Red Lodge Clay Center Long-Term Resident 2015-17
Lars Voltz grew up in Bemidji, MN: home of the Mississippi River. It was during his study at Bemidji State University where he found the enriching impact and potentials a life in clay can offer. After receiving his BS in Art Education in 2009, he went on to graduate study at Wichita State University. It was through programs and faculty of WSU where Lars was exposed to worlds of art abroad. In 2014, he earned his MFA, the art history portion of which was completed in Japan, Cuba, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. The following Fall Lars moved to Shawano, WI with his fiancee Joyce St. Clair, to work with Simon Levin. During that year he traveled to Hangzhou, China to build wood kilns for the China Academy of Arts. The remainder of the year was spent making pots, taking long walks and learning the importance of local community to practicing artists. Lars has given lectures and exhibited his work nationally and internationally.
I believe in cultivating a sense of material ruggedness. Viewing the ceramic vessel as a crucial synergy between the material world and our cultural existence, conversations between mass and dynamism, exterior marks transitioned into evident, responsive interiors and raw clay exposed to a wood-fired atmosphere develops awareness to connections with potent material forces. Recognizing the diverse and active role geologic features have in contemporary existence informs conceptual decision making as well as scale, form and surface in my work. Integrating dynamic form and colorful wood-fired surfaces with the vessel asserts a continued geologic impact on understanding the conditions of contemporary life.