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Sean O’Connell – Ceramic Artist

Sean O'Connell @ Cerbera Gallery

Sean O’Connell @ Cerbera Gallery

Sean O’Connell:

Sean O’Connell is a potter. He believes in the beauty of handmade objects. Making pots is a deliberate attempt at slowing down, connecting to something deeper, and taking time to appreciate the pleasure of labor. In addition, Sean O’Connell values the constraints of working with one material and with a certainty of purpose. This allows him to explore notions of beauty and cultivate a sense of order.
Sean O’Connell’s forms focus on creating a space for their intended use as well as acting as a canvas for patterns. He uses pattern as a means of exploring the nature of abstraction, representation, and beauty. What is most compelling about the use of pattern is that its meaning can be elastic and fluid, it requires only one small graphic element used in repetition to become something greater that the sum of its parts.

Artist Statement:

“Many of the motifs I use are adapted or interpreted from textiles, paintings, and natural geometry. My formal vocabulary is culled from historic and contemporary ceramic art, design, and my own few novel additions. It is within these chosen limitations that I search for a sense of beauty, self-expression, and common experience.”


Sean O’Connell EDUCATION
2009    MFA, Ceramics, Rochester Institute of Technology School for American Crafts, Rochester, NY
2001    BFA, Sculpture, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
2016 – present Education & Communications Coordinator, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
2014 – 2016 Lecturer, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2013 – 2014    Visiting Instructor/Artist, Alberta College of Art & Design, Calgary, AB, Canada
2011    Adjunct Lecturer, State University of New York – Brockport, Drawing I, Brockport, NY     2010    Visiting Lecturer, Wells College, Ceramics I & II / Senior Thesis Advisor, Aurora, NY
Visiting Lecturer, Corning Community College, Ceramics I & II, Corning, NY
2009    – 2011    Studio Manager/Instructor, Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, Rochester, NY
2010    Instructor, University of Rochester/Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY
2007 – 2009    Instructor of Record/TA, RIT/School for American Crafts, Ceramics I, Rochester, NY
2002 – 2007    Studio Coordinator/Instructor, Park District of Highland Park, Beginning/Intermidiate/Advanced Ceramics, Highland Park, IL
2002 – 2004    Studio Technician/Instructor, Suburban Fine Arts Center, Beginning/Intermediate Ceramics
Highland Park, IL

2016    Emerging Artist, NCECA, Kansas City, MO
2013    Emerging Artist, Ceramics Monthly, May 2013
2012 – 2013    Windgate Fellowship, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2011 – 2012    Matsutani Fellowship, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2010    Grant: Special Opportunity Stipend, Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, NY
2007    Potters Group Award, Strictly Functional Pottery National, Lancaster, PA
2004    NCECA Cups of Merit, Award, Indianapolis, IN

2015    Oxbow School of Art, Guest Artist, Saugatuk, MI
Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Pentaculum: Ceramic Forum, Gatlinburg, TN
2011 – 2013    Archie Bray Foundation, Artist-in-Residence, Helena, MT
2011    Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Fall Visiting Artist, Newcastle, ME

2009    Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, “Salad Day’s” Artist-in-Residence, Newcastle, ME

2018    Red Lodge Clay Center, Solo Exhibition, Red Lodge, MT
Radius Gallery, Sean O’Connell & Beth Lo, Missoula, MT
2016    Turman Larison Gallery, “Shift”, Sean O’Connell & Alison Reintjes, Helena, MT
2015    Crimson Laurel Gallery, “Sean O’Connell & Tom Jaszczak”, Bakersville, NC AKAR, “Solo Exhibition”, Iowas City, IA
2014    Alberta College of Art + Design, “In Service”, Calgary, AB, Canada
2013    Mudfire Studios, “New Work”, Decatur, GA
2012    Clay Art Center, “Anecdote”, Port Chester, NY
2010    Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, “The Walking Hour”, Rochester, NY
Booksmart Studios, MFA Thesis Exhibition, “Small Gatherings”, Rochester, NY

