Sanam Emami: Reimagining the Silk Road
June 11 – July 11, 2021
About the Exhibition
Harvey Preston Gallery is pleased to announce Reimagining the Silk Road a solo exhibition by ceramic artist Sanam Emami. Emami’s work focuses on the intersection of cultural identity and historical imagery to create intimate objects for the space and scale of the table. This new body of work shifts the context from the table to the wall and the shelf or pedestal — from intimate objects to be held in one’s hands towards larger ceremonial vessels and tiles displayed in groups.
The works presented here are a contemporary view on the exchange of ideas and materials between the Middle East, Europe and Asia that emerged along the trading routes of the Silk Road. From the tri-colored wares of the Tang Dynasty in China to the blue and white tulip vases in 18th century Holland — the melding of influences in imagery reflect Emami’s own experience as an Iranian American.
The vessel and the tile create a conceptual framework for the artist. There is an inherent contradiction in both that vacillate between their daily use and their ceremonial or decorative functions. This contradiction is one that Emami chooses to highlight rather than ignore, using it as a source of endless inspiration. The pots and tiles become a celebration of the artist’s curiosity and exploration into color, pattern, and presentation.
About the Artist
Sanam Emami is a studio potter living in Fort Collins, CO with her husband Del Harrow and their son William. She received a BA in History from James Madison University in Virginia, and an MFA in Ceramics from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Pottery at Colorado State University. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Ceramics at Alfred University, resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana, and has lectured at the Office for the Arts at Harvard University; the Kansas City Art Institute; Arizona State University Art Museum-Ceramic Research Center, and NCECA in Louisville, Kentucky.
Emami received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant for Craft and her work has been in exhibitions at numerous galleries across the country including The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston; The Art-Stream Nomadic Gallery; Harvey Meadows Gallery, Aspen; Schaller Gallery; Hostler Burrows.