Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis is a haven for ceramic artists to study and display their work. The studio gives recognition and praise to the finest national and local artists in clay making. One such recognition is the Warren MacKenzie Award, of which School of Art + Art History (SA+AH) alumna Adrienne Eliades (MFA Ceramics ‘16) was recently named one of two recipients of.
The Warren MacKenzie Award provides funding for bachelor’s and graduate level students “participating in research or involved in residence programs that will help advance their career to the next stage,” Eliades said.
The criteria to be eligible is having alignment with a studio that one can present his or her research and findings from their program, Eliades said.
“The experience felt like the beginning of a new tangent in my practice,” Eliades said.
In May, Eliades used the funding from the Warren MacKenzie Award to travel to Denmark as part of an artist residency. She said the experience was wonderful and allowed her to explore the country and its design.
Eliades said she has been interested in art since an early age.
“[I] started throwing in high school… and in college at UNC Wilmington, I switched my major from math to studio art,” Eliades said.
Eliades said her father owned restaurants and a hotel when she was a kid, and this informed the things she likes to make.
“All of my work, regardless of how it’s formed, is functional tableware,” Eliades said.
By the time she was at graduate school at UF, Eliades had advanced to making tableware that best communicated her conceptual ideas.
“Many of these works were not market driven and not necessarily what I liked to make best, but they were the steps to build theory and research behind a piece of work,” Eliades said.
Eliades said she applied to the residency in Denmark because “the minimalist and clean-lined aesthetic” fit her design and she wanted to see it in person.
“I wanted to experiment with slip casting, in the hopes of making a line of work more quickly and more affordably than some of my hand built pieces,” Eliades said.
Additionally, Eliades said she was motivated to be more articulate with her work because she knew she had to document it for the award.
Currently, Eliades lives in Portland and works at Ash Street, a studio she was introduced to through Linda Arbuckle, UF professor emeritus of ceramics.
She credits her graduate school education for her professional development and networking skills that she hopes will build her reputation and studio practice.
To learn more about the Eliades’ award, visit: www.northernclaycenter.org.
To shop Eliades’ designs, visit her website: www.adrienneeliades.com.