Virgina A. Groot Foundation

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Beth Cavener Stichter
2005 1st Place recipient


There are primitive animal instincts lurking in our own depths, waiting
for the chance to slide past a conscious moment. The sculptures I create focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms. On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality.

Both human and animal interactions show patterns of intricate, subliminal gestures that betray intent and motivation. The things we leave unsaid are far more important than the words we speak out-loud to one another. I have learned to read meaning in the subtler signs; a look, the way one holds one's hands, the tightening of muscles in the shoulders, the incline of the head, the rhythm of a walk, and the slightest unconscious gestures. I rely on animal body language in my work as a metaphor for these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological portraits.

I want to pry at those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and human. The figures are feral and uneasy, expressing frustration for the human tendency towards cruelty and lack of understanding. Entangled in their own internal and external struggles, the figures are engaged with the subjects of fear, apathy, violence and powerlessness.

Something conscious and knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions. An invitation and a rebuke.

Education and Awards

2006 Artist In Residence and Fellowship Recipient, Pottery Northwest  2005
2005 Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant, First Place
2005 Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship
2004 Summer  Guest Artist in Residence, The Clay Studio
2003 Emerging Artist Grant Recipient, American Crafts Council
2002 Artist in Residence, Lecturer, and Instructor, Archie Bray Foundation
2000- 2002 MFA, Ceramics, Graduate Teaching Assistant, The Ohio State University
2002 Edith Fergus Gilmore Materials Grant Recipient
2001  Edith Fergus Gilmore Merit Grant Recipient  

Selected Exhibitions

Solo Exhibition,  The Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho,
“From the Ground Up:  The 2007 Renwick Invitational” (curated), The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Renwick Gallery , Washington , DC
“Man and Beast”, (curated), Garth Clark Gallery , New York , NY
Solo Exhibition,  Garth Clark Gallery, New York , NY,
Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award, Shepparton , Australia 
The Archie Bray Foundation International Celebration, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena , MT
SOFA New York , represented by Garth Clark Gallery , New York , NY
“A Modest Proposal”, Solo Exhibition, Garth Clark Gallery , New York , NY
“The Animal Instinct” (curator: Beth Cavener Stichter), Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore , MD,
"Dominion: Man in Nature” (group exhibition), Gallery Materia,  Scottsdale , AZ,
“The Contemporary Cup” (curated), LillStreet Art Center , Chicago , IL
"35th Annual Ceramics Exhibition" (curated), Crossman Gallery, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater , WI
"The Wildness Within", NCECA 2005 Solo Exhibition, G-Spot Gallery, Baltimore , MD,
“School’s Out!” NCECA 2005 (curator: Gail Brown), Catonsville Art Gallery, Baltimore , MD
"Clay Menagerie" (curated), Garth Clark Gallery, New York , NY,
“A Tale To Tell: Contemporary Narratives in Clay”, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, , Sheboygan , WI
SOFA New York , New York , NY 
"Diverse Domain", NCECA 2005 Exhibition (curated), Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taipei
"Made at The Clay Studio", The Clay Studio Philadelphia , PA    
"Animated Earth", Craft Alliance  St. Louis, MO
"American Masters", Santa Fe Clay  Santa Fe, NM
“Alter Egos: Voices From Inside” (curated), Ohio Art League Gallery, Columbus ,Ohio,
American Crafts Council Grant Solo Exhibition, The Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, Oregon
“Natural Selection” (curated), Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe , NM
"Artists In Residence Summer Exhibition", Archie Bray Foundation Warehouse Gallery, Helena, Montana
Solo Exhibition, River Gallery and Museum, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Two Artist Exhibition with Chris Antemann, The Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
“NCECA 2004 Invitational: Biomimicry: The Art of Imitating Life” (curated), Herron Gallery,  Indianapolis, IN
“Viewpoint: Ceramics 2004” Second Place (juror: Leslie Ferrin), Grossmont College , El Cajon , CA,
"As I See Myself: Autobiographical Art," (curated),  Kentucky Museum of Arts and Design, Louisville, KY
St. Petersburg Clay National Juried Exhibition (juried), St. Petersburg Clay, St. Petersburg, Florida
"Spanish Feral Meat Goats," Best of Show, Non Functional, Juror: Don Reitz
"Residents of the Archie Bray Foundation" Curated Exhibition, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wichita National 2003 Juried Exhibition (juried), Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita, Kansas,
"The Cornered Hare," 2nd Place, Juror: Josh DeWeese
ANA 32, National Juried Exhibition (juried), Holter Museum of Art, Helena, Montana
"Object Lesson: Apathy," Juror: Richard Notkin
Annual Clay Invitational, Curated Exhibition, The Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
"Animal Body, Human Space", Archie Bray Foundation Warehouse Gallery, Helena, Montana
NCECA National Juried Exhibition, David Zapf Gallery, San Diego, Calif., 2003.
"Reclining Rabbit" and "Play."  Jurors: Patti Warashina, Joe Bova, Jeff Oestreich
“Ravens” (juried), Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, Md.
Residents of the Archie Bray, Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, Ill.,
"tremble, shiver", Solo Exhibition/Installation, 500 W. Nationwide Blvd. (raw space), Columbus, Ohio,
Selected Works, River Gallery and Museum, Chattanooga, Tenn..
“Expressing the Human Form” (curated), Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, Md., Curated by Adrian Arleo
“Feats of Clay XIV” (juried), Gladding, McBean Factory, Lincoln, Calif. 
"Pack Hunt", 2nd Place and Individual Merit Award
Past  Spotlight Exhibition (solo), Acme Art Company, Columbus, Ohio
“Best of 2000” (juried), The Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, Ohio
Exhibition affiliated with NCECA 1999, Elements of Art Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
“Emerging Artists” (juried), The Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, Ohio
Two-Artist Exhibition, The Arts Company, Nashville, Tenn.
Permanent Collections, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, Tenn.
Tennessee All-State Exhibition (juried), Parthenon Galleries, Nashville, Tenn.


Sheri Boggs,Ceramic Art and Perception, June 2004
Barbara Coyner, Artisan Northwest, June 2004
Leslie Ferrin, “500 Figures in Clay,” Lark Books, Publication Forthcoming
Mary K.Cloonan, “Flesh and Emotion,” Ceramic Art and Perception, Issue 49, 2001, p. 41, 42.
“Feats of Clay XIV,” Clay Times, November/December 1999, exhibition photos: p. 16-17.
Beth Cavener Stichter, “New Beginnings,” Ceramics Monthly, May, 1999, p. 48- 53.

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