2021_Focus_Just A Moment

FOCUS GALLERY   |  October 27 – November 27, 2021
Ettick 10001000

Corey Pemberton (b. Reston, VA 1990, lives Los Angeles) received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. He is currently a multidiscipline studio artist working in blown glass, painting, and print.

Corey has completed residencies at the Pittsburgh Glass Center (PA), Bruket (Bodø, NO), and a Core Fellowship at the Penland School of Craft (NC). He is the co-founder and director of Crafting the Future, a non-profit with a goal of increasing BIPOC access to the fields of art, craft, and design. His work has been shown across the United States including the solo exhibitions: “home/body” at Unrepd (2021, Los Angeles, CA), “creature, comfort” at the Contemporary Art Museum (2020, Raleigh, NC), and “Finding Home in Otherness” at Blue Spiral 1 (2019, Asheville, NC). He was the 2016 recipient of the Excellence in Glass award from the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.


Michelle Ettrick (b. Panama 1979, lives Pennsylvania) is an Afro-Latina ceramic artist born in the Republic of Panama, and currently living in Pennsylvania. She immigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen leaving behind her language and culture. She grew up in Brooklyn and years later moved to the Bronx. A single mom at twenty eight years old, Michelle moved her young family to Florida in search of a better life for her children. During this time, she encountered many struggles and after many years of fighting to survive, homelessness. After this low point, she and her two young adult children all enrolled in college in 2011. While attended the College of Central Florida, Michelle discovered her unending love for clay. In 2015, she was accepted to the University of Florida where she received her BFA in Ceramics.  In 2016, Michelle was awarded the Multicultural Fellowship by the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts (NCECA).  She completed her Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at Penn State University in 2019. Michelle now teaches at Penn State Altoona and maintains a productive studio practice. Her work has been featured in both solo and invitational exhibitions throughout the United States.

I was a non-English speaking 13-year old when I arrived in the United States in 1982. Life in Brooklyn, New York was a stark contrast to my early memories of Panama and the simple joys of climbing trees and playing with my friends while my mom was nearby hanging clothes on the line. As an Afro-Latina, I struggled to find a community that would accept me and where I felt I belonged.  My own identity was regularly challenged by others who judged me by the texture of my hair or the fact that I spoke Spanish fluently and struggled to communicate in English. When judged by adults and my peers, my hair was “too good” to be considered black and the color of my skin was too dark to be speaking Spanish. In addition to the hardships, I have many fond memories of my time in New York.  Brooklyn is where I learned about double dutch and cooling off from the New York summer heat in the open fire hydrants.

I love being a maker and clay is my medium of choice. Clay is a very personal material to me. When I put my hands in the clay and my fingers get lost in the mixture, for the moment, we become one. I stretch pull, pinch and form shapes where I leave evidence of my having been there. I follow up by drawing on my work where I embrace my natural curly hair, heritage, womanhood and at times current worldly struggles.  My artwork is a record of my experiences as an Afro-Latina American.

Wednesday – Saturday
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM