"How are we as a society going to leave our mark on the world?" - Steven Cheek
The allure of ceramics is so often in the holding of well-crafted functional objects; to wrap your hand around a favorite mug, warmed to the touch by the hot liquid contained within. The form and textures of hand made pottery are a visceral, sensual pleasure.
In his work, Steven Cheek anticipates that aspect of the work by populating his exquisite surfaces with unexpected motifs that express unsettling themes.
“My work is designed to challenge the viewer’s ideals and thoughts about what is beautiful,” Cheek explains in his Artist’s Statement, “and to encourage the viewer to contemplate issues that are taking place all around us, but which are often uncomfortable to discuss.”
“I strive to engage the viewer by juxtaposing beauty with the ugliness of the world in which we live. It is my intent to marry the beautiful classical vessel with imagery that subtly confronts the viewer to think about a deeper issue. These issues include war, the impermanence of life, environmental destruction and man’s inhumanity to man and our response to these things.”
“It is my goal to raise several questions; how do we mark or mourn the passing of lost ideals? How are we as a society going to leave our mark on the world? Are we going to leave the world a better place? Will we learn from the mistakes of those that came before us?”
Cheek has taught at the University of Louisville, Bellarmine University, Indiana University Southeast, and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
Cheek will be participating in first Southern Crossings Pottery Festival (SXPF), which he is coordinating with Amy Chase and Jason Bige Burnett. SXPF will take place March 2 & 3, 2018 at Copper & Kings in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisvile. 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.
Hometown: Born Hillsboro, OR
Education: BFA in Ceramics from the University of Evansville and an MFA in Ceramics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.