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Susan Dewsnap: 2012 GAA Commission Artist
The Nebraska Arts Council is pleased to present ceramicist Susan Dewsnap of Lincoln as the creator of the 2012 Governor's Arts Awards. By handcrafting the several ceramic vessels that serve as the gifts to this year's honorees, she continues a longstanding Governor's Arts Awards tradition.
The Nebraska Arts Council, in keeping with its mission of promoting Nebraska arts, is committed to commissioning a renowned Nebraska artist to fabricate the awards for each event.
"My recent work has been an investigation into the dynamics of how the drawing on the surface and the shape of a piece can be intimately connected. I aspire to create a deep, rich and visually complicated space by reducing my color choices to nearly black and white. There is a graphic quality that draws one in, yet when viewed up close there are subtleties of color and line that cannot be seen from a distance.
"The high contrast creates an ambiguous piece, shapes flip and what is closest recedes, the form emerges and dissolves beneath the surface. I look to painting as much as to ceramic history, as my work draws from art history as an eternal source and presence. I consider each pot as presenting a particular issue or problem to be solved where interior meets exterior. By embracing and reaching outside of decorative practices, as well as working toward a more reductive three-dimensional form, I am trying to merge structure and surface to evoke a response beyond the familiar." --Susan Dewsnap
About the Artist
Susan Dewsnap grew up in Peterborough, New Hampshire and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BFA in painting in 1984. Years later, she took her first clay class at a community facility established by Betty Woodman in Boulder, Colorado. Her true ceramic direction began with a vacation from her job, when she attended a workshop in 1995 at Haystack Mountain School in Deer Isle, Maine. Summer education continued later with workshops at Haystack as well as one at the Penland School in North Carolina, spending her weekends in the studio working by herself.
Before coming to Nebraska to attend graduate school, she lived in Portland, Maine for fifteen years where she maintained a studio in Sawyer Street Studios, a ceramic cooperative, worked as a paralegal and taught community classes at Maine College of Art. She received her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008.
Recently, her work has been accepted into the NCECA Clay National Biennial Exhibition in Tempe, Arizona where it was awarded the Amaco/Brent Purchase Prize, and the 5th World Ceramics Biennale in Icheon, Korea where it was awarded an honorable mention. She was the featured artist in a physical and online show at AKAR Gallery in Iowa City, Iowa, as well as an invited artist in a June 2009 show at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Recently, her work was acquired by the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts in San Angelo, Texas and, in December 2010, was awarded Best of Show in the Strictly Functional Pottery National. She has exhibited a one-person show at AKAR, a gallery with a national reputation, as well as locally at the LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln.
Presently, she lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she maintains her studio.
Susan Dewsnap's work is represented by AKAR, The Schaller Gallery, Chicago’s Lillstreet, St. George Pottery Gallery in Maine, and the LUX Center for the Arts.