MAKING PLACE MATTER | The Clay Studio

The Clay Studio | Philadelphia, PA April 23 - October 2, 2023

MAKING PLACE MATTER

The Clay Studio

Philadelphia, PA

On view April 23rd, 2022 through October 2nd, 2023

Featuring work by Kukuli Velarde

Making Place Matter is an ambitious and experimental exhibition, symposium, and publication that will accompany the opening of The Clay Studio’s newly built home located in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood at 1425 North American Street. On April 8, The Clay Studio will enter into a new chapter of its nearly 50-year history, with the concept of ‘place’ taking on critical importance as the organization grows into its new home. Larger classrooms, state-of-the-art studios, an outdoor sculpture garden, a rooftop event space, and luminous new gallery spaces will meet the increased demand from students, artists, and visitors. Just as significant, building a resonant conversation between clay, artists, and audiences in the new Jill Bonovitz Gallery, Making Place Matter is organized around the complex meanings of place in our contemporary social conversation. The exhibition will open on April 23 and run through October 2, 2022, and is free to the public.

Using clay and cultural heritage as sources of inspiration, Making Place Matter will feature Philadelphia-based, Peruvian-born artist Kukuli Velarde, American-born, Massachusetts-based artist Molly Hatch, and Egyptian American artist Ibrahim Said, now based in North Carolina. Each artist explores the idea of place with regard to personal history, cultural heritage, and social justice. Clay is the material embodiment of place. Made of the earth we stand on, clay has the capacity to articulate cultural perspectives, social engagement, and artistic intentions. By using clay as a means to investigate ideas of place, Making Place Matter will create powerful tools to share with the new and established community, creating a feeling of belonging within the Jill Bonovitz Gallery for The Clay Studio’s various constituencies.

ABOUT THE A MI VIDA PROJECT


Kukuli Velarde’s A Mi Vida project includes a sculptural installation, painting, performance, and off-site interventions. The series focuses on the artist’s desire to prolong the sensation of holding her now elementary-age daughter Vida in her arms as a baby. It also embodies her anguish at the family separation at the U.S. – Mexico border. Like many of Velarde’s works, these clay sculptures entangle reality and dreamscape, blending influences from contemporary life and ancient indigenous Peruvian imagery and patterning.

ABOUT THE A MI VIDA PROJECT


Kukuli Velarde’s A Mi Vida project includes a sculptural installation, painting, performance, and off-site interventions. The series focuses on the artist’s desire to prolong the sensation of holding her now elementary-age daughter Vida in her arms as a baby. It also embodies her anguish at the family separation at the U.S. – Mexico border. Like many of Velarde’s works, these clay sculptures entangle reality and dreamscape, blending influences from contemporary life and ancient indigenous Peruvian imagery and patterning.

FEATURED ARTIST IN THE EXHIBITION


KUKULI VELARDE

INQUIRE HERE

Kukuli Velarde is a Peruvian-American artist who specializes in painting and ceramic sculptures made out of clay and terra-cotta. Velarde focuses on the themes of gender and the consequences of colonization in Latin American contemporary culture. Her ceramic work is a visual investigation of aesthetics, cultural survival, and inheritance.

Kukuli Velarde, “A Mi Vida III”, 2017, earthenware underglaze, paint, resin, 24 x 10 x 6″

ABOUT THE CLAY STUDIO


The Clay Studio

1425 N American Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

The Clay Studio is a nonprofit arts organization with internationally renowned artist residency programs, classes and events, exhibitions, community engagement programs, a shop, and more. They serve as a place where established and emerging artists come to shape their careers, a vital resource for arts education at local schools and community organizations, and a destination where people from every neighborhood in Philadelphia and all over the world can explore the vast world of clay. Visit theclaystudio.org for more information.

EVENTS


Making Place Matter Symposium

Saturday, June 4th | 9am – 5pm

Buy tickets here