Molly Frantz – Red Lodge Clay Center

Molly FrantzSouth Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2023

Molly holds a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Ohio University. Previously, she worked in the Environmental Science field and holds a Masters of Environmental Science from Yale University. Molly taught all levels of ceramics in throwing and hand building for several years at Colorado Mesa Universty in Grand Junction CO. She has traveled extensively, and maintained a studio practice at the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen CO for eight years. She curated ceramics exhibits for the Aspen Chapel Gallery and served on non profit boards promoting local arts efforts. She recently completed a year program of study at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth ceramics program in New Bedford MA. She has two daughters, both in college. 

I am interested in giving formal expression to personal and universal psychological states of vulnerability, resilience, grief, loss, hope and humor. I grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont where deep history and new innovation merged together to form a kind of efficient yet unconventional system to run all of the day to day operations, ultimately churning milk from 250 cows every morning. Stone walls built in the 1800’s surrounded the pastures but were often topped with electric wire fencing. Old tractors parked next to new mowing machines both still in use. Repairs to all equipment were made quickly and effectively with what was at hand. To me, these “fixes” elicited a resilient, unexpected beauty in the repaired object. I’ve carried this aesthetic forward into my practice as an artist. In my response to the many struggles life brings both on a personal level and on a global level I draw from imagery that walks a line between chaos and elegance, collapse and sturdiness, grief and humor. I see a parallel between emotional landscapes in the aftermath of trauma and the images of towns ravaged by massive weather events due to climate change. What can be fixed, and what is lost? The anxiety around this question, particularly in consideration of a changing climate, comes forward in my work through the visual language drawn from my earlier life on the farm. In this current body of work I’ve explored that imagery to give voice to emotional states that are ineffable and yet are powerful moments of transformation in our individual lives and collectively on a global scale.