Anthony W. Kelly
Currently my sculptural focus is on busts and draws stylistically from the work of Honore Daumier. Always a fan of Daumier’s satirical content I recently saw his expressive busts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. My goal is to combine this expressive style with wood fired ceramics. To be more specific, quick firing in a wood-fired kiln. Wood is used as the fuel in this process but the work does not have all the qualities of a lengthy, traditional wood firing. The cross-draft kiln built of mostly insulating fire bricks allows for experimentation with the wood firing process but shorter firing times limit the amount of much sought after traditional ash glazes produced.
Thematically, the stoneware figures are part of a dystopian future that teeters between unwarranted hope and despair They exist as proof of a possible metamorphosis into a healthy, thriving civilization in balance but ultimately unachievable. Also represented is a past which sees change as impossible regardless of the perilous outcomes. The direction as far content in the most current work is dark but illustrates a realistic narrative. Current levels of consumption in industrialized society are unsustainable regardless if the energy is green. Green is a good selling point, but that sacrifice is needed is the undeniable truth.
The work that follows (on Functional page) is daily use type wares. Creating vessels and daily use wares on the pottery wheel is a relatively new undertaking for me. Working their way into my day-to-day the pieces have helped me develop a new appreciation for handcrafted items. It's comforting to surround oneself with unique one-of-a-kind objects in a society where most everything is mass produced. The functional pieces on this site are both fired in the wood kiln and the electric and are noted as such. The wood fired work has a white or clear liner glaze and a varying amount of salt/soda glaze on the exterior. The result is a vessel with some "raw" areas on the exterior surface. For a more predicable outcome some glazed works are fired in an electric kiln.
The tile highlight the wood-fire kiln effects of flashing. The tile were rolled with a premade decorative type dowel rod, slowly dried and bisque fired in an electric kiln. When placed for a final firing wadding between the tile provides an obstacle for the flame of the wood-fired kiln. The tile records the path of the flame in colors from a soft yellow to deep burnt sienna and a wide range in between. Regretfully the functional ware from the same firing does not exhibit the same effects, but does bare some characteristics of a wood firing.
Exhibitions Shanghai High School Faculty Shows: various 2006-2016
Artplus Coop Charity Exhibitions: various (Shanghai) 2008-2010
Tenth Shanghai Print Works Exhibition 2012
West Virginia Juried Exhibition 2017/2019
Donated work to charity auction
2018 Shanghai International Film Festival
Hualien Land Art Festival- Shin Kong Chao Feng Resort, Taiwan
July 18-23 2018
2018 Emerging Artists Exhibition Cultural Center WV
Workshops Arts and Thoughts Studio Teays Valley, WV Feb. 2017-July 2017
The Pottery Workshop- Shanghai, China- July 2017
The Pottery Workshop Residency- Jingdezhen, China
July 1-16 2018
Marshall University Adjunct Drawing Professor
Director of Birke Art Gallery
IB Visual Arts Instructor
Shanghai High School International Division
Education Marshall University Huntington, WV
Master of Arts 2002
Marshall University Huntington, WV
Bachelor of Fine Arts 1999
(concentration in printmaking)
Art Director and Co-founder of now defunct Artplus-coop
Below are photos from a couple of events in which I recently took part.
Shin Kong Chao Feng Resort near Hualien in Taiwan sponsored a land art festival in 2019. The installation work was to use only found natural material and pay homage to the native Amis people of the area. It was a sincere joy to take part in the festival. I only wish the rain would have held off and given me more time outside.
Next are some images from Shanghai. I was asked to donate a piece to a charity auction taking place in Shanghai China during the 2018 International Film Festival. Here are a few photos from the event along with a photo of the teapot entitled Leaf.