The Featured Artist Series is in partnership with Gasher Journal's forthcoming print issue, AFTER: A Collection of Ekphrastic Writing and Art.
Each month, we will feature an artist here and invite writers to submit creative writing in reaction to the art showcased. Select ekphrastic writings will be featured alongside the art at the gallery showcase at the Ana Mendieta Gallery at The University of Iowa May 6th - May 18th.
Submit creative responses to the featured artist's work to PRESS @ GASHERJOURNAL . C O M with the Subject line listing the month and genre. For example: MAY_Poetry.
November Artist: Colleen Toledano
Colleen Toledano is a mixed media ceramic and installation artist residing in Buffalo, NY and an Associate Professor of Art at Buffalo State College. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in ceramics from Ohio University (2005). Autobiographically inspired, she creates sculpture and environments that are influenced by the ever-changing moments in her life. She was a resident artist recipient of the Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship in 2008 at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA. and the 2005 Philip C. Curtis Artist-In-Residence in Ceramics at Albion College, Albion, Michigan. Her work has been exhibited in Winter Solstice IV, both at the Westchester Arts Council, White Plains, New York and The Studio: An Alternative Space for Contemporary Art in Armonk, New York. She has also exhibited at The Clay Studio and the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia; The Sculpture Center, in Cleveland, Ohio Kasia Kay Art Projects in Chicago, Illinois; The State Museum of Alaska, Juneau, AK; and the Millard Grand Project, St. Pancras Chambers, London. She has had numerous residencies and given lectures at places including 26 International Symposium of Ceramics in Becyne Residency, Bechyne, CZ, Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana; Tyler School of Art, PA; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; Concordia University in Montreal; University of Alaska Anchorage, AK; California State University, CA; and Chicago Institute of Art, IL. She has been nominated for a United State Artist Fellowship and in 2019 was a finalist for a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award.
About the art:
"My work is autobiographically inspired by notions of family, motherhood, and domestic relationships. It considers the chaotic beauty in the balance between the happenstance and organization in my household, I use visual cues of foliage and florals within the work, to depict the ever-changing growth in myself as my role in my family constantly transforms. Taking formal inspiration from the decorative and complex aesthetics of historical Wedgewood pottery and Sevre porcelain, I look at the home and the objects such a vessel, that can represent protection, nourishment and transportation, to metaphorically identify as myself. The visual tension of delicate and fragile floating porcelain leaves, consider the beauty and chaotic that coexist in my identity and relationships within my home and my life outside of a home. Inspired by the influence my husband and child have on my growth as a person, externally and internally, from afar the vessel looks formal and organized and then up close the abundance of the leaves and the blending of multiple vessels is more apparent.
More recently, the work refers to maze hedges and labyrinths and other intertwining paths, the work can be seen as a physical representation of my own unpredictable and predictable journey. Although the work appears stable and grounded, there is still the possibility in the transformative change and adaption that is always present in life. The appearance of the work lends itself to the idea of perceiving how nature can often be manipulated for the viewer to see it in a specific way. Often time can be very different that who it is seen by others on the inside and we can use ways to contol this perception. This is done through the illusions created with the form and textural surfaces. My hope is to attempt to capture the strength and resilience of the human experience, providing viewers with a tangible representation of our paths and a reverence to our personal transformations."
Finding My Way
Gently Do it All
Looking Through II
I See You in Me
Protecting it All