Shasta Krueger is a ceramic artist currently living, making and teaching in Salt Lake City, Utah. Originally from Washington state, she spent many of her early years exploring the outdoors. Her interests in the environment earned her a biology and studio arts degree from Willamette University in Oregon. After further exposure to the clay and art community, Shasta earned her Masters of Fine Art from Utah State University in Logan, Utah in 2015. Always seeking new ways of learning and sharing her craft, Shasta has worked and taught at various academic institutions and arts organizations in places including Utah, California, Tennessee, Virginia, Oregon, Denmark, and China. Her interest in biology and her surroundings continues to influence her work. Whether working in the studio, hiking a trail or cooking in the kitchen, she is eager to create and share a new experience with those around her.
I am a maker; rolling, pinching, and pressing the clay to explore the subtle asymmetry and structure of a form. In working with both coil and slabs, I use defined lines balanced with my touch to create dynamic forms. Cellular structures of plants and the odd brief glimpse of a great accumulation of similar objects inspire the repeated shapes and patterns. I gravitate to small details that when compiled together begin to create a larger composition; the marks are subtle and hopefully discovered by thorough inspection. Ridged structure balanced with the seemingly spontaneous especially draws my attention, such as cells, the systems they compose, and the organism they create. I am interested in the calculated and the casual as seen in the building up of units.
I am fascinated with the tactility of clay; my touch becomes the narrative of the form, unit by unit shaping the object. Like the calculated and intuitive nature of the wood firing process, these units create a structure that is not figured to fine measurements. Imagine the cook who diligently weighs each gram and levels each scoop versus the one who measures in dollops and globs. Wood firing is a calculated and strategic process imbedded with the spontaneity of the many variables and uncontrollable elements. Within this process I adapt and problem solve, which is also reflected in the search for patterns within the rhythm of repeated units. The patterns I find lead to conclusions shaping my actions and directing my thoughts.
~Shasta Krueger, 2021
Art Collaboration with the NPC Community:
Shasta is inviting the NPC community to collaborate with her on an installation artwork. The intention behind installation art is to alter a gallery space and affect the environment of a gallery visitor. You are invited to contribute to this community art installation project by making a small object out of clay, while following some basic instructions from the artist. No prior clay experience is needed. Anyone within the NPC service area may participate. You do not need to be enrolled as a student.
How it works:
• Watch the two short videos below to learn about the project and preview the instructions for building the object
• Between these dates: 9/27/21 - 10/29/21, visit an NPC campus or center main office to pick up a bag of clay
(You may wish to call ahead to ask about availability of supplies. Clay will be periodically re-stocked until supplies run out.)
• Watch the instructional video below and build an object along with Shasta
• Return your object to any NPC campus/center main office location by 11/1/21
• The objects will be collected and installed in the Talon Gallery on White Mountain Campus as part of an exhibition that also features Shasta Krueger's ceramic artwork. A video will be posted so that the exhibition may be experienced virtually as well as in-person.
Informational Video (Meet the artist and learn about the project):
Instructional Video (Learn how to build the object):
Tips for building the object:
• Prepare a small area to work. A kitchen table is a good place.
• You may want to work on top of a sheet of paper or cardboard to keep your table clean.
• You will need: clay and toothpick (from NPC) and a small cup of water.
• Take your time building the form. Pause the video as many times as you need.
• If your clay gets out of control, don't be afraid to start over. You may need to add a bit of water to the clay to keep it workable.
• Be gentle with your object when you bring it back to campus.
• Please return the clay object and plastic bag (we will re-use it).
Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this program.