Cary Esser’s sculptures indulge the materiality of ceramics and draw on the history of...Read More
Cary Esser’s sculptures indulge the materiality of ceramics and draw on the history of architectural terra cotta, producing artworks ranging from single tiles to large-scale installations. She has served as chair of the Kansas City Art Institute ceramics department since 1996. During her 30-year career in the arts, Esser has also taught at the University of North Carolina, Duke University and Louisiana State University. She has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, the International Ceramics Studio in Hungary and other venues.
Esser has recently exhibited at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kemper at the Crossroads, and the Northern Clay Center. She is featured in the March 2013 issue of Ceramics: Art and Perception and received the 2013 Kansas City Art Institute Distinguished Achievement Award.
Esser and her KCAI students and colleagues were presented in Season Two of the PBS “Craft In America” television series, broadcast in 2009. After the broadcast, Carol Sauvion, executive director of “Craft in America” said, “The ‘Process’ hour is about creating art and passing knowledge to others. Cary did both: sharing her art-making processes and showing how a teacher can inspire her students and prepare them for a career.”
She holds an M.F.A. degree from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and a B.F.A. degree from KCAI.
Paul Donnelly, a native of Philadelphia, is a studio potter who uses slip cast and wheel-thrown techniques to create decorative yet...Read More
Paul Donnelly, a native of Philadelphia, is a studio potter who uses slip cast and wheel-thrown techniques to create decorative yet functional pottery. His work navigates between architecture, nature and popular culture to reveal notions of history and fashion and their place in the domestic landscape. He received his B.F.A. degree from Edinboro University and his M.F.A. from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
Before receiving his master's degree, he managed the ceramics department facilities at the University of Pennsylvania while also participating in the Artist in Residence Program at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and has been published in American Craft Magazine, Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, 500 pitchers and Making Marks.
Recently, Donnelly was an invited artist at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, where he participated in a residency session titled "Crafting Content." During this session, artists worked collaboratively while examining conversations about the contemporary studio craft movement.
Casey Whittier’s work explores the intersections between nature and imagination, desire and destruction and the...Read More
Casey Whittier’s work explores the intersections between nature and imagination, desire and destruction and the overriding issue of mortality. Through intimate sculptures and large-scale installations, her work often addresses issues of scale and space in relationship to the human body.
Originally from Maine, Whittier received her B.F.A. degree from KCAI and an M.F.A. degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her love for the outdoors and desire to collect and re-imagine relationships between objects was fostered by a family of environmentally literate individuals whose own collections were part of the daily landscape (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so they say).
Questions of legacy, sense of place, longing and an invested interest in non-human ecosystems are central to her artistic investigation. Often working with multiple clay bodies in any given piece, Whittier seeks the inherent variations in surface and texture, its ability to mimic, to be thick, thin, ephemeral or seemingly permanent.
Whittier’s work is included in private collections and has been exhibited throughout the U.S. She is a founding member of Hyperlink Gallery in Chicago and is currently looking forward to a full schedule of solo, dual and group shows for 2014-2015.
Tom Binger earned a B.F.A. degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. He specializes in the use of ceramic tile and pictorial narrative...Read More
Tom Binger earned a B.F.A. degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. He specializes in the use of ceramic tile and pictorial narrative in kinetic wall sculpture. Binger has expert knowledge of mechanics, carpentry, kiln maintenance and service and metal fabrication and finishing.
He has taught several elective studio courses in ceramics, including “Dimensional Mosaics,” “Tile” and “Fundamentals of Ceramics.” Binger also teaches “Materials and Process I and II,” required of all ceramics majors, the courses focus on clay and glaze formulation and kiln theory.
He was an employee of and resident artist at the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine from 2001 to 2003. Binger has held his current position at KCAI since 2003.
He has participated in national exhibitions, including “Tile: Matter and Motif” at the Baltimore Clayworks in 2004 and numerous American Craft Council shows.
Christen Baker is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, receiving her degree in ceramics. She specializes in porcelain and...Read More
Christen Baker is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, receiving her degree in ceramics. She specializes in porcelain and china painted sculpture referencing the human body. Her work emphasizes personal experience as a catalyst for memory and meaning, something that is best remembered while feeling amused by life’s ironies and misfortunes.
For three years, Baker was the glass technician for the kiln formed glass elective course. She has extensive knowledge of common kiln forming techniques, such as fusing, slumping, and casting using plaster-silica investment. Baker is experienced in the use of cold working and polishing techniques used for finishing glasswork. She now lives and works in Kansas City teaching the fundamental and advanced sections of Kiln Formed Glass at KCAI. In addition to teaching, Baker is the academic secretary to the illustration, graphic design and ceramics departments at KCAI as a part of Academic Affairs.
Andrea Martin is an artist based in Kansas City, Mo. Her work focuses on issues of contemporary...Read More
Andrea Martin is an artist based in Kansas City, Mo. Her work focuses on issues of contemporary design and fashion and the intimacy created while interacting with day-to-day products. Martin studies the provocative and spatial interactions between human beings and the objects to create her work.
Martin earned an M.A. degree in ceramic design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London U.K. and a B.F.A. degree from KCAI in ceramics.