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Kevin Snipes

Kevin Snipes

Kevin Snipes’ artwork is a combination of atypical pottery forms and quirky figurative drawings. His pieces are influenced by an array of traditional and nontraditional art forms, including street art, architecture, contemporary painting, the avid love of art history and even children’s drawings. His work has an underlying sophistication, which is based in existentialist thought

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Kevin Snipes at MudFire

Offering ongoing representation
Workshop presenter Drawing Both Sides, August 2011
Gallery group show Constructed, April 2010
Gallery group show Mug*Shots, August 2009


Kevin Snipes Artist Bio

Kevin Snipes was born in Philadelphia, but grew up mostly in Cleveland, Ohio. He holds a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and did MFA work at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, Florida. From there participated in several artist residency programs, including the Clay Studio, in Philadelphia and Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, in New Castle, Maine he was also a visiting artist at Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge. After completing a yearlong Taunt Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation in 2008, in Helena, Kevin has continued on as a resident artist at the Bray until the January of 2011. Exhibiting both nationally and internationally, Kevin has exhibited as far away as Jingdezhen, China. Kevin combines his love of making unconventional pottery with an obsessive need to draw on everything that he produces, creating a uniquely dynamic body of work.


Kevin Snipes Artist Statement

"I am continuously fascinated by the concept of duality. Duality of course, refers to two things which are intrinsically bound together, made of the same stuff. Yet those things are also inherently in opposition with each other. This is nothing new. Such things as lightness and darkness, and day and night, can only exist by acknowledgement of their oppositions and duality. But what I find most interesting is the way that we define one side of the duality is by describing what is not. In other words, we can only know a thing by defining its opposite. How is it possible to describe what lightness is, for instance, without referring to the concept of darkness, or to describe what rigidity is without describing softness? These thoughts are my starting point in the act of creating."

"There are many types of dualities in my work. Look closely and you will find, not just the obvious binaries of male and female drawings on opposing sides of my clay vessels, but also subtler means of communicating my fascination with this two-folded view of life. It is my goal that by creating multiple layers of dualities I can develop provocative narratives in each piece."

"I often use written text in the form of cartoon-like word bubbles, or notation-like scribbling to give the viewer clues into the unfolding stories. People I know become quirky childlike representations of themselves, and fodder for true or completely bogus tales. I like to think of my work as 'sweet and spicy'; not too much of either, with a good dash of humor. There is an uncertain sense of edginess or mystery that offers the viewer just enough information, so that they can extrapolate his or her own stories."

"As an artist, and as a member of a historically marginalized group, I find that I tend toward nontribalism. Rather that creating art that speaks of love or victimization of African Americans, I speak of the problems underlying the recognition of difference. I work on a personal, intimate level that encourages an almost private investigation of the objects that I make. This act of confrontation that encourages only a single viewer with a single object sets up a dialogue in the nature of subject-to-object relationships and becomes a metaphor for the concept of otherness."

Kevin Snipes Artist Resume

MFA studies, ceramics, University of Florida, School of Art and Art History Gainesville, Florida
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics with Drawing Minor, Cleveland Institute of Art Cleveland, Ohio
Awards and Distinctions:
2009 NCECA 2009 Clay National Biennial Purchase Award
2008 Taunt Fellowship, Long Term Artist Residency Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2006 Individual Excellence Award Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, Ohio
2006 Kiln God Summer Residency Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, Maine
2005 Best of Show Narrative Vessel Show Akar Design, Iowa City, Iowa
2005 Guest Artist in Residence The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2003-04 Marie P. Cowen Fellowship in Ceramics Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester Massachusetts
2000-03 Graduate Minority Fellowship University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
2000 Director's Choice Award Cain Park Arts Festival, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
2000 Katherine and Lee Chilcote Foundation Award Drawn Together Exhibition, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
1993 Annette MacNeil Watson Award Cleveland Institute of Art, Ceramics Merit Award, Cleveland, Ohio
1992 OX-BOW Fellowship School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Summer program, Saugatauk, Michigan
1990 June Sherrow Award Excellence in Drawing, Cleveland State University
2009 Plinth Denver, Colorado Color Blind: Kevin Snipes
2009 Archie Bray Foundation Helena, MT "what- evaah!" Kevin Snipes, Taunt Fellowship Exhibition, Show catalog printed
2009 AKAR Iowa City, Iowa Recent Ceramics: Kevin Snipes
2009 NCECA 2009 Clay National Biennial Phoenix, Arizona
2008 LillStreet Art Center Chicago, Illinois CERAMELICIOUS: Kowkie Durst, Tammy Marinuzzi, Meridith Host, Kevin Snipes
2008 Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Teapots! Steep in Thought
2008 NCECA Traveling Exhibition Shanghai, Jingdezhen, China Shared Journey's: American Art in China
2008 Baltimore Clayworks Baltimore, Maryland Symbiosis
2008 NCECA 2008 Invitation Exhibition Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Voices
2006-08 SOFA (Sculpture Object Functional Art) Chicago, Illinois Represented by Santa Fe Clay
2007 Santa Fe Clay Santa Fe, New Mexico, Agape
2007 Akar Design Iowa City, Iowa Recent Ceramics: Chris Gustin & Kevin Snipes
2007 Robert E. Wilson Gallery, Huntington University Huntington, Illinois, The New Aesthetics of Ceramics
2006 The Dairy Barn Arts Center Athens, Ohio, Contemporary Ceramics: A Dairy Barn Invitational, Show catalog printed
2006 The Clay Studio Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kevin Snipes: In the Niche
2006 Parkland Art Gallery Champaign, IL
2006 Ceramics Biennial Invitational Curated by Matt Wilt, Show catalog printed
2005 The Clay Studio Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Made at the Clay Studio
2005 Akar Design Iowa City, Iowa, Forms and Shapes: Narrative Vessel Juror: Dan Anderson Best of Show
2005 Santa Fe Clay Santa Fe New Mexico, The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring
2005 Lillstreet Art Center Chicago, Illinois, The Contemporary Cup Curated by Ralph Scala
2005 Florida Craftsmen inc. St Petersburg, Florida, Daily: Courting and Keeping the Muse Curators: Susan Andrews and Carolyn Fellman
2004 Charlie Cummings Clay Studio Fort Wayne, Indiana, The Intimate Cup lll Juror: Peter Beasecker
2004 Worcester Center for Crafts Worcester, Massachusetts, Ten Hands: Current Artists in Resident Show
2004 Santa Fe Clay Santa Fe, New Mexico, The Drawn Surface: Jenny Mendes, Ron Meyers, Kevin Snipes & Jason Walker
2004 The Society of Arts and Crafts Boston, Massachusetts, Portraits 2004
2004 Baltimore Clayworks Baltimore, Maryland, Diversity in Unity: Contemporary African American Ceramics, Curated by David MacDonald and Winnie Owens-Hart
2003 Society of Contemporary Crafts Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Transformation 4: Contemporary Works in Ceramics, Show catalog printed
2003 University of North Texas Art Gallery Denton, Texas, Ceramics 2003 Juror: Doug Casebeer
2004 500 Figures in Clay, LARK BOOKS
2002 Evolving a Tradition, The University of Florida Ceramics Program, CERAMICS MONTHLY May p. 38
2000 Functional Ceramics 2000, CERAMICS MONTHLY October p. 37
1997 Utilitarian Clay II, CERAMICS MONTHLY January p.48