Buddy Bunting’s paintings of sun-bleached landscapes dominated by the expansive presence of prisons provide a kind of cinematic narrative—a silent film about people on the other side. As a visitor to these sites, Bunting is cast
in the role of voyeur, exercising his freedom to drive past the prison and the immobile existence of its inhabitants. In many of his works, the surrounding landscape is absent, lending a sense of displacement to the structures, as if they had dropped down from somewhere to land in the middle of nowhere. Bunting uses light and color to achieve a nearly invisible painted line, creating a mirage-like image that intensifies the seeming endlessness of the road ahead for both prisoner and driver.
Buddy Bunting earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Boston University. He is a member of the SOIL Artist Collective in Seattle, and in the Northwest, his work has been shown at SOIL Gallery, Kirkland Arts Center, 4Culture Gallery, Consolidated Works, Center on Contemporary Art, and Tacoma Art Museum. Nationally, he has shown his work in group exhibitions at P.S. 122, The Painting Center, and Artists Space in New York, the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, Stedman Gallery at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey, and the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 2004, he received a GAP grant from Artist Trust.
Victoria Haven’s work speaks to rapid change of the landscape, like the nearby construction that feeds the watchful artist’s work. Looking like curiously manmade frameworks for a mountain range, her paintings such as The Lucky Ones- Pressure Drop or Bolt often demonstrate an active state of spatial change, either in the form of a developing neighborhood or the split-second burst of a lightning bolt. Space is also investigated in works such as the Rabbit Hole series, in which Haven asks herself how far lines can be pushed until they disappear. She explores this by using glazes to control the way in which a painted line fades to near total invisibility. The effect of these disappearing lines is the creation of an impossible space—a kind of portal that allows one to slip into another realm.
Victoria Haven earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1999. She has received numerous grants and awards including two Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants, two Artist Trust grants, the Betty Bowen Special Recognition Award, a Neddy Artist Fellowship nomination in 2004, and The Stranger “Genius Award.” Most recently, her work has been included in group exhibitions at Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, the Art Gym, Portland, the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, the Austin Museum of Art, and the Drawing Center, New York. Her exhibitions have been reviewed frequently by Northwest critics and in Art in America, Artforum, and New Art Examiner, and she has been selected twice for New American Paintings (1996, 2004). Her work has been acquired by the Henry Art Gallery, City of Seattle, and Safeco Insurance.
Whiting Tennis - 2007 Fellowship Recipient
Whiting Tennis finds his subject matter in ordinary structures in states of abandon. His oil painting, Birdbath, inspired by his neighbor’s ramshackle birdbath, epitomizes this interest in what he calls the “public display of negligence.” In works such as Nomad, these structures take on a human posture of loneliness, old-age, or terminal neglect, inspiring curiosity about the “lives” they once had. Tennis resuscitates these neglected objects and brings them to our attention as they take on a human quality without a human present. Tennis plays with the viewer’s perception of these structures and the space they inhabit by flattening the scene with the layering of patterned paper, contrasting this with painted shadows that suggest a depth not entirely visible.
Whiting Tennis graduated from the University of Washington in 1984 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. His work has been included in group exhibitions in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Boston. In 1987, he was included in the Bumbershoot Arts Festival in Seattle. He has had one-person gallery exhibitions in New York, including at the prestigious White Columns gallery, as well as in Portland and Seattle. In 1993, Tennis received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times and Art in America in addition to reviews by numerous Northwest critics.
Charles Krafft - 2007 Fellowship Recipient
Krafft’s work is able, via one small form, to perplex the viewer using symbols of violence, evil, death, ritual, celebrity, knick-knackery, history, war, and humor. By choosing iconography like the grenade, Krafft asks the viewer to rethink preconceived ideas about these symbols and what happens when they are used in another context. His commemorative penitentiary dinner plates and earthenware bunnies positioned in lethal situations are more than just examples of the macabre. Often made in multiples, his pieces can be amassed into a domestic-looking collection, albeit a creepy one, that challenges and provokes.
Charles Krafft is a self-taught painter who is best known for his provocative delftware. His work has been shown internationally including the London Crafts Council, Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Saint-Étienne, France, and Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts. He has completed artist-in-residence programs at Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin and California State University, Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center. His work has been published in Postmodern Ceramics, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Artforum, and his selfpublished monograph Villa Delirium. Krafft is also the founder of the “Mystic Sons of Morris Graves, Seattle Lodge No. 93,” an exclusive and pseudo-secret society of artists dedicated to the absurd.
