About the exhibition
Clay captures the mark of the human hand unlike any other medium. While it is almost obvious to consider it balm for our techno-centric world, its superpowers are undeniable: what other material, in its earthiness/tactility/associations, reminds us that we have hands/mouths/feet and connects us with past/present/future in a single work.
This selection of works captures the direct marks of NIAD artists living and working in our local creative community. These sculptural objects represent a dip into the continuum of conversations humans have with clay -- via functional pottery, ritual artifacts, portraiture, craftivism, the blob -- the ongoing interpretation and reinterpretation of life, evoking the familiar and offering glimpses into complex interior worlds.
A classmate from my art school days said, “artifacts always win.” As a young art student I had a limited understanding of her statement. Today my interpretation of her words is that handmade objects have a unique longevity because coded into them, whether through material, technique or mark of the maker, is a specific time and place. Humble, concrete evidence of our history on this planet. A record of the myriad ways we are human, the ways we live and create.
About the selector
Katherine Lam is an Assistant Professor of Furniture & First Year Program at the the California College of the Arts (CCA) in Oakland and San Francisco. A graduate of the CCA Furniture Program (1998) Katherine’s 20-year career as a designer and consultant is dedicated to craft and the handmade object. A Bay Area native, they currently live and work in Oakland, California.