"I use newspaper photos to generate the images in my work. I trace them and then either draw or stencil them into the canvas. The photos are used as raw material – they are cut apart, changed in scale, and grafted back together. Because I do not reference the news literally, I am free to transform it abstractly. There’s an element of exorcism withing the process that I find compelling. I’m interested in the evolution of an image, in its slow growth and its completion. Content comes from working – from the act of painting and from its resolution."
Randy Hayes - 2008 Fellowship Recipient
"In 1956 the film “Baby Doll” was made in Mississippi. The film was banned in much of Mississippi and the nation because of its “steamy” content. Fifty years later, I was driving through the Mississippi Delta and I stopped in Benoil where the film was made. I discovered that the house that had served as the set still existed a couple of miles from town. When I drove out to see the house I found the front door open and I could see that everything of value had been taken. Even the banister of the stairs was gone. The photographs I took that day became the basis for a series of works which I call “Baby Doll Suite.”
"In my paintings, color operates to differ from traditional or formal function. My paintings are heavily worked and are necessarily developed over time. I work deliberately to have the finished surfaces show concise renderings which do not state their process or labor as the subject or a prior design. My process and usage of grids are scaffolding on which the various configurations are made with and against. I want my work to engage a viewer to see and form associations which are an inevitable part of working today and now."
"My images ask viewers to glimpse the idea of the subject without actually seeing it. Different views of the same space, distilled down to their core essence, are now enlarged for inspection. My goal is to illustrate how the man-made and the natural are in a state of unrest. This unrest is often best shown via explosions. The explosion is an interesting “object” to me. It constantly changes as it forms only to disappear as ungraciously as it begins. To capture the energy in the center of the explosion and show it as a frozen moment is vital in my collages."
"The images that I’ve submitted may seem schizophrenic. The slides of ceramic figures are the most significant from the past ten years or so. I’m proud of them because each has epic meaning to me. Like all personal monuments, their impact may be finite and exclusive to me as their maker. But each has proven to be familiar to souls like mine and thus have been oddly and intimately shared. The process involved in making each of these human objects has been a linear and arduous task at times – like writing a novel."
"I am interested in using vessel forms to explore important archetypes of meaning and purpose. I try to suggest some of the most basic things that people respond to in this work. A gourd shaped jar might be seen as an attractive table ornament, or it might suggest the kind of object people needed to sustain themselves, or may make abstract allusions to the body. A cylindrical bowl shape might be used for food, or it might suggest other uses or thoughts. The fact that people instantly respond to a shape points to the “memory traces” that Philip Rawson talked about. The sculptural potential of a simple shape, and the communication of the pared-down version of that archetype are what interest me."
"My work uses traditional techniques and materials, primarily stoneware clay, slip, glaze and wood. For the past few years I have been using the “Large Jug” form as an object on which to create a narrative. These large vessels are inspired by the classic forms of traditional ceramics and folk pottery. The folk pottery of the southeast United States near where my parents used to live in North Carolina comes to my mind. As well as the old stoneware crockery that baking supplies had once come in and had been left in our basement as a child growing up in Waltham, just outside of Boston. Stories and story-telling interest me and these large vessels offer me a surface on which to work."
Akio Takamori - 2008 Fellowship Recipient
"It was when my relationship with clay matured that I first sought to expand and broaden the way ceramic vessels are viewed. My figurative works emerged from envelope-vessel forms, where contour and line flip-flop between two-dimensional perspective and three-dimensional relief. As interior and exterior surfaces are painted, an “inside-out” dynamic emerges. The resultant planes become a three-dimensional stage on which the dramatic spectrum of human experience and emotions are played out. The figures, a synthesis of mythological figures and seemingly ordinary mortals, wrangle poetically with the drama of Eros – the tremendous force to live, to reproduce, and the staving off of death. The nature and complexity of human relationships come to the foreground in this work."