‘Fragile: Earth’ to showcase work by ceramic artists of color

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This spring, Grounds For Sculpture will present a group exhibition of works by artists of color who meditate on social, environmental, and individual perceptions of fragility through the medium of clay.

On view from May 22, 2022 through Jan. 8, 2023, ‘Fragile: Earth’ will predominantly feature artists that identify as female and nearly half of the artists in the exhibition will be debuting new works. The exhibition is presented in partnership with The Color Network, which seeks to advance people of color in the ceramic arts.

“As a platform for contemporary art and artists, Grounds For Sculpture amplifies the diverse voices and visions of those working in the field today. This spring, our focused look at the underrepresented medium of ceramics shines a light on artists of color firing a new future in clay,” said Gary Schneider, Executive Director of Grounds For Sculpture, in a statement. “The new partnership with The Color Network expands our commitment to fostering an open community of artists and brings their compelling works to the forefront of the contemporary conversation on sculpture.”

‘Fragile: Earth’ is concurrent with a solo exhibition of Roberto Lugo, a master ceramicist who is best known for his multicultural mash-ups depicting leading Black cultural figures in porcelain and has frequently collaborated with The Color Network. Together these exhibitions support Grounds For Sculpture’s institutional mission to address issues of inclusivity, access and equity.

Organized by guest curator Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, the 16 artists were selected through The Color Network, by curatorial invitation, and through an open call. United by their ceramics practice and inclusive of a myriad of social, cultural, economic, geographical and ethnic backgrounds, the featured artists include Natalia Arbelaez, Ashwini Bhat, Ebitenyefa Baralaye, Syd Carpenter, Adam Chau, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Magdolene Dykstra, April Felipe, Raheleh Filsoofi, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Anabel Juárez, Anina Major, Jane Margarette, Mariana Ramos Ortiz, Virgil Ortiz, and Sarah Petty.

“When unfired, clay is soft, flexible, and forgiving; when fired, it is solid and strong but can easily shatter,” said exhibition curator Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy. “This exhibition explores vulnerability as strength, the faults of a strong façade, and the fragility of entities often taken for granted, such as nature and government, amid ongoing global health and social crises.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of artist-led programs, including community workshops in ceramics, storytelling, and self-reflection as well as art sessions, ESL/Spanish offerings, and professional development for artists presented by both Grounds For Sculpture and The Color Network. The partners will also co-host a fall auction, ‘Fragile: Cup’, which will offer one-of-a-kind ceramic mugs created by contemporary artists for sale to support the mission of The Color Network.

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