ABOUT THE ARTIST

Raised outside of Pittsburgh, PA, Alyssa was first introduced to ceramic art in high school. Throughout her childhood, she constantly explored various artistic media with the encouragement of her parents and teachers. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy at Appalachian State University, she moved back to Pittsburgh to pursue the ceramic arts on a professional level. There, she became a member of the ceramic cooperative at Union Project, where she was able to form her artistic identity and build her skills as an artist and teacher. Over a year in that studio setting allowed her to build a foundation in her craft, so Alyssa went on to fulfill a year-long artist residency with Brockway Center for Art and Technology. At this non-profit, she taught after-school programming to high school students in the ceramic arts while building on her own body of work. Here she had the opportunity to bring her work to the next level while making leaps and bounds in her artistic and professional development. She showed her year’s work in her first solo exhibition, Aligning Profiles: an Exploration of Form.

Alyssa is currently an Artist in Residence with Odyssey Clayworks in Asheville, North Carolina where she continues to expand into new forms and concepts. Taking reference from plants and nature, she is always striving to explore forms that carry both function and intrigue.

 

RECENT AND UPCOMING EVENTS

 

PORTFOLIO

 

VISIT THE SHOP

 

RESUME

Education

Bachelor of Art: Appalachian State University, Boone, NC — 2010 - 2014

  • History major, Philosophy minor; Cum Laude, 3.58 GPA

  • Took course in ceramics to build on basic and intermediate techniques

 

Professional and Teaching Experience

Odyssey ClayWorks, Asheville, NC — 2018 - present

  • Contributing to studio community and upkeep in exchange for private studio space

  • Expanding on hemp-cord designs

  • Working to expand reach in sales, shows, and representation

  • Teaching private and public classes on wheel-throwing and other clay techniques

Brockway Center for Arts & Technology: Artist in Residence, Brockway, PA — 2017 - 2018

  • Contributed to studio 25 hours per week in exchange for studio access, materials, firings, and housing

  • Strengthened body of work while exploring new techniques and styles:

    • Explored mixed-media work with a focus in clay and hemp cord

    • Ventured into throwing large wares (3-5 feet tall)

    • Focused on developing a unified body of functional wares

  • Operated in a non-profit setting that specialized in engaging students through the arts

  • Developed teaching experience in several ways:

    • Co-led daily after-school program for high school students​ to teach and mentor in ceramic art

    • Planned and lead recurring adult courses for beginner and intermediate levels

    • Visited local elementary schools to help lead clay activities for K-4th grade students

  • Practiced electric kiln maintenance and repairs

  • Fulfilled several commission orders for both individuals and small businesses

  • Operated electric, gas, and raku kilns

  • Maintained gallery space for revolving shows

 

Union Project: Teaching Artist, Pittsburgh PA — 2015 - 2017          

  • Contributed to studio upkeep, electric kiln maintenance, and glaze mixing/testing

  • Advanced wheel-throwing, functional and mid-scale wares

  • Strong foundation in hand-built forms with experience in figure sculpting

  • Collaborated in a community access studio within a non-profit organization

  • Participated in ongoing discussion of the co-op’s community engagement and mission

  • Assisted in multiple wood firings

  • Lead ten week adult beginner courses

  • Youth workshops: custom programming of handbuilding activities

  • Adult workshops: introduction to handbuilding and wheel-throwing

  • Outreach and Additional Programming

    • Accessible Youth Outreach, 1000 Birds Project, multiple occasions

    • Contributor to Empty Bowls Charity Project, multiple occasions

Exhibitions

2018

  • Solo Artist in Resident Exhibition (by the end of current residency), Brockway Center for Art and Technology, Brockway, PA

  • “Clay in the Keystone” Various Pennsylvania-based ceramic artists, Brockway Center for Art and Technology, Brockway, PA, Liana Agnew

 

2017

  • “The Art Here” Various Contemporary Clay Artists Installment, The Children’s Museum Theater, Pittsburgh, PA, Carina Kooiman

  • “The Cup.” Goggleworks Center for the Arts, Reading, PA, Kurt Anderson

 

Sales

  • Mother of All Pottery Sales, 2016 - 2018, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Highland Park Pottery Tour, 2016 & 2017, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Garfield Night Market, 2017, Pittsburgh, PA

 

Conferences and Workshops Attended

2018

  • Functional Ceramics Workshop, Wayne Center for the Arts, Wooster, OH. Presenters: Sue Tirrell, Martha Grover, and Kevin Crowe.

  • National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts Conference, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Florida Heat Surface Workshop, Morean Center for Clay, St. Petersburg, FL. Presenters: Linda Sikora, Mike Helke, Michael Hunt, Naomi Dalglish, Peter and Lori Pincus, Shoko Teruyama, Ben Carter and Adam Field.

 

2017

  • Kevin Snipes Workshop, Edinboro, PA

  • Woodfire NC workshop, Odyssey Clayworks, Asheville, NC. Presenters: Akira Satake, Kazuya Ishida and Eric Knoche.

  • Sharif Bey Workshop, Union Project, Pittsburgh, PA

 

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