Didem Mert lists no less than twenty separate galleries representing her in fifteen states. It is savvy marketing in any time, but especially in a period where selling art has been difficult, which may explain why she is considered one of the hottest potters working in America today. It certainly points to an ambitious creative and prodigious output, which is reinforced by the busy schedule of upcoming exhibits for the first three months of 2018:
• 33rd Alabama Clay Conference, Montgomery, AL.
• (in)Visable, to be determined (Pittsburgh, PA NCECA Conference).
• Companion Gallery Collaborations, Union Project, Pittsburgh, PA. (NCECA)
• Emerging Exhibition, The Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH.
• Lillstreet Gallery Expo at 52nd NCECA, Portland, OR.
• Valentine's Day Show, Clay AKAR, Iowa City, IA.
Additionally, Mert is an Instructor at Baker-Hunt Art and Cultural Center, Covington, KY, and at Queen City Clay, Cincinnati, OH.
“Being the daughter of a woodworker, I was raised in a design-rich environment that has influenced who I am and my current body of ceramic work. Geometry, texture, and the functionality of my work emanates from this artistic environment. Different textural surfaces are created in my work by using pinched marks juxtaposed between smooth, defined lines and edges. Bright colors paired against a soft earthy color palette create high-contrast focal points in the work. Using simple geometry, I sgraffito* line-work into the pots to heighten the formal elements of design. The simple line-work on the pots showcases food in its presentation.”
“My work strives to bring forth a sense of tranquility in its minimalistic design, yet there is a sense of playfulness directed through the color palette and pinched surfaces.” The playfulness is most evident in Mert’s tips sipping cups, which have rounded bottoms that might challenge a user filling them with spirits. An inability to keep the cup upright could be taken as a sign to call it an evening.
Mert will be participating in the first Southern Crossings Pottery Festival (SXPF). SXPF will take place March 2 & 3, 2018 at Copper & Kings in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville. The event will showcase potters in the Ohio River Region, including Lexington, Cincinnati, and more. The festival will also include the Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner @PLAY Louisville on March 3, 2018.
* A form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, typically done in plaster or stucco on walls, or in slip on ceramics before firing.
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Education: BFA, Ceramics, Northern Kentucky University 2014; MFA, Ceramics, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 2017
Gallery Representation: Cincinnati Art Underground, Wooden Hill, (Cincinnati, OH).
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.