The Projective Eye Gallery presents an opening reception for Intentional Conditions, with a panel discussion led by art alum Jamila Brown. This group exhibition explores and celebrates recent works by seven contemporary BIPOC ceramic artists: Carolina Alamill (Pittsburgh, PA); Chotsani Elaine Dean (Minneapolis, MN); Donté Hayes (Cliffwood, NJ); Stephen Hayes (Durham, NC); Jeanine Hill (Elon, NC); Lydia Thompson (Charlotte); and ChengOu Yu (Charlotte).
Carolina Alamilla is an artist and curator; her creative practice is driven by the concept of home, playfulness, and ever-changing cultural identity. She uses her hand-building and mold-making skills to produce multiples that lead to altered scenes of everyday life. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Ceramics & Transmedia from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Carolina is currently an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Washington & Jefferson College.
Chotsani Elaine Dean is an Artist and Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Minnesota. Born in Hartford, CT, she received her BFA in Ceramics from Hartford Art School and Masters of Fine Arts from Sam Fox School of Art at Washington University in St. Louis. In the summer of 2021, Dean was in residence at the John Michael Kohler Artist Residency, Pottery. In 2014, she was the inaugural MJ DO Good resident at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana. She was also awarded a 9-month Teaching/Research Fulbright Scholar grant in India 2012-13, host institution Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India. Dean has taught at various institutions, Three Rivers Community College, University of Connecticut, Connecticut College, Quinnipiac
University, Hartford Art School and was Studio Manager at Wesleyan Potters in Middletown, CT. Donté Hayes received his BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking with an Art History minor from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. He earned his MA and MFA with honors from the University of Iowa. His artwork is informed by researching traditional African heirlooms and initiation rites of birth, adulthood, marriage, eldership, and ancestry, which are essential to all human growth and speak to the greater African diaspora. Along with his interests in history, science-fiction, and hip-hop culture, he utilizes ceramics as a historical and base material to inform memories of the past. In 2019, Hayes was awarded the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art from the Gibbes Museum of Art. More recently, he received Best in Show at the Mint Museum’s 2022 Coined in the South exhibition.
Stephen Hayes grew up in Durham, NC. He received his BA in Visual Communication from North Carolina Central University, which later earned him a residency at the acclaimed New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Afterward, he earned his MFA in Sculpture from Savannah College of Art and Design. His thesis exhibition, "Cash Crop," has been traveling and exhibiting for nearly a decade. His current work is often built from found materials that draw on social and economic themes ingrained in the history of America and African-Americans. Frequently in his work, Hayes uses three symbols: a pawn, a corn, and a horse to explore America’s use (or misuse) of black bodies, black minds, and black labor. Jeanine Hill received her BFA in Art Education and Craft/Material Studies with an emphasis on Ceramics from Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Delaware. Hill is a bi-racial, multi-ethnic artist whose work seeks to synthesize the influences of race, identity, trauma, ancestry, and gender roles. Her forms embody notions of fragility, strength and courage through subtly postured sculptures. Hand-built ceramic works make up the core of Hill’s work, yet a myriad of materials and methods are employed to speak as vessels of meaning and voice. Lydia Thompson is a professor of Ceramics in the Department of Art & Art History at UNC Charlotte and the former department chair. She received her BFA from The Ohio State University and her MFA from the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Her awards include a Fulbright Hayes grant to conduct research on traditional architecture in Nigeria, and a
VCUarts Institutional Grant for research at the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center Artist-in- Residency in Denmark. Thompson also served as an artist-in-residence at the Medalta Ceramic Center in Medicine Hat,
Alberta, Canada. My current research investigates the ideas of migration and residual ancestral memories that examine space and place that reference human existence. ChengOu Yu is a 3D Lecturer/Technician in Ceramics at UNCC. He received a BA in Ceramic Design from Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China, an Advanced Diploma with honor in Crafts and Design - Ceramics from Sheridan College in Canada, and an MFA in Ceramic Art from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. His trans-national experience impacts his roles as an artist. His attention in assumptions and representations between cultures reflected on the works. His interest in pottery form points to interest in iconography in general. By making iconic objects, he exams how the encounter of things under different circumstances changes our understanding and how does culture differences, life experience, becomes part of the cognitive process.