2017    Sage Community Arts Center, “The Splendid Table”, Sheridan, WY Clay Art Center, “Redux: Transformations, 6 x 6”, Port Chester, NY
Montana Clay Tour, Hosts: Mel Griffin & David Peters, Helena, MT
AKAR, Yunomi Invitational, Iowa City, IA
C-File, Pop-up Shop: Sean O’Connell, Santa Fe, NM
Eutectic Gallery, NCECA Exhibition, Portland, OR
2016    Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, “Utilitarian Clay VII”, Gatlinburg, TN
Signature Contemporary, “Designed & Crafted”, Atlanta, GA
Harvard University, “Chemical Addiction: Exemplary Surfaces”, Cambridge, MA Leedy-Volkous Gallery, NCECA Emerging Artists Exhibition, Kansas City, MO
Santa Fe Clay, “La Mesa: NCECA 2016”, Kansas City, MO
Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics, Zanesville, OH
AKAR, “Pattern”, Iowa City, IA
AKAR, “Yunomi Invitatioal”, Iowa City, IA
Art Of The Pot, Host: Ryan McKerley, Austin, TX
The Art School at the Old Church, “Demerest Invitational”, Demarest, NJ
2015    Loyola University, “Negotiated Relationships”, Chicago, IL
Schaller Gallery, “FORMS”, St. Joseph, MI
AKAR, “Yunomi 2015”, Iowa City, IA
Dallas Pottery Invitational, Addison, TX
Santa Fe Clay, “La Mesa”, NCECA 2015, Providence, RI
AMACO/NCECA Gallery, NCECA 2015, Providence, RI
New Bedford Art Museum, “Second Course”, New Bedford, MA AKAR, “New Work”, Iowa City, IA
2014    Lawrence Art Center, Paper/Plate, Lawrence, KS AKAR, 30 x 5: Sushi & Me, Iowa CIty, IA
Pewabic Pottery, Holiday Invitational, Detroit MI
Clay Art Center, “Lineage: The Art of Mentorship”, Port Chester, NY
Society for Contemporary Craft, “CRAFTED”, Pittsburgh, PA Turman Larison Contmeporary, Three Artists, Helena, MT
2014 cont.    Turman Larison Contmeporary, Three Artists, Helena, MT NCECA 2014, “Taming Nature”, Milwaukee, WI
Archie Bray Foundation, “NCECA Milwaukee” Milwaukee, WI
Santa Fe Clay, “La Mesa”, NCECA 2014, Milwaukee, WI
18 Hands Gallery, “ CM Emerging Artists”, Houston, TX
AKAR, Yunomi Invitational, Iowa City, IA
Lill St. Art Center, “Let There Be Light”, Chicago, IL
2013    Ferrin Contemporary, New York Ceramics Fair, New York, NY
Parkland Art Gallery, “National Ceramics Biennial Invitational”, Champaign, IL
AKAR, “30 x 5”, Iowa City, IA
Kolva-Sullivan Gallery, “The Bray at Kolva-Sullivan”, Spokane, WA
Santa Fe Clay, “La Mesa”, NCECA 2013, Houston, TX
Montana State University, ABF Exhibition, Bozeman, MT
AKAR, “Yunomi Invitational 2013”, Iowa City, IA
Archie Bray Foundation, “Windgate Fellowship Exhibition”, Helena, MT
Archie Bray Foundation, “Resident Exhibition”, Helena, MT
2012    Ferrin Gallery, “Teapots 2012”, Pittsfield, MA
Northern Clay Center, “American Pottery Festival”, Minneapolis, MN
Weston Museum of Art, “Functional Ceramics”, Santa Barbara, CA
Foster/White Gallery, NCECA 2012: “Table of Content”, Seattle, WA
Charlie Cummings Gallery, “Intimate Object VII”
Carbondale Clay Center, “The Clay Table”, Carbondale, CO
The Clay Studio, “Gifted”, Philadelphia, PA
Kolva-Sullivan Gallery, “ABF Residents”, Spokane, WA
Archie Bray Foundation, “Fellowship Exhibition”, Helena, MT
Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, “Then & Now: Salad Day’s Artists”, Damariscotta, ME
Archie Bray Foundation, “Resident Exhibition”, Helena, MT
AKAR, “Yunomi Invitational 2012”, Iowa City, IA
Silvermine Arts Center, “Crafts USA ‘11: National Crafts Triennial”, New Canaan, CT
The Clay Studio, “Gifted Invitational”, Philadelphia, PA
Lill St. Art Center, “3rd Lill St. International: Below the Surface” Chicago, IL
2011    Market House Craft Center, “19th Strictly Functional Pottery National” Lancaster, PA
The Clay Studio, “Cups & Coffee”, Philadelphia, PA
Greenwich House Pottery, “Yunomi: The Other Tea Vessel”, New York, NY
AKAR, “Yunomi Invitational 2011”, Iowa City, IA
University of Arkansas, “Drawing the Line: Utilitarian Pots”, Fayetteville, AR The Clay Studio, “Gifted II Invitational”, Philadelphia, PA
2010    Society of Arts & Crafts Boston, “Our Cups Runneth Over”, Invitational, Boston, MA
Genesee Center for the Arts & Education, “History In the Making”, Rochester, NY
NCECA Philadelphia, “Watershed Residents”, Philadelphia, PA
2008    Anna Leon Owens Gallery, “Making History”, Halifax, NS, Canada

2007    Market House Craft Center, “15th Strictly Functional Pottery National”, Lancaster, PA