ArtAxis Fundraising Sale

Over 100 works donated by over 75 artists are now available on the Artaxis web shop and all sales support their mission, one of my Medusas is available too! The sale launches Tuesday November 15th at 11am (PST).

Artaxis is an all volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization that is guided by a simple principle – artists supporting artists. Featuring nearly 1000 artists from over 50 countries and all 50 States in the US, Artaxis engages the ceramics community through promotional, educational, and networking programs while celebrating diverse artistic practices and being a resource of aesthetic values.

SUPPORT ARTAXIS HERE

Local artists doing public art

In my last post I shared my installation at the new Kaiser building in downtown Santa Cruz but I also wanted to share a few of my favorites of the other local artists that were chosen for this space too. It’s so great to see large organizations or corporations prioritize local artists and unique work into their public spaces. Chandra Cerrito Art Advisors was given the task of presenting all of the works for potential selection and it was great working with them. Check out some of these great pieces…

Ethan Estess uses reclaiming fishing rope to create many of his pieces. John Maxon paints the great beauty that surrounds us. Laura Beach combines her love of science and printmaking to create her works. Lea de Wit creates large scale glass installations that swim, fly and flow across walls. Leslie Morgan creates work that is inspired by her time in the water.

There are many, many more pieces included in the building, so if you’re going to get your flu shot or booster be sure to keep an eye out as you pass through the halls. You’re sure to be inspired!

Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery Visit at UCSC

I went up to Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery this week with curator Tauna Coulson to see the gallery space and toss around ideas for my upcoming exhibition there this fall. It’s a beautiful space nestled into the redwoods that I hadn’t been to a million years. As a bonus, I got to see the current exhibition on display.

Warp & Weft is about how textiles are integral in our lives, yet often overlooked. The exhibit showcases nine artists work with themes of family, community and politics through weaving and the history of cloth. Here are a few images I took of the show…

I know the parking is awful, but they are open Thursday nights until 7 and on Saturdays 12-5, so if you get a chance get up there and check it out!

For more information…

Scenes from NCECA 2022, day three

Three days and viewing almost 40 exhibitions is definitely pushing my limits of creative absorption but I’m honestly so amazed by the diversity of ways that artists use this humble medium of clay. From hand-built functional ware to high tech 3D printing, artists are really doing just about anything and everything with it and it’s so, so impressive.

From Ground to Surface at Sacramento Fine Arts Center & Constructed Landscapes- Brick, Tile and Pillar at Blue Line Arts

I ended my conference with a first time visit to the Crocker Museum which hosted the NCECA Annual Exhibition Belonging, and enjoyed the permanent collection on display. Their collection was vast and displayed beautifully…I loved seeing their collection of Stephen deStabler works since I took a workshop with him the year that I moved to California, and their Japanese ceramics collection was stunning as well. I also included one image below of a Ruth Asawa crocheted copper piece which is technically not clay but I love her work so much, I had to include it as one of the highlights of this art adventure.

Beneath the Surface-Origin Stories at The MACC: , Belonging and Permanent Collection at the Crocker Art Museum & Body Image at E Street Gallery

And with way too much art swirling in my brain, that’s a wrap NCECA 2022…

So grateful for the opportunity to work with this dream team!
Marisa Sayago-Professor of Art at Folsom Lake College + Artists Shannon Sullivan, Jenni Ward, Cynthia Siegel, Susan Whitmore & Wesley Wright

Supporting Ukrainian Potter Yuliya Makliuk

Looking for a way to help those in Ukraine directly? I was.

I then I realized that I follow a fellow ceramic artist on Instagram who is based in Kiev Ukraine. I literally watched their posts go from sustainable produced handmade pots to war posts overnight.

Studio potter Yuliya Makliuk is still in Kiev and has set up a number of ways that we can help support her and her community. One of the easiest is to buy a digital poster (like the one on the left here!) from her Etsy shop. She’s sending the money from these sales to local humanitarian organizations and the Ukrainian armed forces who are supporting those in the most dire situations.

