Beth Cavener Stichter(USA)
Beth is currently a full-time professional studio artist working in the state of Washington. She received her BA in sculpture from Haverford College and her MFA from Ohio State University. She was awarded a USArists Project Grant in 2012, the Artist Trist Fellowship in 2009, the Jean Griffith Foundation Fellowship in 2006, the Virginia A.Groot Foundation Grant and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council in 2005, and the American Craft Council’s Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2004. She has also been an Artist-in-Residence at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia and the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. She has exhibited nationally (at such institutions as the Smithsonian Museum) and internationally and has taught numerous workshops across the country. She is currently represented by the Claire Oliver Gallery in New York.
“There are primitive animal instincts lurking in our own depths, waiting for the chance to slide past a conscious moment. The sculptures I create focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms. On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality.
“Both human and animal interactions show patterns of intricate, subliminal gestures that betray intent and motivation. The things we leave unsaid are far more important than the words spoken out-loud to one another. I have learned to read meaning in the subtler signs; a look, the way one holds one’s hands, the incline of the head, the rhythm of a walk, and the slightest unconscious gestures. I rely on animal body language in my work as a metaphor for these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological portraits.
“I want to pry at those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and human. The figures are feral and uneasy, expressing frustration for the human tendency towards cruelty and lack of understanding. Entangled in their own internal and external struggles, the figures are engaged with the subjects of fear, apathy, violence and powerlessness. Something conscious and knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions. An invitation and a rebuke.”
At the festival, Beth Cavener Stichter known for her dynamic, emotionally charged animal and human figures, will give participants a glimpse of how one can tackle elements of gesture and expression with subtle shifts in line and form during her demonstration on stage. Her unusual method of working is accessible to interested individuals at every level: working with a solid mass of clay, often over 2,000 lbs., and then hollowing each part of the sculpture down to the skin. Through her lecture she will cover a range of practical technical information about working in clay as well as initiate discussion on how we transfer ideas and meaning visually.
For more information about Beth please visit her website