Michelle Im is a Korean American artist working in Queens, New York. Her project ‘RATxCHICKS’, pronounced as [ratchix] is a project name for her ceramics that is a play on the words ‘rachet’ and ‘rad chicks’. Humor is what drives a lot of the ideas she has for her decorations. In her work, she explores ideological tensions that she experienced growing up in both the United States and South Korea. Creating intricate patterns in her ceramics is in part, a way to marry two diametrically opposed systems of culture- individualism and collectivism. She often pairs motifs that are deliberately out of the ordinary and part of the process is to encapsulate a sense of absurdity in a way that is approachable and inviting to the viewer. She graduated with a degree in Biology and Art from The State University of New York at Buffalo and was named one of Ceramics Monthly 2022 Emerging Artists. Her dream is to one day breed rats with birds.
Past Visiting Artist
Adam Chau is an artist working in New York. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute’s Designed Objects program, his research has been published in Ceramics Technical, Studio Potter, Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Monthly, and New Ceramics. In 2018 he was awarded the NCECA Emerging Artist Fellowship and in 2019 he was accepted into the International Academy of Ceramics. Solo exhibitions include Harvard Ceramics, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, The Clay Studio, and Taoxichuan in Jingdezhen, China. In 2017 Adam curated Reinvented, an exhibit featuring an international artist roster featuring digitally produced ceramics, which travelled the US to five locations for two years. He is currently a board member of NCECA, Artaxis, and The Color Network.
Namdoo Kim is an artist with great intellectual curiosity, enormous technical capability, and a deep interest in human society and culture. Kim’s work focuses on issues derived from the material desires among people and their influence, using glass and ceramics, which are the central medium of his works, and they are reflected in cynical perspectives with a sense of humor and satire. While bright and playful on the surface, Kim’s works referencing toys, Adidas athleisure footwear, and other familiar consumer items hold a darker meaning. Building from the ground covered by pop art of the late 20th century, Kim’s pieces have an edge that cuts open and lays bare the contradictions, moral decay, and disappointment inherent within overheated consumer pursuits.
Kim was born and grew up in South Korea. He completed his undergraduate degree in fine arts focusing on glass and ceramics at Hong-Ik University in Seoul, South Korea. Kim then traveled to the United States and embarked on an MFA degree at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, which he completed in 2013. Kim completed his Ph.D. within the Glass Workshop at the School of Art and Design, Australian National University in Canberra Australia in 2021.
Chris Riccardo’s sculptures are a direct physical manifestation of his inner thoughts and moral struggles. He wants his viewers to share in his insecurities and discomfort—if one walks away from his work and feels somewhat violated, excited, intrigued, and maybe even a little happier, then he feels he has succeeded. His process begins with a thought, a vision, a look—some trigger that draws him to the clay. No longer using exhaustive preliminary sketches and maquettes, he simply visualizes how he wants the clay to look and begins slowly and painstakingly to build and tear at the surface, gradually making aesthetic changes as he sees fit.
Chris Riccardo received his BFA from Boston University in 1990. Chris served as the sculpture department chair and foundry director at the Armory Art Center in Florida from 1998 to 2014. Chris was a Bray summer resident in 2012, a long-term resident 2015-2017, and served as the Executive Director at the Holter Museum of Art from 2015-2022.
Heesoo Lee’s work explores the vulnerability of the human condition through the metaphor of the natural world. Her artistic language, formed by observations of material, nature, and place, engages with themes of identity, connection, and time. In describing subtle variations of light, texture, color, and shadow as they exist in nature, Lee is, fundamentally, illuminating a range of human emotions and the humbling reality of being a feeling person in a vast and changeable world.
Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Heesoo earned her BA in art from Ewha University. Heesoo began a full-time studio practice in Berkeley, CA in 2000. From there, she relocated to Maui, where she established a thriving studio business. Heesoo was a summer resident at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts in 2013 and returned in the fall of 2014 as a long-term resident artist. She is currently a full time studio artist in Helena, MT
Yoonjee Kwak makes sculptural vessels to represent human beings as iconic symbols from Korean culture. In Korea, when people talk about someone’s personality, they often use “vessel” as a metaphor of one’s spirit of tolerance. Yoonjee’s interactive conversation with the clay is vital to her process—she slowly builds up clay coils from the bottom, allowing her hand marks to remain on the surface. Through this process of building, memories of patience and time come into her pieces, and she is able to create a meaningful record of her practice.
Originally from South Korea, Yoonjee currently is a resident artist at Pottery Northwest in Seattle, WA after finishing her long-term residency at The Bray in Helena MT (2017-2019). Her works have been shown in a variety of national and international exhibitions including in Korea, Turkey, Italy etc. as well as many states in the USA. She earned her MFA in ceramics at the School for American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 2014 and her BFA in ceramics and glass at Hong-Ik University in Seoul, South Korea in 2012. She was a resident artist and taught ceramics classes at RIT from 2014– 2017. In 2020, she was one of the recipients of the James Renwick Alliance Chrysalis Award for emerging artist in ceramics as well as the Emerging Artist Award in Ceramics Monthly Magazine in 2016.