3rd Place recipient

Mayeri, portrait

Beverly Mayeri

Most of my work explores the personal life, our yearnings, strengths and fears, our connections to each other and to the environment. I like to use the surface of the clay as a canvas where figures and events are painted, carved, or drawn into the clay often using patterns from nature as a backdrop.

I’m inspired by a range of ideas like the challenge and comfort of family ties and friendships, the trials and delights of growing up and growing older, the beauty and diversity of the world and our immediate need to be better stewards of the earth. My approach is to search for a visual metaphor that expresses what I’m feeling. The best ideas are a complete surprise to me. They don’t come out of a logical process but from a form of daydreaming that sometimes gives me a new way of looking at my life and what’s happening around me. Besides the sea, I have used garden foliage, animals, stars in the night sky, stained glass windows, geometric designs, mosaic floors and totem poles. I enjoy getting these ideas into clay form and figuring out the details and coloring. I love sculpting faces and seeing what expression they assume, how sensual the lips are, what eyebrows can do, how the hair grows wild or tame. After the firing I like to use delicate washes of acrylic paint to add color and shading and sometimes a touch of contrasting shiny glaze.

Many of the faces are reflective and quiet as they look at life and ask the viewer to reflect as well about how we live. They beg the question what are we doing and where should we go from here?