To learn other ways to help: Here And Now Pottery

A year of Artists Sharing Artists

This past year, I’ve shared eleven artists with you through the Artists Sharing Artists project and I really hoped you enjoyed meeting them. There is so much talent and passion wrapped up in this one photo, and looking at them all together, just makes me so happy to know that all these amazing artists are doing their thing out there in the world.

India Maya, Susun Gallery, JB Boyd, Nika Kovalenko
Kristen O’Neill, Shannon Sullivan
Ruth Li, Sally Walk, Wesley Wright, Susan Whitmore & Cynthia Siegel

Big thanks to Nika Kovalenko, Kristen O’Neill, India Maya, Susun Gallery, Ruth Li, Sally Walk, JB Boyd, Cynthia Siegel, Shannon Sullivan, Wesley Wright & Sue Whitmore for taking the time to help me create these posts. If you missed any of them, click here to see all of the artists posts and videos. If you like their work, you can support the artists directly by buying their work and adding some amazing pieces to your collection.

And let me know… should I do this again next year??

Artists Sharing Artists: Susan Whitmore

My first introduction to Sue’s work was through her website while researching artists to bring on board to an upcoming exhibition. I was immediately intrigued by the variety of textures in her work. Some of her forms are solid, glossy probing shapes and those contrast starkly with the web-like fragile veils of layers that seem to ooze around the structures. Some seem animated as they might start crawling across the table and some seem to be the remains of a creature that once was. I still don’t know how she makes these pieces, but I’m really excited learn more about her work and find out.

Susan is one of five artists in the exhibit that Cynthia Siegel and myself are co-curating as part of the 2022 NCECA conference entitled, This is the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is defined as the current geological age during which human activity has been the dominant influence on the climate and the environment. The artists will be responding to this topic within the themes of Animal, Agriculture, Landscape, Water and/or Atmosphere in a diversity of styles and approaches. Susan will be featuring work based on forest fires as part of this exhibition.

Susan at work in her studio

About Susan Whitmore’s work: My current sculptural work is an exploration of studio based research: physicality and metaphor in concepts of torn, fatigued, erupted, collapsed, or disintegrated objects and images. I merge new technologies such as 3D modeling software with traditional hand skills such as drawing and ceramic construction. My goal is to create abstract pieces that explore the tensions between control and functionality, and the chaos found in natural forms.

Learn more at Sue’s website or follow her on Instagram


Artists Sharing Artists: is a series of posts where I share some of my favorite artists who are also inspired by nature and use their art to protect what they love. More artists coming soon…

Artists Sharing Artists: Wesley Wright

I was first introduced to Wesley’s work during a ceramics event in San Francisco where he exhibited large scale ceramic sea turtles that had jet engines and propellers mounted on their shells, and they carried protected intricate worlds on their backs under glass domes. At first glance, they were fun and whimsical creatures of the imagination, but a longer look revealed their deeper message about loss of habitat and mass extinction as well as the craftsmanship involved in sculpting the intricately carved patterns and textures. When I was teaching kids clay classes, I loved using his work as examples for my students, they were always drawn into the eccentric combinations and were so inspired to create their own creatures. Check out Wesley’s video below to see how his life, home and work all tie together to inspire his sculpture.

Wesley is one of five artists in the exhibit that Cynthia Siegel and myself are co-curating as part of the 2022 NCECA conference entitled, This is the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is defined as the current geological age during which human activity has been the dominant influence on the climate and the environment. The artists will be responding to this topic within the themes of Animal, Agriculture, Landscape, Water and/or Atmosphere in a diversity of styles and approaches. Wesley will be featuring work from his Guardians Series as part of this exhibition. Over the next few months, I’ll be featuring the other artists from this exhibit.

About Wesley’s Wright’s work:

I’m fascinated by the creative adaptability of nature as it presents elegant solutions to the problem of survival. I’m inspired by the eccentric, the grotesque, and the beautiful, as I attempt to emulate the wonder of nature. My work is a celebration of these qualities and a critique of the human relationship with the natural world.

