Nicole Seisler • Hand Pressed Souvenirs • August 8, 2020

Nicole Seisler’s practice centers on the materiality of clay and its metaphoric resonance with human experience. The haptic, malleable, ephemeral, and permanent qualities of clay make it possible for the material to track and trace time, thereby absorbing and marking our existence. Her sculptural, site-responsive, performative, and participatory work forefronts these characteristics, usurps traditional roles of functionality, and uses clay as a conduit between people, and between people and place. She directly engage others in her process and often positions herself as ‘facilitator’ in order to question authorship and to blur the overlapping roles of artist/viewer/participant/collaborator.

A particularly indicative example of this is the ongoing public project, Hand Pressed Souvenirs. Clay functions in this project as the conceptual and material conduit for forging tangible, intimate connections between people and the places in which they live, work, and travel. She uses customized field kits to bring blocks of wet porcelain on walks throughout cities and neighborhoods where participants make impressions of architectural details that they feel visually, culturally, and personally define a place.

These Hand Pressed Souvenirs, much like clay tablets of the earliest societies, become records of particular moments in history. The resulting porcelain objects capture fine-grained details of architecture and design on one side while preserving the lines and marks of the hand that produced it on the other. The space between
people and place is literally embodied by the raw clay and, once fired, it is permanently solidified. The growing collection of Hand Pressed Souvenirs maps our global cities and spaces through personal connections, stories, and memories.

Nicole Seisler is a Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist who creates sculpture, installation, and public art that investigate time, materiality, process, and the overlapping roles of artist/viewer/participant/collaborator.

Seisler received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has exhibited at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Elmhurst Art Museum, Illinois; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee; Armory Arts Center, West Palm Beach; North Gallery at the University of Washington, Seattle; Nash Gallery at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Craft Contempory, Los Angeles; Customs House, Sydney; Alto Galleria, Brussels; and Flash Atoyle in Izmir, Turkey.

Reviews of Seisler’s work have been published in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Ceramics Monthly, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Herald. Seisler has been awarded the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, the City of Boston Public Art Grant, the Fort Point Arts Community Public Art Fund, and she received the Maria Scholarship for her residency with ACRE Projects. She recently completed a large-scale permanent installation for the Airbnb Headquarters in San Francisco and was a resident visiting artist at Ash Street Project in Portland, OR. Seisler has taught ceramics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Washington, and she was the Lincoln Visiting Professor of Ceramics at Scripps College. She currently teaches at Pasadena City College and is the Director of the Los Angeles contemporary ceramics gallery A-B Projects.