WOOD | Sculptural and functional
Penland Affiliation | Penland Resident Artist 2020-2023, former Penland staff
Artist Information | Studio artist; education: MFA Sculpture, Herberger Institute of Design & Art, Arizona State University (AZ), BFA Sculpture/Art Education, University of Dayton (OH) ; teaching: Yestermorrow Design/Build School (VT), Appalachian Center for Craft (NC), Haystack Mountain School of Craft (ME); exhibitions: Penland Gallery, Hodges Taylor Gallery (NC), American Craft Council Atlanta, Center for Art in Wood (PA), Mint Museum (NC), Center for Craft (NC), Society of Contemporary Craft (MA)
Artist Statement | As a furniture designer and sculptor, Ellie Richards is interested in the role the furniture and domestic objects play in creating opportunities for a deeper connection between people and their sense of place. Ellie looks to the tradition of both woodworking and the readymade to create eclectic assemblage, installation, and objects exploring intersections of labor, leisure, community, and culture. She has traveled extensively to investigate the role play and improvisation have on the artistic process. Her work, both furniture and sculpture, has been included in exhibitions at the Mint Museum; Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design; SOFA Chicago; and the Society of Contemporary Craft. Most recently Richards was awarded Windgate residencies at the Center for Art in Wood, and in the wood/furniture design programs at San Diego State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Additionally, she maintains an active teaching schedule sharing the fundamentals of woodworking and artistic practice with a breadth of audience including appointments at Yestermorrow Design/Build School, Appalachian Center for Craft, and Haystack Mountain School of Craft. In 2021/22 Ellie Richards and Annie Evelyn are co-fellows for the Furniture Society: Craft for a Greater Good Initiative partnering with UNCA Steam Studio and BeLoved.
Technical Information | Traditional and alternative techniques, using wood and found/repurposed materials