AVA Gallery and Art Center is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition: Works in Clay: Jihye Han, Yeonsoo Kim, and Jenny Swanson featured in the Clifford B. West Gallery. Exhibiting artists in adjacent galleries: Cheryl Betz, Rachel Gross, and Mary Mead. All exhibitions will be on view October 13-November 11, 2023, with an opening reception, Friday, October 13, 5-7PM.
Jihye Han uses hand-building techniques to blend traditional ceramic processes with multi-layered paintings to share her experiences, memories, dreams by creating implied narrative. She identifies her work as a physical manifestation of memory and an exploration of personal history, cultural tradition, and belief systems in the contemporary world. In addition, her work draws from personal experiences and her Korean heritage; she utilizes physical processes to investigate diverse facets of perception to broaden emotional, physical, and cultural understanding of human experience.
Yeonsoo Kim’s work is characterized by consistency, perfection, thoroughness, and handcraft; emphasizing free will, randomness, and informality. Kim is conscious of the relationship between ideas, notions, and concepts of tradition and contemporary art. This not only informs his practice but inspires his perpetual need to continue creating and exploring, while constantly questioning and pursuing new ideas and new horizons in the contemporary ceramics field. Diverse characters regularly appear in the work, and together communicate with each other, as well as speak to viewers with their facial expressions— which could be perceived as self-portraits. Formally, the work addresses implied images and stories, and the psychological conditions of his daily life. Identity is a constant theme. Kim’s work is focused on one subject, a series titled Listening. Listening is a metaphor for describing his emotions and themes regarding displacement.
Jenny Swanson is a ceramic artist who lives and maintains a studio in Cornish Flat, NH. She constructs ceramic wall pieces and clay assemblages by collaging together stoneware, porcelain, and glaze. Her focus is on exploring the potentiality of the ceramic process, issues of sustainability, and ambiguous definitions of beauty. Swanson is inspired by what’s around her, especially looking closely at plant life, growth, and chaos in the surrounding land. Recently she has been combining her eclectic interests: her rural environment, travel memories, and imagined landscapes and motifs from Indian cultural arts which connect to her heritage on her mother’s side. Using an intuitive and experimental approach to materiality and process, she makes arrangements that describe the beauty of the organic and its imperfections. In her hand-built clay work, the simple color palette comes from classic high fire glazes chosen for reflective and absorbing qualities. The pieces are fired at high temperature in a reduction kiln.
Jihye Han earned a BFA in sculpture and ceramics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC and an MFA in ceramics from the University of North Texas, Denton, TX. She was the recipient of the BIPOC Ceramic Emerging Artist Award at Clay Houston, Houston, TX in 2021 and recently received the 2022 Emerging Artist award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Jihye has participated in numerous exhibitions at institutions nationally and internationally. She was an artist-in-residence at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and taught ceramics classes at Lamar University in 2022-2023. Han is currently a full-time faculty member of the Art Department at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. Click here to view Jihye Han’s website
Yeonsoo Kim was born in Haenam, South Korea. He earned his MFA in ceramics at Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA, and his BFA in ceramics and glass from the Hongik University, located in Seoul, Korea. He has held apprenticeships with Onggi masters in Jeolla-do (Hayngjong-Oh) and Gyeongsang-do (Jinkyu Huh) in Korea. Kim has won multiple awards and exhibited nationally and internationally. Most recently, he was named one of the top six Emerging Artists of 2020 by the National Council on Education the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and had a solo exhibition at the Radius Gallery in Missoula, MT. He has participated in several artist residency programs, including the Korea Ceramic Foundation, Montana State University, Morean Center for Clay, Houston Center for Houston Contemporary Craft and the Archie Bray Foundation. Click here to view Yeonsoo Kim’s website.
Jenny Swanson was born in Boston and raised in Seattle. Her journey in ceramics began in a class at her public high school and continued while studying ceramics at Bennington College, Bennington, VT with Jane Aebersold and Stanley Rosen. In 1984 she received an MFA in Ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI; her teacher was renowned ceramic artist Jun Kaneko. Jenny has a studio and home in Cornish Flat, NH. She works at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH where she has been lead instructor and director of the ceramics program since 2004. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and in Turkey, South Korea, Japan, China and the U.K. In 2017, she was a resident artist at the Shangyu International Ceramic Center in China, and her work is in the permanent collection of the Shangyu Art Museum. She recently had a two-person exhibit at the Davidow Fine Art and Design Center at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH. Click here to view Jenny Swanson’s website.
All exhibitions and events are always free and open to the public.