BETWEEN, BLAKE KENNEDY’S MATURE CERAMIC WORKS DEMONSTRATE DEPTH,INTIMACY AND REFLECTION
(ROCKPORT, TX). A native of North Carolina, Blake Kennedy lives and creates exquisite ceramic work in San Antonio. In 2010, Kennedy graduated from Appalachian State University learning a Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Art with concentrations in Ceramic sand Sculpture. After graduation, he maintained a studio practice in Boone,North Carolina where he was a member at the Collective Studio and Gallery. Kennedy has been Ceramic Studio Technician and Faculty Member at Southwest School of Art since 2015. Recently, his work has been included in exhibitions at the Butler Art Center in Butler, Pennsylvania; Beatrice Haggerty Gallery in Irvine, Texas; and the Wichita Falls Museum of Art in Wichita Falls.
Kennedy describes the genesis of his work as being “Constantly drawn to nature’s different landscapes. My central interest is in liminal areas between a landscape’s different topography. For example, where an ocean meets a shoreline. This space is never static. Instead, it remains a visual example of the landscape’s constant flux. These ambiguous points of transition ruminate, and in doing so, provide moments of reflection, memory, and growth. In a similar way, I think of working with clay as a liminal process. The material goes through constant transformation as the object is being formed. The pieces I make reference the different landscapes I have experienced,and the impressions they have left of me. My studio practice alternates between exploring these landscapes through utilitarian pieces, and investigating them in more sculptural installation based works.”
Kennedy discovered the joy and challenge of creating objects with his hands early on. His grandfather, a craftsman and a stonemason by trade, spent many hours with him on woodworking projects. “I credit my Grandfather for helping me learn what it means to be kind, patient,and creative,” states Kennedy. Some of the work in the exhibit will include work from a series he calls Stokes County Quarry, located in hishome state. He adds “Up until this project these liminal spaces have been geographic; meaning based on landscapes I have experienced. Stokes County Quarry begins to think about liminal space in terms of time. These pieces have been made and fired over the last four years. It is my way of honoring and memorializing my grandfather's history as a stonemason. The time it has taken to work on this series is an important part of process. During this period I sat and talked with him about his childhood, career, being a family man, owning a quarry, restoring antiques,travel, and anything else he was willing to share with me. This project continues to develop as my grandfather shares new stories with me, and I reflect upon his life.”
Kennedy has shown his work across the United States. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Award of Merit from the University of Dallas Regional Ceramics Competition in Irvine, Texas (2017); the Merit Award at the 22nd Annual San Antonio Potter's Guild Exhibition (2015); Friends of Arrowmon Scholarship to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee(2010); and the Juror’s Selection in Clay for Art Expo 2010
at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina; amongst others.
Between, Kennedy’s maiden Rockport show, is part of this year’s Rockport Clay Expo which takes place February 10 and 11, 2018. A gallery talk with the artist takes place February 10 at 4:30 PM. A reception with the artist will follow from 5 to 6:30 PM. However, his exhibit opens to the public a week earlier, on February 2. It runs through Saturday, March 3. To learn more about Kennedy’s ceramic process and technique, clay enthusiasts can attend a demonstration at the Art Center,Sunday, February 11 from 10:30 am to Noon.
Rockport Center for the Arts is now located in downtown Rockport, at 106 S. Austin St. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 10 to 4 PM. Admission is always free and open to the public. Visit rockportartcenter.com or call 361-729-5519 for more information.