg, and twist until original function and context becomes a starting point for dialogue between our shared cultural experiences and assumptions. The work is both formal and object based dependent upon the viewer’s engagement and cultural understanding in order to appreciate them as art-objects.