Community. Engagement. Advocacy. Humor.
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.