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2009-2010 Fellowships and Residencies Awardedline

Five ceramic artists were named winners of the Archie Bray Foundation's annual fellowship awards. Selected from a highly competitive field of candidates, the Lilian Fellowship was awarded to Sean Erwin, of Tampa, Florida; the Lincoln Fellowship went to Gwendolyn Yoppolo, of Bemont, New York; Martha Grover of Mason Township, Maine received the Taunt Fellowship, Kelly Garrett Rathbone of Midland, Texas received the Matsutani Fellowship and Kensuke Yamada, of Japan is the recipient of the MJD Fellowship.

Each fellowship awards $5,000 and a one-year residency at the Foundation to artists of exceptional accomplishment and promise. Beneficiaries are expected to embrace the Bray experience of community and exchange, and have the opportunity to focus their attention towards producing and exhibiting a significant body of work. Artists Eric VanEimeren and Trey Hill joined Bray Resident Artist Director Steven Young Lee in selecting this years award winners.

Click here to view 2009-2010 Fellowship Monograph written by Paul Mathieu.


Lilian Fellow  

Sean Erwin received his MFA from the University of South Florida in 2008 and his BFA in studio art from Stetson University, DeLand, Florida in 2004.  His most recent exhibitions include the 2009 NCECA Biennial and a solo-exhibition at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Harris House Gallery.  His work questions the validity of behavioral expectations prescribed by social norms and employs humor in an attempt to reinvent these expectations within the timeless medium of ceramic sculpture.  

Sean Erwin, The Gardener, 2008, porcelain, glaze, luster, mixed media, 17" x 11" x 18"
Lincoln Fellow  

Gwendolyn Yoppolo received her MFA from Penn State University in 2006.  Since that time she has served as Assistant Professor of Art at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and also as a Studio Technician at Alfred University. She was the 2008 Archie Bray Myhre Scholar and most recently the 2010 Lincoln Fellow.

While at Penn State she received two fellowship awards for her research using the scanning electron microscope and continues to work with this instrument to photograph the tiny landscapes of beach rubble, sugar cereals, plant seeds and insect parts. This photography work is visually stimulating and opens up thoughts about the scale of human life.  These thoughts infuse her imagination as she works with porcelain.

Gwendolyn Yoppolo, Tea for Two Sservice,
microcrystalline-glazed porcelain, 7" x 13" x 6"
Taunt Fellow  

Martha Grover received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and has spent time as a resident at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana and the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was the 2008 recipient of the Bray’s Bill and Stirling Sage Scholarship and most recently has been awarded the Bray Taunt Fellowship for 2009–2010. Her thrown and altered porcelain forms emulate orchids, flowing dresses and the body, the work has a sense of both familiarity and preciousness.

Martha Grover, Perfume Bottle and Wall Stand (detail), 2008, thrown and altered porcelain, fabric, wood, 20" x 12" x 14"

Matsutani Fellow  

Kelly Garret Rathbone was born in Singapore to American parents. She grew up living all over the world and now calls Texas home. Kelly has studied at Parsons School of Design in New York, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and The Florence Academy of Art in Itlay.

She was the 2008 Howard Kottler Scholarship recipient for a winter residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine and most recently is the 2009–2010 Bray Matsutani Fellow.

Her work bridges processes in both ceramics and glass.

Kelly Garrett Rathbone, Confessa (detail), 2008
earthenware, sculpted glass
MJD Fellow

Kensuke Yamada was born in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan and recently received his MFA from the University of Montana. He received his BA at The Evergreen State College in Washington. Kensuke’s work has been exhibited around the northwest.

Kensuke Yamada, Girl, Standing Figure, 2008
31.5" x 12" x 8"
The Taunt, Lincoln, Lilian, Matsutani and MJD fellowships are awarded in each year and are made possible by Robert and Suzanne Taunt, Joan and David Lincoln, Osamu and Grace Matsutani and an anonymous donor. The fellowships reflect the commitment of the donors to ceramic excellence and innovation, as well as their regard for the significance of the Bray's artistic community. The Archie Bray Foundation was the first artist residency program in the United States devoted solely to ceramics. For over fifty years the Bray has brought together artists with diverse backgrounds and approaches to the medium, creating an environment conducive to artistic exchange and individual expression.