Resident Q&A

Natalia Arbelaez and Logan Wall sit down for a Q&A to talk about their work in their concurrent solo shows.

Natalia Arbelaez

Where do you find inspiration?

I usually find inspiration from my personal life and family. But lately I’ve been going in a more historical path. Being a first generation American-Colombian I have had a hard time with American history and finding my place in it. I wanted to create a place where the histories of my family could be told and included.

 Can you describe your building techniques?

I hand-build all of my work in the coil method. After I have built a piece I add engobe in layers in the green state. I brush on the majority of my figure’s features with stain mixed with engobe, building it up in layers. The engobe never smooths out and shows every brushstroke, I really enjoy painting on my surface.  

  

Is there a story about your color palate?

This last body of work has been more encompassing and personal. It’s been about honoring and celebrating myself and family. I thought that it would be a good time to bring color into my work to express the richness of my family’s stories. It’s probably been about 3 years since I’ve used color in my work.

Why do you think its important to make art?

For me art has been really important to make and use to communicate. I came back to the US at the age of four not speaking English and communication was hard for me. I learned English and forgot Spanish at a young age but I did regain Spanish a few years later. I have never really felt completely comfortable with either language but art has always been the most natural form of communication for me. There is never any wrong answers in making art.


Logan Wall

Where do you find inspiration?

I am inspired simple shapes working together to create a complex form. My focus in composition references geometric abstraction and architectural elements. A few specific artist whose works inspire me are Jun Kaneko, Ilya Bolotowsky, and Frank Stella.

Can you describe your building techniques?

Starting with a detailed sketch, I determine the components I need to create a form. Many of my pieces are first thrown on the wheel and then cut and assembled using slabs and coils. I use primary shapes in additive and subtractive methods to bring graphic elements to my pieces. 

Is there a story about your color palate?

For my current body of work, I limited myself to 5 colors attempting to accentuate the complexity of shape and composition in each piece. Each color was chosen to complement the exposed terra-cotta clay. When approaching glazing, I play with contrast, asymmetry, and composition to inspire repose when my work is in use. 

Why do you think its important to make art?

It is important to make art to discover who you are. Throughout my year at the Clay Art Center I have identified myself as a designer of fine objects. My consumption with making is inspired by the challenge of creating a thoughtful, well-made item. It is my goal that when others use or view my work, they will experience the consideration and analyze its importance. 


These concurrent solo exhibitions will be on view in our gallery until July 12th

Adam ChauComment