Pictured: view of the Queer Clay gallery; work by Ramekon O’Arwisters, foreground.

Queer Clay Artists in Conversation with Mark Burns and Vick Quezada

Thursday, November 16, 2023 • 5:00–6:00 PM (PST) • Virtual

Join us for a virtual discussion with Mark Burns and Vick Quezada , two of the talented artists behind our current exhibition Making in Between: Queer Clay.

Gain firsthand insights about how the inspiration, concept, and process works for these creative individuals. This panel of Queer Clay artists will dive into the cultural and social contexts that have shaped their artistic process. Artists will be joined by exhibition curators Beth Ann Gerstein and Pam Aliaga, who will offer insight into the exhibition concept and curatorial process. 

The panel will be followed by a Q&A session, where you’ll have the opportunity to pose your own questions to the artists and curators.

The panelists:

Mark Burns

Mark Burns is a ceramic artist and educator who creates narrative, personal works with a pop sensibility and sardonic humor. He studied illustration at the School of the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio before he moved to Seattle and completed his MFA under celebrated ceramicists Patti Warashina and Howard Kottler at the University of Washington. Burns often creates works that mimic or reference domestic objects commonly manufactured in clay by carefully splicing together elements of functional and decorative wares to create psychologically loaded tableaux. Simultaneously enticing and unsettling, Burns’ body of work embraces bad taste, strangeness, sex, and politics. His sensibility is often ascribed to his queer identity, and his visibility in the field has reoriented questions of suitable subject matter and created a platform for other artists to explore traditionally taboo content. He joined the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1990, where he served as head of ceramics and chair of the art department. He was a 2016-2018 artist in residence at Harvard University. Throughout his career, Burns has exhibited widely and has been collected by many museums including the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Mark Burns was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 2018.

Vick Quezada

Vick Quezada (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist, explores hybrid forms in Indigenous-Latinx history and the function of these histories in contested lands, primarily in the U.S.-Mexico Border. They work with a variety of mediums: video, performance, sculpture and ceramics. They incorporate found objects (man-made) and natural elements, like dirt, soil, flora, corn and combine them with found objects like bricks, reclaimed trash, chains, cans, and barbed wire. Quezada has received numerous grants and awards from institutions including the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Artist Relief Grant supported by Americans for the Arts and Creative Capital, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Quezada’s residencies include Lost and Found Lab in Cos Cob, CT, the Liberations Residency at MassMoca, and the Vermont Studio Center. Currently, Quezada lives in New Haven, CT. and is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Hampshire College in Western Massachusetts.

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