Yuki Nakamura’s ceramic sculptures and installations are grounded in a personal perspective. She employs objects to explore dreams. Her pillow sculptures, alluding to where we are at our most imaginative, are invitingly smooth and painted with unidentified maps, derived from the natural shape and texture of tree trunks. These works suggest displacement, as if the resting head dreams of being elsewhere. Dream Suspended, an installation composed of porcelain soccer balls hanging at different lengths from neon wires, is a poignant piece dedicated to the artist’s brother. Frozen in space, each sphere hangs like an interruption in someone’s plans, a life stopped short, before his or her dreams came true.
Yuki Na kamura graduated from Joshibi University of Art and Design, Tokyo in 1994 and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington in 1997. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Peeler Art Center, DePauw University in Indiana, Kittredge Gallery at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, SOIL Gallery in Seattle, and Archer Gallery of Clark College, Vancouver, Washington. She received grants from Artist Trust, 4Culture, Washington State Arts Commission and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. She has completed artist-in-residence programs at the Pilchuck Glass School through a PONCHO Scholarship, Centrum in Port Townsend, Pratt Fine Art Center, Seattle, the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont, La Napoule Art Foundation, France, and Novara Arte Cultura, Italy. Her work is included in the collections of Tacoma Art Museum, Microsoft Corporation, and the Tacoma Trade and Convention Center.
Eric Nelsen’s sculptures are like ritual offerings from what he calls his “personal rolodex” of art historical and personal influences, such as his mentor Isamu Noguchi and the latter’s training with Constantin Brancusi. These references appear as symbols in Memory, Myth, Motif: The Continuum of Objects and serve as a way for Nelsen to indirectly own things of personal and artistic value—a collection of sorts. The way in which the objects are arranged, jostled against one another, suggests the way in which experiences sit in our memory, waiting to be organized by us into something meaningful. Nelsen successfully achieves this via a rare ceramic tradition. His use of the Japanese anagama technique is appropriate to his subject matter. After a long 96 hours of firing in this ancient method, the individual pieces emerge from the kiln as if excavated, rusty-looking but closely resembling their original counterparts, unearthed in miniature.
Eric Nelsen cites the deep influence of the artists Morris Graves and Isamu Noguchi on his career. In 1975, Noguchi invited Nelsen to Japan, where he studied ceramics with Kaneshige Michiaki at the kilns in Bizen. The following year, he collaborated with Mitsuo Morioka to construct one of the first anagama-style kilns in the United States. He established his first studio in Seattle in 1978, and began giving workshops on ceramics. His work has been exhibited regularly in group and one-person exhibitions since 1977. In addition to many reviews in national publications such as Ceramics Monthly and American Craft, Nelsen is included in The Art of Craft: Contemporary Works from the Saxe Collection published by the M. H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, and Ceramics in the Pacific Northwest: A History by LaMar Harrington.
Identifying his medium as “architectural space,” Alex Schweder creates three-dimensional works that examine the messy side of the human body, making it uncomfortably public. His modified urinals, Peescapes, encourage men and women to share a rare biological experience in which genders are the same. Bi-Bardon, a Siamese twin urinal, and the imaginative Carwash also emphasize the contradiction between human waste and the pristine objects into which we dispose of it. And, to emphasize the lack of control we have over biology, Schweder cleverly bestows character on these objects through their humanlike imperfections.
Alex Schweder trained as an architect at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and Princeton University. In 2006, he completed a year-long fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. His exhibition history includes group exhibitions at the Sculpture Center, New York, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, the St. Louis Art Museum, Museo d’Arte Contemporane di Roma, Art Metropole in Toronto, and Tacoma Art Museum. His project Lovelorn Walls was permanently installed in the Tacoma Trade and Convention Center. His work is included in the collections of Tacoma Art Museum, the Kohler Company, and the Museum of Sex in New York.
Tip Toland’s work tells a similar story about nature having its way with humans, but with a completely different outcome. Her lifelike female figures link the quest for physical beauty with the inevitable passing of time. These figures appear individualistic but speak to universal issues, such as the small but lifelong gestures we make in seeking acceptance. Autobiographical and narrative, Toland’s work gives the viewer an immediate look into a life. The context of that life is open to imagination but remains weighty with insight.
Tip Toland earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Montana State University in 1981. She has received major grants from the Virginia A. Groot Foundation, a GAP Grant from Artist Trust, an Emerging Artist Grant from National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She completed artist-in-residence programs at the Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, Montana, Centrum, Port Townsend, and Contemporary Craft Gallery, Portland. Her work has been exhibited in more than 12 one-person and 30 group exhibitions across the United States since 1981. Her work has been acquired by important private collectors and major museums including the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and the Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin.