CLAY | Narrative ceramic sculpture
Penland Affiliation | Penland Instructor 2021
Artist Information | Studio artist; education: BFA California State University-Chico; teaching: Herron School of Art and Design (IN), Pottery Northwest (WA), Eye of the Dog Center (TX); awards: North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant; exhibitions: Gallery IMA (WA), ClayAKAR (IA), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT)
Artist Bio | Rickie Barnett grew up in northern California and attended California State University, Chico, receiving a BFA degree with an emphasis in painting and ceramics. After graduating in 2013 he took a year-long position as Artist in Residence at Taos Clay Studio, later moving to Seattle as a studio assistant to Deborah Schwartzkopf at Rat City Studios while also working for sculptor George Rodriguez. In 2016, he moved to North Carolina to become a studio assistant to sculptors Cristina Cordova and Jeannine Marchand. Currently, he lives near Penland School of Craft, where he shares a home and studio with his partner, ceramic artist Lynne Hobaica.
Artist Statement | Raised the son of a minister, I was instilled with a desire to link myself to a purposeful life. With promises of being bound to a higher power, I found little doubt about my place in this world. As I grew older and moved away from the church, it left a wound that leaked fear and doubt into every aspect of my existence. My work has always come from this place of longing to better understand the world around me and my place within it. I work narratively, creating characters based on the struggle of balancing relationships, where I can navigate the landscapes of emotions experienced but not quite understood. It is in this continual self-assessment where I find the restlessness of my mind soothed, my vulnerability eased and my empathy expanding as I grow more honest with myself and loved ones. Through this practice of work, disguised as play, I have begun to mend my faith in what I find sacred. The studio has become my church, the work my prayer, and the completion of pieces my testimony to a pursuit of healing, in an effort to find myself at the threshold of a meaningful and purposeful life.
Technical Information | Earthenware with layered underglaze and carving