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My personal vision as an artist has focused on a format that is admittedly ancient: I am passionate about pottery form as a site for personal expression. I have no excuse for this arcane practice. I have little interest in the functional debate, although I recently allowed a florist to fill a vase with an outrageous arrangement. I choose to make vases and bowls because those forms allow the most open interpretation of shape without losing the iconic identity of the object. The scale of the vases, from two to six feet, gives me room to explore color, shape and pattern. The bowls provide a more intimate space where I have been exploring narrative ideas, recently involving mythology. My devotion to surface patterning has also proven to be an addiction that satisfies my love of stylized image and my firmly positive response to the word DECORATIVE. In the motifs of my overlaid figure/ground surfaces, I suspect I am often exploring my subconscious. The sources for the motifs range from my garden to doodles to texts of historical ornament, such as Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament. Ceramics is the ideal media to combine surface color and three-dimensional form. There is the affirmation of historic precedence of the painted pot, and the possibilities of current clay and glaze technology to support my vision.
Born 1948 in Newark, New Jersey, Andrea Gill is a ceramic artist and professor of ceramic art at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, New York. Gill earned a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1971, studied at the Kansas City Art Institute from 1972-73, and completed her MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1976. She has been a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation and Anderson Ranch, and was awarded two Artist Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Gill is considered one of the pioneers in the resurgence of decorative earthenware and maiolica glaze techniques. Her work is decorated, often employing hand-cut stencils, which generate stunning layers of color and glaze on clay vessels that allude to the history of ceramics, textiles, painting and ornament. Gill’s work is in several public collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. Gill has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, the National Endowment for the Arts, and an award from the Louis Comfort Tiffany foundation. She maintains a studio with her husband, John Gill, in Alfred, NY.