(b. 1983, Nevada City, CA, lives and works in Oakland, CA)

Crystal Morey sculpts porcelain animal-human hybrids as an exploration of the effects of post-industrial advancements on natural ecosystems. Drawing from contemporary environmental narratives and a range of art historical visuals, her work highlights vulnerable species interwoven with human counterparts. Morey has been an artist-in-residence at the LH Project, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and the Penland School of Craft.

Recent works presented in her solo exhibition Venus on the Waves (2019) were acquired by the Crocker Museum of Art, (Sacramento, CA), and the Monterey Museum of Art, (Monterey, CA). Her work has been shown nationally and internationally at 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, (Queensland, Australia), the Antler Gallery, (Portland, OR) and the Frick Pittsburgh, (Pittsburgh, PA). In 2006, Morey completed her BFA from California College of the Arts, and she received her MFA from San Jose State University in 2012. Morey is represented by Ferrin Contemporary.

Crystal Morey: Venus on the Waves Catalog


Crystal Morey’s “Venus on the Waves” exhibition catalog release June 1, 2020.

Available now for pre-order for $17.80, which includes domestic postage.

The 8.5 x 11″ booklet includes 16 beautiful pages of images and text from the “Venus on the Waves” exhibition at Ferrin Contemporary in 2019.

The book also includes a wonderful essay by writer Maria Porges, “Claiming Beauty: Crystal Morey’s Venus on the Waves”.

Excerpt from Maria Porges Essay:

All of Morey’s therianthropes have a kind of contained power, even when their poses might bely such a reading. A closer examination of the passive contrapposto of the standing figures in Three Gracesreveals a kind of watchful alertness. Positioned back to back around a tree stump, they are warriors creating a united defense. Rhino and mountain lion have their arms intertwined, but the gesture looks protective rather than girlishly affectionate. Alert, all three scan the horizon, dependent on each other for safety. As Morey has put it, “The rhino, mountain lion and human are all in danger of habitat loss, and extinction- although the human is just now realizing how delicate her situation is, and how dependent she is on the well -being of the creatures and environments around her.”

Like these three, Morey reminds us, all living creatures are connected. Multiple-figure compositions– a first for her—have enabled her to address increasingly complex issues. The result is a body of work in which several different meanings can be slowly unpacked, even as the immediate physical appeal of the figures provides pleasure. “You can come in at whatever level you want, but hopefully it will make you think about something you haven’t previously considered… I don’t know if this work will make a change, but I hope it instigates a conversation.”