A Conversation with Ceramic Artist Sharif Bey

Raised in Pittsburgh, ceramics artist Sharif Bey is currently an assist professor in the the Art Ed department at Syracuse University.  He'll be visiting his home town and will teach a 2-day workshop at Society of Contemporary Craft later this month.  I asked him a few questions about growing up here and his work, thanks to Brigitte Martin for the introductory question. Read the full interview. 

Sarah: The workshop you'll be teaching at Contemporary Craft addresses incorporating cultural, historic and political issues into artwork.  What issues are you currently commenting on in your work? 

Sharif: The process of exploring my identity as an African-American, husband, father, artist, educator, art student, and functional potter creates a dialogue in the studio that never grows tiresome. As I continue to unpack my identity this conversation is renewed. My recentwork explores my personal history as a maker and the resulting connections (people, places events).  Process, technique and material facilitates avenues for relocating memories as staring points for new trajectories. I might honor an old friend and produce works comparable to that which he/she was making last time we spend time together as a point of departure for new ideas. At present I have been making simplistic functional salt-fired pots in tandem with my hand build sculpture. Process informs process.

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Masthead Credits

Leah Hardy, Laramie, Wyoming

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Mixed media sculpture based on my son Ky's childhood.
Copper, earthenware, encaustic, mica, teeth, resin, patina.
10.5" x 14" x 8"

2008-09

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