CAC Artist-In-Resident: Zoey B Scheler


Clay Art Center Artist-in-Resident Zoey B Scheler is one of the artists in our I-70 Artist-In-Residence Duo Exhibition opening on June 2nd. She will be exhibiting her work alongside CAC’s Artist-in-Resident Mike Cerv.

“I’m excited to be able to discuss my work with all of the artists, teachers, and students that have seen me at work, but have yet to see a culmination of everything I have been up to,” states Scheler when asked about her upcoming show, I-70. “The rich discussions I have had in my studio about my current work has pushed me in new directions and brought out such an exciting new body of work. I can’t wait for more thoughtful conversations about this new body of work.”

Scheler first fell in love with working with clay when she was only ten years old at an arts camp. “My friend, Kelsey Tyler, my ceramics instructor, Mark Jaeger, and I all decided to stick our heads in a giant bucket of slip. It was love at first dunk,” states Scheler. 

Scheler holds a BFA degree with an emphasis in ceramics from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, as well as two separate master’s degrees. Following her undergrad, she went on to obtain her MSED in K-12 Art Education at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. In 2017, Scheler received her MFA from SUNY Purchase College, where she also taught as an adjunct Art + Design graduate professor. Following her education, Scheler became the Rittenberg Artist-In-Resident here at CAC. At Clay Art Center, she is a teacher to all ages and skill levels, and she continues her studio practice. 

At the age of eight, Scheler was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. “My obsession with the miniature is deeper them most assume,” she states. Her biggest triggering fear has always been about contracting a virus, more specifically the stomach bug. “This microscopic thing, a mere speck, has caused me so much grief, so much worry, and yet it is smaller than the eye can see. Such obsessions with things completely out of my control have dominated my world,” states Scheler. “As a result, I’ve always been intrigued by my mind’s ability to give something so minuscule so much power.” Although her work has never directly referenced her fears and phobias, she believes that the work allowed her to put aside her fears for a brief period of time. “My fears can manifest as a fascination, which has led to my making intimate ceramic objects that carry power and presence,” she states. “How can I make an ant and an airplane equally impactful?” 

Scheler describes her work as whimsical, fun, colorful, and quirky. Her work combines her love of all things miniature, color, texture, and patterns. “Though the objects themselves tend to be small the surfaces are expansive and overwhelming,” she states. “Clay and I are partners in crime. My ceramic identity is fluid, and in clay that’s okay. It’s one of the many reasons I love this world so much.”  

Scheler describes CAC as a place of magic. From her first day in August 2017 until now, she has felt nothing but warmth, openness, support, and optimism. She believes that her time as an artist-in-resident has helped her grow as both an artist and as an arts educator. However, she says that her favorite part of her residency has been the incredible people. “My co-residents are friends for life. Thank you to Logan, Mike, and Dana for being the best studio mates in the whole world,” states Scheler.  “Clay Art Center is so much more than a ceramic studio, it is a community full of passion, creativity and drive. It is family I know I will always be a part of.”