Conceived through a partnership with The Color Network, Grounds For Sculpture presents an exhibition titled Fragile: Earth opening in May 2022. The Color Network’s mission is to aid in the advancement of people of color in the ceramic arts. Their focus includes exhibitions, an online database, community events, and mentorship.
Fragile: Earth frames artists’ reﬂections on social, environmental, and individual perceptions of fragility through the unique materiality of clay and ceramics. Metaphorically, clay perfectly embodies the duality of fragility. Soft and vulnerable when unﬁred, however it is also ﬂexible and forgiving. When ﬁred it is solid and strong but can easily shatter. How do the facets of fragility manifest in the world, in our society, and in our personal lives? This exhibition is an exploration of vulnerability as strength, the faults of a strong façade, and the fragility of entities we take for granted, such as nature and government, amid ongoing global health and social crises.
This exhibition is guest curated by Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy (She/Her), a New York and Los Angeles-based curator, writer, and arts administrator of contemporary art and craft. Her current research focuses on the subversive power of humor, cuteness, and leisure as tools of protest. Amplifying the voices of BIPOC artists is central to her practice. She serves as Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), NY. She has helped the curatorial team organize over twenty exhibitions since 2016, including 2021s Craft Front & Center. She also oversees MAD’s Burke Prize, a prestigious contemporary craft award. Recent projects include exhibitions Sleight of Hand (2020) at the Center for Craft, NC, where she was a 2020 curatorial fellow, and Clay Is Just Thick Paint (2020) at Greenwich House Pottery, NY. She has also contributed to Cultured and American Craft magazines and catalogs at MAD and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, NE. She holds an MA from the Bard Graduate Center, NY, in Decorative Arts, Design History, & Material Culture.
Organized by guest curator Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, the sixteen artists were selected through The Color Network, by curatorial invitation, and through an open call. United by their ceramics practice and inclusive of a myriad of social, cultural, geographical, and racial backgrounds, the featured artists are Natalia Arbelaez, Ebitenyefa Baralaye, Ashwini Bhat, Syd Carpenter, Adam Chau, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Magdolene Dykstra, April Felipe, Raheleh Filsoofi, Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Anabel Juárez, Anina Major, Jane Margarette, Mariana Ramos Ortiz, Virgil Ortiz, and Sarah Petty.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of artist-led programs connected to the mission of The Color Network and centered around the practice of several of the Network’s artists. Programs will include intersections with trauma-informed art sessions, ESL/Spanish workshops, urban gardening, and professional development for artists.
In addition to these programs GFS and The Color Network will co-host a fundraising event, Fragile: Cup, which will allow visitors to bid on and take home one of a kind ceramic mugs created by contemporary artists. Funds raised during this event will support the mission of The Color Network. For more information about The Color Network please visit https://www.thecolornetwork.org/.
Fragile: Earth is supported by lead sponsor Bank of America, with major support from The Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation and Marjorie Ogilvie and Miller Parker. Additional generous exhibition support by the Brooke Barrie Art Fund, Judith Burgis, Drs. Umesh and Sunanda Gaur, Holman, NRG, Princetel, PSEG, and Barbara Eberlein and Jerry Wind. Support is provided in part by the Atlantic Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.
1. Ashwini Bhat, Self Portrait, California Landscape, 2021, glazed ceramic, quartz, gold chain, mud, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the Artist and Shoshana Wayne Gallery; 2. Magdolene Dykstra, Babel, 2021, unfired clay and mixed media, 108 x 72 x 72 inches, Courtesy of the Artist, photo: Ken Ek; 3. Syd Carpenter, Mary Howard, 2014, ceramic and steel, 53 x 35 x 24 inches, Courtesy of the Artist, photo: Ken Ek; 4. Anabel Juarez, Alcatraz, 2021, glazed ceramic, 42.5 x 38 x 23.5 inches, Courtesy of the Artist, photo: Ken Ek