Mark Hewitt has been making distinctive functional pottery in North Carolina since 1983. He spliced what he learned in his native England as an apprentice to pioneering potter, Michael Cardew, onto the pottery traditions of North Carolina and the South, bending those traditions into an elegant contemporary style. He uses local clays and glaze materials, and fires his pots in a large wood-burning kiln.
Mark works with apprentices, conveying production skills and aesthetic qualities to a new generation. Several of his former apprentices have gone on to establish their own successful independent careers.
In addition, his recent work reassesses aspects of the industrial ceramic world into which he was born – his father and grandfather were Directors of Spode, the fine china manufacturer.
He was the 2014 Voulkos Fellow at the Archie Bray Institute in Helena, MT, a finalist for the 2015 American Craft Council/Balvenie Rare Craft Award, and is current President of the North Carolina Pottery Center, in Seagrove, NC.
Ayumi Horie is a full-time studio potter in Portland, Maine who makes functional pottery with drawings of animals and typography, inspired by American and Japanese folk traditions and comics. She often works collaboratively on projects and regards working online as a second studio practice. She runs Pots In Action, a curatorial project on Instagram that features international ceramics and guest hosts from all over the world. She is currently working on a collaborative public art project, Portland Brick, that repairs city sidewalks with bricks made from local clay stamped with past, contemporary, and future memories of Portland. In 2009, she collaborated on a tile mapping project of Greenwich Village, which included the ecology of Manhattan in 1609. In 2011, she was the first recipient of Ceramics Monthly’s Ceramic Artist of the Year award. Ayumi travels nationally and internationally to give lectures and workshops on social media and ceramics and has organized multiple online fundraisers including Obamaware in 2008 and Handmade For Japan in 2011, which has raised over $100,000 for disaster relief. She has served on multiple boards including that of the Archie Bray Foundation and currently the American Craft Council and accessCeramics.org.
I was born.
I am animal.
I am human.
I live negro.
I tell you this because you will mistake me for an africanamerican BUT i am negro, a descendant of the enslaved peoples of theseunitedstatesofamerica.
I live southern.
I was born colored in Louisiana. I was raised negro. I was educated Black at Grambling College, a historically integrated college.
I live in the moment.
In the moment is creation. Creation is within every human. We must celebrate our creativity. The moment fuels our creativity.
I live to put ink on paper.
This is the major outlet for my creativity. I put ink on paper for the glory of my peoples. The words of my peoples have largely been excluded from “fine print.” I defy this condition and force my peoples’ presence into this part of this civilization’s culture.
I am a printer.
I am not an artist.
I am a stuff-maker.
I am not an artist.
I am a visitor.
I will die.
New York, NY
In the words of The New Yorker, “With his winning of the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion (one of the most original and moving scores of recent years), Lang, once a postminimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.”
Recent works include the concerto man made for the ensemble So Percussion and a consortium of orchestras, including the BBC Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; mountain for the Cincinnati Symphony; death speaks for Shara Nova, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Owen Pallett, at Carnegie Hall; and the whisper opera for International Contemporary Ensemble, which premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.
Upcoming highlights include the world premiere staging of his opera anatomy theater, written in collaboration with visual artist Mark Dion, at Los Angeles Opera in June 2016; the North American release in December of Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino’s film Youth, for which Lang composed the score; and Cantaloupe Music’s release of the world premiere recordings by the Los Angeles Master Chorale of Lang’s the national anthems and the choral version of the little match girl passion.
Lang is a Professor of Music Composition at the Yale School of Music and is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music festival Bang on a Can.
Few musicians share the ability of alto saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa to embody the expansive possibilities of his music with his culture. What has materialized is a sound that hybridizes progressive jazz and South Indian classical music in a fluid and forward-looking form that reflects Mahanthappa’s own experience growing up a second-generation Indian-American. The current manifestations of that trajectory include his latest project Bird Calls, which was issued in February 2015.
Though it pays homage to one of jazz’s Founding Fathers and arrives at the outset of Charlie Parker’s 95th birthday year, Bird Calls is not a tribute album. There isn’t a single Parker composition to be found on the album. But Bird’s DNA is strongly present in all of these pieces, each of which takes a particular Parker melody or solo as its source of inspiration then wholly reimagined and re-contextualized by Mahanthappa and his quintet.
Mahanthappa has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, and numerous commission awards from the MAP Fund, Chamber Music America, and American Composers Forum. He has been named alto saxophonist of the year four of the past five years in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics Polls and for five years running by the Jazz Journalists’ Association. In April 2013, he received a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, one of the most prominent arts awards in the world.
Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), won the 2002 New York / New England Award. His second collection, Mixology (Penguin, 2009), was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series. Mixology was also a finalist for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. His most recent collection of poems, The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013), focuses on the life of the prize fighter Jack Johnson and was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The Big Smoke was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and 2014 Pulitzer Prize. Among Matejka’s other honors are the Julia Peterkin Award, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, two grants from the Illinois Arts Council, and fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. He is the Lilly Professor/Poet-in-Residence at Indiana University in Bloomington and is working on a new collection of poems and a graphic novel.
Born in Fairbanks, Alaska to a Tlingit/N’ishga Mother and Hippy/American father his work stems from an examination of a multicultural heritage and social expectations and definitions. Da-ka-xeen was raised in two environments, one as an urban Native in Anchorage and the other as a rural Hippy in Fairbanks living without electricity, running water or phones, and heating the house with a wood stove. In particular his work has focused on the constructs of Native American identity, and an attempt to define the Self outside of these constructs. He uses the materials and tools of his family to express himself. From the steel and concrete of his Labor Union father, to the crook knife and cedar of his Alaska Native ancestors,
Da-ka-xeen received his A.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and his B.F.A. from the University of New Mexico. From 1994-2000 Mehner served as the founder and director of Site 21/21, a contemporary art gallery in Albuquerque, NM, and was a founding member/owner of the (Fort) 105 Art Studios in downtown Albuquerque in 1998. Da-ka-xeen returned to Alaska in 2000 and earned his M.F.A in Native Arts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2007.
He currently live in Fairbanks Alaska with his wife Maya, and son Keet. Da-ka-xeen is an Associate Professor of Native Arts at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and director of the UAF Native Arts Center.
St. Paul, MN
Jonathan Muecke has evolved a design practice that resists standard divisions between design, art and architecture, instead focusing on refined forms that investigate notions of positive and negative space, positional relationships to structures and the innate desire to read notions of functionality into objects that relate to human scale.
He studied architecture at Iowa State, interning at the architectural office of Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland before studying design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Shortly after graduating in 2010 he was awarded the Veuve Cliquot prize at the Design Parade 5 at Hyères, France. In 2014 he was awarded the pavilion commission from Design Miami.
Muecke¹s works are in the collections of national and international museums including The Museum of Art and Design (New York), Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Montreal), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Narcissister works the intersection of performance, dance, art, and activism. Integrating prior experience as a professional dancer and commercial artist with a long-standing art practice in a range of media including photography, video, and experimental music, she has presented work at The New Museum, PS 1, The Kitchen, Abrons Art Center and many nightclubs, galleries, and alternative spaces. Narcissister was a re-performer of “Luminosity” in The Artist is Present at MoMA. She has also presented work internationally at the Music Biennale Zagreb, Chicks on Speed’s Girl Monster Festival, Festival of Women Ljubljana, at Copenhagen’s first live art festival, the Camp/Anti-Camp festival in Berlin, among others. Her videos have been included in exhibitions and festivals worldwide, including recently on MocaTV. Her video “The Self-Gratifier” won “Best Use of a Sex Toy” at the 2008 Good Vibrations Film Festival; “Vaseline” won the main prize in 2013. Interested in troubling the divide between popular entertainment and experimental art, Narcissister appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2011. In 2013, she was in FORE at The Studio Museum and had her first solo gallery exhibition “Narcissister is You” at envoy enterprises. She was nominated for a Bessie Award for her evening-length piece “Organ Player” which debuted at Abrons Art Center in 2013. Narcissister is a recipient of a 2015 Creative Capital Award for the creation of a feature length experimental art film based on the Bessie nominated “Organ Player” performance. At the Creative Capital retreat in July, Narcissister was awarded a Theo Westenberger Grant.
Peter Nicks is an Oakland, CA based filmmaker whose work ranges from documentary features and fiction narratives to digital storytelling projects. His last film The Waiting Room was released in 2012 to critical acclaim, being named by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle as the best documentary of 2012 and shortlisted for an Academy Award®. Nicks is now developing The Oakland Police Project, the second of a series of character-driven documentaries exploring the intersections of health care, criminal justice and education in Oakland, CA. Nicks was recently awarded the SFFS/KRF screenwriting grant and named a Film Independent Fellow to develop his first narrative feature Escaping Morgantown, loosely based on the year he spent in federal prison in the early 90s. He received his B.A. in English from Howard University and his Masters of Journalism from UC Berkeley. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two children.