Kelli Sinner – Red Lodge Clay Center

Kelli SinnerJordan, Utah

Red Lodge Clay Center, Short-Term Resident 2021

Kelli Sinner was a Professor of Ceramics at Minnesota State University Moorhead from 2005-2021 where she taught ceramics, papermaking, and foundation design. In 2015 she received MSUM’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Originally from Utah, Kelli obtained her MFA in Ceramics from Penn State University and her BFA in Ceramics from Utah State University.  Before moving to Minnesota, Kelli worked in New York City where she taught ceramics at Marymount College Manhattan, the 92nd Street Y, and the Educational Alliance. Kelli has completed artist residencies at the Zentrum fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany, the Winter Residency at Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina, and at Watershed Center for Ceramics in Newcastle, Maine.

My recent body of work called “Small World” was both created during and influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. I lived in a town bordering North Dakota, which for a time had the worst per capita infection rates worldwide. My world became very small, as I only went to work and home. The conditions of the pandemic forced a hyper awareness of our immediate spaces.

I started drawing from memory the places where I spent most of my time. I drew the layout of my yard, the parking lot outside my studio, and the route I walked countless times between studio and home. Spaces that were once so familiar they were invisible, became a comfort amidst a new way of living that was less social, and more alien.

Each object I make is one of a kind. Each piece presents an opportunity to solve a new problem, whether that problem is one of content, design, utility, or technique. I take great pleasure in the freedom I am afforded by my choice to be an artist, and I want to take full advantage of that opportunity through the variety of forms I produce. The result is a quirky rawness that delights in being handmade, while still serving as a reflection of contemporary society.