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


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