ARTWORK

VOID

THE VOID Raku Ceramics / Fiber / Found Objects Life is so circular, and the void to be filled is ephemeral at best. All we can hope for is tangents of hope that weave through our existence.

ROBE

BEHIND THE ROBE Raku Vessels / Fibers 74"h x20"w x7"d What really lies beneath the robe of clergy...the truth is often disguised under the pretense of religion. What better garb than the robe?

Cult Figure

CULT FIGURE Ceramics / Fibers 74"h x 20"w x 6"d A mix of traditional wheel-thrown vessels, transformed into a figurative form to represent some of the rituals associated with baptism and communion.

Grab 'Em By The Pussycat

GRAB 'EM BY THE PUSSYCAT Polychromed Ceramics 17”hx14”x12” Created in direct response to Trump’s Billy Bush conversation, referred to as the “Access Hollywood” tape. One of his captured remarks… “You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” With that comment, Trump made it acceptable to say “pussy” in public… away from the “locker room," so-to-speak, and in this sentiment, Trump has made it acceptable to lie, swindle, cheat, belittle others, and “Make America Hate Again."

Casting Stones

CASTING STONES Polychromed Ceramics 16”hx44”wx96”d It seems to me that churches have been the least open and affirming in regard to the acceptance of same-sex relationships. The institution that pretends to promote peace and love, instead casts opinions over the proper way to condemn, and ostracize. Most important to remember,…we’re talking about love, for god’s sake.

Warning Signs

WARNING SIGNS 72”hx24”x24” Inspired by the precarious political situation in which our country has seemingly embraced, the "warning signs" keep accumulating. Dead canaries are signs of a toxic atmosphere in the coal mines. Caged by circumstances, we are faced with forty-five presidential bones of contention, hooked and grabbed by a monster pussycat with the trap awaiting. We are definitely being taken for a ride on the roller coaster from hell as Trump normalizes the abnormal!

#MeToo

# ME TOO Oil on Canvas / Quilt Pieces / Found Object 40”hx22”w Unfortunately, the #MeToo Movement has been a part of humanity since antiquity and little has changed over the course of time. These 100-year-old quilt pieces were gathered from an elderly friend, Pearl Hartley. The use of quilt patterns resonated because of my upbringing in the Mennonite tradition, however religion often facilitates harassment under the guise of a safe haven. Juried into the 2019 West Virginia Biennial Exhibition.

Great, Great Peace Extinguisher

A GREAT, GREAT PEACE EXTINGUISHER Polychromed Ceramics / Plastic / Chain / Copper Rods 47”hx16”x19” Aligning each of Trump’s outrageous edicts next to biblical verses seems to sum up the incongruity of the moment. How can the Evangelical Religious Right call this president the “chosen one” in light of his rhetoric that contradicts the whole Jesus premise of peace and justice. This artwork debuted in Stuttgart, Germany in 2018 for a peace-themed group exhibition.

Southern Discomfort

SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT Polychromed Ceramics / Wood 12”hx38”x32” What the hell went on in Charlottesville, Virginia? And worse yet, Trump had words of affirmation for the white supremacists! I asked Larry, an African-American friend of mine, whether or not he thought the current administration had encouraged latent racism to surface. “It was never latent to me,” he said. As an international symbol of hate, let’s cut up the confederate flag once and for all.

Truth Wielder

TRUTH WIELDER Polychromed Ceramics / Wood / Decals 96”hx48”wx16”d Our belief structure is based on a series of "truths" presented to us by our parents, our religion, and our teachers. We receive these "truths" tainted with a personal agenda from each sender. It is our responsibility to sift through the minutia to determine our own path -- to see the light -- to define our own truth. Truth Wielder is intended to illuminate some of the inconsistencies that pervade the religious.

Hook, Lying, and Sinker

HOOK, LYING, AND SINKER Low-Fired Ceramics 56”hx18”x16” I remember thinking, “okay, I can forgive the people who voted for George W. Bush the first time, but there’s no possible way they can fall for it again.” As therapy to deal with the fact that he won a second term, I created this piece which reveals the trickery employed by politicians to secure the vote. On this “fishing pole” are 51 harpooned fish representing the percentage of voters who took the bait, were lured-in and got tricked.

American Tea Party

AMERICAN TEA PARTY Low-Fired Ceramics / Wood / Scripture 50”hx16”x12” A conservative political movement emerged in America known as the “Tea Party” with intentions to force legislation that would inadvertently discriminate against various groups of individuals in our nation. Curiously, the Evangelical Right jumped on board and appeared to target groups that included minorities, women, and the LGBTQ community. Of particular concern, they used scripture to back their discriminatory rationale.

