Kim Dickey is a ceramic artist and educator working at the Univeristy of Colorado, Boulder and holds an MFA from Alfred University. Her work consists of hundreds or thousands of smaller pieces assembled into larger pieces or installations that speak of Italian landscape architecture. Just as each leaf on a bush in a garden is unique, but comes together to form the larger whole and those whole bushes come together to form a complex landscape, so too do the small, individual objects crafted by Dickey come together to form a whole sculpture, then those sculptures join together to create a larger installation work. Each of Dickey's sculptures is individual and unique, but those forms create a dialogue through their shared size, overall form and color palette. While Dickey is an American contemporary ceramic artist, her work is heavily influenced by European ceramics, especially Italian majolica work, paying homage to the importance that traditional European ceramics has played in American ceramic development from our early colonial days to the American Studio Potter movement into today's trends in installation work. You can see more of her work at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art now through January 22, 2017,
In many ways I feel that Dickey is working in a similar manner to the pieces that I have been making this semester through the use of repeating shapes and forms. There are certainly things that I can incorporate into my work , especially using similar glazes on my pieces to tie them all together then looking at further tying things together using arrangement of pieces and uniform pedestals.
Last month I attended a workshop at Ft Hays University on mold making given by a friend of mine. As we were talking after the workshop, he made a comment about how determined I was in pursuing this degree. This comment gave me pause because I had never really considered myself to be "determined" in all of this. (Crazy? Definitely, but not determined.) This comment, though, has stuck with me and, the more I think about it, the more I realize that he's right. There have been many times that I've been tempted to give up, or, at the very least, take a semester or two off to regroup. Somehow, however, I've been able to find the strength to continue and keep chasing the dream of the MFA.
It certainly hasn't always been easy. There's a little voice in the back of my head that likes to tell me that things would be so much easier if I would just get a job answering phones in an insurance office. Of course, I'd be bored out of my mind, but at least I'd get a steady paycheck and I wouldn't be trying to split my time between work and school. Last month I finally got my graduate committee members together for a meeting to discuss if I was making enough progress in the program to pass on to the thesis portion of the program, approving me to begin pursuing my MFA thesis show. I was, of course, approved to move on, but that damn voice kept waking me up at night worrying about the meeting. Now I feel that it's easier to keep going knowing that I'm almost done, but I do sometimes worry that there won't be a job for me when I'm done and that it will all be for naught. This, of course, is not true, because, no matter what happens after graduation, I've gained a lot of insight into who I am and I now know that I'm capable of so much more than I sometimes think.
Now? Onward towards thesis! In preparation I will be putting up a show of work at Spark Gallery in Denver in February of next year. I am planning a challenging installation that should echo the type of work that I will show in Hays in 2018.
Hope all of my readers are doing well and that life is treating you kindly.