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The permanent nature of ceramics lends itself to containment of many sorts. I aim for my work to contain divergent qualities- sweetness and melancholy, lightness and weight. Over time, images I use have become proxies, tangible reminders of life’s plain and simple joys, as well as its bittersweet attendants – impermanence and loss. An ice cream cone, a gift bow, an old stuffed toy or the temporary moment a bird alights upon a snowball; each image permanently embodies an evanescent or ephemeral quality I seek to capture or hold still.
I’m influenced by poetry, where relationships between words and imagery shift and coalesce in such a way that something fresh or exciting is felt; what once felt common suddenly feels uncommon, what initially appeared ordinary strangely moves us. If, for a small moment, a configuration of objects I have arranged can be held onto as meaningful in a similar way- my work has achieved its aim.
Michaelene/ Mikey Walsh received her BFA in Crafts from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, NY. She has held teaching positions at Massachusetts College of Art, the University of Georgia, the University of Washington, Virginia Commonwealth University and U-C-Davis in addition to instructing Haystack School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Arrowmont and Santa Fe Clay. Currently, Mikey is an Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana State University. She has been the recipient of two Louisiana Division of the Arts Individual Artist Grants. Her sculptural ceramic work is exhibited internationally and is also featured in the publications The Figure in Clay by Lark Books and more recently, The Human Figure in Clay by the American Ceramic Society. She lives in Baton Rouge with her husband and two children.