Under Pressure

UNDER PRESSURE Low-Fired Ceramics 30”hx22”x16” One of my all-time favorites, it speaks to the stress and sacrifices that are encountered every single day, in one way or another. When this piece was exhibited at The University of South Carolina - Upstate, the gallery director asked if the medium was ceramics and steel. “One-hundred percent ceramics,” I said!

Changing Patterns

CHANGING PATTERNS Polychromed Ceramics / Sewing Patterns / Metal 54”hx44”wx12”d The role of women in our culture has been changing throughout my lifetime… hopefully for the better. Traditional roles previously defined by society as appropriate for women have expanded…hence the welder’s mask hanging above a torso of a pregnant woman, covered with sewing patterns. I am fortunate to have been enlightened by three daughters!

Hallelujah Teapot

HALLELUJAH TEAPOT Raku-Fired Ceramics 17”hx11”x8” Agreed! I’m a bit amazed that it made it through a raku firing also!

Empty Votes

EMPTY VOTES Low-Fired Ceramics 42”hx 18”x16” Completed while enjoying an art residency at the Lee Art Center in Arlington, Virginia, this piece was inspired by the political climate endured during the Bush administration. We continue to suffer from the Electoral College system where only a few select swing-states decide the election. In West Virginia, for instance, my vote is an “Empty Vote.” Please, oh please, can we switch to a popular vote?

Hallelujah Teapot

HALLELUJAH TEAPOT Raku-Fired Ceramics 17”hx11”x8” This was in a show in Kentucky that Walter Hyleck juried…and he bought it! That made me so happy!

Altarpiece

ALTARPIECE Pit-Fired Ceramics 64”hx18”x17” According to the biblical account, when confronted by the opposition Peter denied knowing Christ three times. After the third denial the rooster crowed and served to remind him of his failure. I can hear the rooster, but perhaps Rumi has a clarifying perspective …”there are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.” Collection of Omar Eby

Hallelujah Teapot Blue

HALLELUJAH TEAPOT High-Fired Ceramics 16”hx 11”x8” Designed to convey a sense of sculpture in functional pottery! The concept behind the “Hallelujah Teapot” series is the notion of flailing one’s arms in the air as if divinely inspired.

Instrumental Mary

INSTRUMENTAL MARY Polychromed Ceramics 42”hx 18”x16” While displayed at Old Dominion University in a Two-Person Exhibition, a gentleman approached me and sought an explanation regarding this piece. I revealed to him that I had taught at a Catholic college and was awarded a grant to create a series of artworks to “Compare Catholic and Mennonite Beliefs.” In this regard, one of the glaring differences was the reverence that the Catholic tradition afforded to Mother Mary. He bought it!

Hallelujah Teapot Aqua

HALLELUJAH TEAPOT High-Fired Ceramics 16”hx 11”x8” Designed to convey a sense of sculpture in functional pottery! The concept behind the “Hallelujah Teapot” series is the notion of flailing one’s arms in the air as if divinely inspired.

Hallelujah Teapot w/ Cups

HALLELUJAH TEAPOT & CUPS High-Fired Ceramics 18”hx 18”wx8”d Designed to convey a sense of sculpture in functional pottery! The concept behind the “Hallelujah Teapot” series is the notion of flailing one’s arms in the air as if divinely inspired.

Fray

FRAY Glaze Ingredients 9”wx14”h (each) As a ceramic artist, having a show in Germany posed significant shipping issues so I decided to create mono-prints using glaze ingredients as “ink.” It was interesting and different for me. Our group exhibition was displayed in two venues. While visiting during the second show the gallery director pointed out my work and asked, “do you know whose artwork hung in that exact spot before yours?… Joseph Beuys.” I liked that!

Communion

HOLY COMMUNION Low-Fired Ceramics 44”hx 17”x17” The chalice, as the ultimate symbol of community in the Christian church, is desperately apart from the sustenance that fills the cup. Infighting and difference-of-opinion over protocol and particulars has caused splits and divides to the tune of thousands of denominations. Is it even possible to argue more over how to worship? Collection of Brescia University.

Bushwhacker

BUSHWHACKER Polychromed Ceramics 24”hx24”x24” Oh my… the George W. The George W Bush administration offered up so much fodder for my art, and this was one of them. A life-size lawnmower spewing out blades with data recording the injuries and casualties in Iraq that happened under his watch. Collection of Aaron Anslow.

