The Ceramic Arts 2021 Yearbook, a supplement to Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated, highlighted three past James Renwick Alliance awardees: Syd Carpenter, Michael Sherrill, and Richard W. James.
Originally published in the Ceramic Arts 2021 Yearbook a supplement to Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated, page (37). http://ceramicartsnetwork.org. Copyright, The American Ceramic Society. Reprinted with permission.
Syd Carpenter was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1953 and earned an MFA from Tyler School of Art. Over the course of her career, she has been a guest artist at Anderson Ranch, Haystack Mountain School, Penland School, Chicago Art Institute, Hollins University, Dickinson College, Millersville University, Howard University, and the University of Delaware, among others. She has received awards from the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, the National Endowment for the arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Leeway Fellowships in the Arts. Carpenter is currently a professor at Swarthmore College.Carpenter’s work can be found in a number of collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the University of Illinois, Philadelphia Convention Center, Canton Ohio Museum of Art, Erie Museum of Art, and Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute.
The son of an inventor/motorcycle racer and warrior princess/homemaker, Michael Sherrill has lived in the western North Carolina mountains since 1974. He considers himself a materials-based artist experimenting primarily in the media of metal, clay, and glass. At the heart of his interest is the intersection of where humans and materials meet in both handmade objects and the natural world. Michael’s work is in several public collections including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Museum of American Craft, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Mint Museum, the Museum of Art and Design, Corning Museum of Glass, and Takoma Glass Museum, among others. In 1993, the Year of Craft, Michael was selected for the White House collection, which traveled to venues around the United States.
Richard W. James creates large-scale surreal figures out of meticulously crafted earthenware and found objects. Influenced by his upbringing in rural Tennessee and the craft skills handed down from his parents and grandparents, James’ often unsettling contemporary ceramic sculptures incorporate the materials and processes he associates with the informative years of his life to question the cultural lenses in which he grew up.