Olivia Tani – Red Lodge Clay Center

Olivia TaniMinneapolis, Minnesota

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Olivia earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2017.  Following graduation, she moved to Minneapolis, MN as a 2017-2018 Fogelberg Studio Fellowship resident artist at Northern Clay Center. Olivia continued her engagement in the Minnesota clay community and maintains a studio at Northern Clay Center.


I make work that serves as both functional and sculptural, I approach making utilitarian objects as a kind of vehicle for sculpture. In developing a form, the marriage between the two is where it is exciting. I celebrate the idea that an artwork can serve a function, while also being able to stand alone as a celebration of form, in a domestic environment.

I often think about deconstructing three-dimensional forms into their two-dimensional blueprints, which inspired my interest in slab building with clay.  I build volumetric forms using several slab components made from paper templates, which are influenced by my interest in geometry, compositional balance and creating illusions of movement within fixed shapes.   I work largely with enclosed forms and double walled components that evoke a sense of fullness, volume and mass.  Visually breaking down my works, the whole form is composed of smaller forms that can alone stand as sculptures.  Finding how these pieces cohesively fit together to create one aesthetically, structurally and functionally successful form, is what drives my current practice.