Appalachian Lockdown

APPALACHIAN LOCKDOWN Low-Fired Ceramics / Wood 34”hx30”x8” As a fringe resident of Appalachia for decades, I have witnessed the abuse and manipulation of the people by big-business, and the government. The land was timbered mercilessly, the coal industry decimated the environment, and now fracking is compromising the water. The variety of terrain in Appalachia is best suited for the clean options of hydro, solar, and wind energy production but poverty and lack of education can trick the mind.

Preemptive Strike

PREEMPTIVE STRIKE Polychromed Ceramics 48”hx48”x48” When Bush decided to start a conflict in the Middle East, it was rationalized by calling it a “preemptive strike” against potential villains. The “strike” that I created is a mix between bowling items and peace jargon. Every scripture in the Bible where the word “peace” is mentioned is written on the bowling ball…and one-thousand strikes adorn the warning cones. The use of fear-tactics always helps too, as seen in the “Terror Alert” cones.

*LaughingTP_mass

LAUGHING TEAPOT High-Fired Ceramics 11”hx8”x5” An early “Laughing Teapot” that seems more reserved and less daring than what I’ve been making currently. But every idea has a beginning and an end!

*RoadWeavers

ROAD WEAVERS Low-Fired Ceramics / Wood 32”hx 24”x12” My daughter, Anda, and I embarked on a cross-country bicycle trip in the Spring of 2010, but only made it to Arkansas. It was still an experience of discovery as we battled against the elements and vehicles. I’m not sure we were prepared for the beasts we encountered, both physical and emotional.

*Laughing_Teapot_Blue

LAUGHING TEAPOT High-Fired Ceramics 15”hx8”x5” If you’ve ever thrown your head back and roared with laughter, this may be the teapot for you! It’s even functional! And a lot of fun too!

*LaughingTP_cups_stand

LAUGHING TEAPOT w/Cups and Walnut Stand High-Fired Ceramics 55”hx12”x12” This award-winning set has all the qualities of a typical “Laughing Teapot” but with an elegant twist…hanging teacups on a walnut stand. A neighbor’s father offered me rough-sawn walnut planks one day and I graciously accepted!

*Laughing_Teapot_Aqua

LAUGHING TEAPOT High-Fired Ceramics 15”hx8”x5” If you’ve ever thrown your head back and roared with laughter, this may be the teapot for you! It’s even functional! And a lot of fun too!

Wheeling Feeling

WHEELING FEELING Found Objects 42”hx 18”x16” Created for an exhibition at the Wheeling Artisan Center to celebrate Wheeling’s 250th Anniversary, “The Wheeling Feeling” is largely composed of found objects from the Upper Ohio Valley. The core component is a disassembled piano but the featured “relic” is a dead bird found in the bell tower of the now defunct Mount deChantal Visitation Academy. This mix of elements reflects on the city’s vibrant past, slow death, and attempts at recovery.

The Ride

THE RIDE Low-Fired Ceramics 22”hx18”x16” The central feature of a larger work titled “Warning Signs,” this piece is an extension of the “pussycat” series…the unbelievably incongruent and unexplainable practices of the current administration as defined by this non-sensical beast.

Slip Sliding

SLIP SLIDING Plywood 96”hx96”wx16”d My first outdoor sculpture…now deceased.

Sitting Duck

SITTING DUCK Low-Fired Ceramics / Copper Wire 38”hx14”x12” This theme of “fowl” started appearing in my work after my department chair, Sister Mary Diane, expressed to me that I reminded her of a duck…. “calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddling like crazy underneath.” I can accept that!

*RoyalFlush

ROYAL FLUSH Low-Fired Ceramics 42”hx28”wx16”d The “Royal Flush” is by far the most controversial piece I’ve ever created. I was astonished that 65% of the peace-loving Mennonites were backing a war-monger president. After exhibiting this piece at Eastern Mennonite University, I received hate-mail and vicious editorials in the local newspaper for three months, as well as an equal amount of positive support. Collection of Kevin Cole

*LaughingTP_short

LAUGHING TEAPOT High-Fired Ceramics 10”hx8”x5” Whoa! This one is hardly laughing!

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Changing Patterns

CHANGING PATTERNS Polychromed Ceramics / Sewing Patterns / Metal 54”hx44”wx12”d The role of women in our culture has been changing throughout my lifetime… hopefully for the better. Traditional roles previously defined by society as appropriate for women have expanded…hence the welder’s mask hanging above a torso of a pregnant woman, covered with sewing patterns. I am fortunate to have been enlightened by three daughters!