Learn more at Wes’ website or follow him on Instagram


Artists Sharing Artists: is a series of posts where I share some of my favorite artists who are also inspired by nature and use their art to protect what they love. More artists coming soon…

Artists Sharing Artists: Shannon Sullivan

Let me just start by saying that I love Shannon Sullivan’s work. It’s clearly based on her keen observations of nature from a micro to macro scale. She’s clean and precise in the execution of her organic forms with a clever eye for presentation. Be sure to watch the video below where she explains the process and inspiration behind making her latest body of work, Folded Topographies. I am really looking forward to getting to know her and her work better as we work towards a group exhibition next spring.

Shannon is one of five artists in the exhibit that Cynthia Siegel and myself are co-curating as part of the 2022 NCECA conference entitled, This is the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is defined as the current geological age during which human activity has been the dominant influence on the climate and the environment. The artists will be responding to this topic within the themes of Animal, Agriculture, Landscape, Water and/or Atmosphere in a diversity of styles and approaches. Shannon will be featuring work from her disc series as part of this exhibition. Over the next few months, I’ll be featuring the other artists from this exhibit.

Shannon’s studio assistant hard at work.
Topographical Horizons, 2021

About Shannon Sullivan’s work:

Sullivan creates sculptures, wall pieces and installations using a core visual vocabulary rooted in the prevailing ways of nature. Her work maintains a seductive, mysterious quality as she explores the nuances present in the living world.

Wet clay transforms the paper mold from exclusively sharp and crisp to something in between—manipulated, and distorted. I seek the inimitable forms that result from this experimental process of what I’ve termed “paper casting”. Jutting and topographic, the glazed composite forms are reminiscent of plate tectonics at work. I’m compelled by the rugged and folded coastal mountain range of my home here on the North Coast of California.

Learn more at Shannon’s website or follow her on Instagram


Artists Sharing Artists: is a series of posts where I share some of my favorite artists who are also inspired by nature and use their art to protect what they love. More artists coming soon…

Artists Sharing Artists: Cynthia Siegel

I have been a fan of Cynthia’s work for a long time, the textures on her pieces are incredible and they draw you in to the movement of her figures and forms. I have probably known her work longer than I’ve known her, as we have shown our work at the same local venues over the years, both being clay artists working in the same town but hardly crossing paths in person. When we went to the same residency in Taiwan, one year apart from each other, she was able to share all of her experiences there with me before I left for my residency- which was fantastic! And we became friends through the process of putting together exhibition ideas for the NCECA conference. We spent lots and lots of time pitching ideas to each other, editing content and not only did it forge a friendship, but it also resulted in a big upcoming show.

In March of 2022 we will be co-curating an exhibition entitled This is the Anthropocene at the 2022 NCECA conference. The Anthropocene is defined as the current geological age during which human activity has been the dominant influence on the climate and the environment. 5 artists will be responding to this topic within the themes of Animal, Agriculture, Landscape, Water and/or Atmosphere in a diversity of styles and approaches. Cynthia will be featuring work from her beautiful Bristlecone Pine Series as part of this exhibition. Over the next few months, I’ll be featuring the three other artists that Cynthia and I curated into this exhibit.

If you want to see her work in person, be sure to visit Cynthia’s studio October 9th, 10th, 16th, or 17th for the Santa Cruz County Open Studios Art Tour, she’s artist #160 in the catalog. And check out the video below to see how Cynthia builds her large scale figures.

Cynthia working in her studio

About Cynthia Siegel’s Work:

I create figurative work, primarily ceramic sculpture, which celebrates human connection to the natural world. By re-establishing human respect for all flora and fauna, I believe that the earth may again find its balance. I revere the beauty that comes from the passage of time, and the struggle to survive and adapt. My imagery and process of meditative mark-making are fueled by a love of storytelling, anthropology, anatomical structure, and natural history.

One of my current work series is inspired in part by the ancient bristlecone pine trees of the western United States, (particularly the groves close to my former home in Bishop, a remote town in the high desert of the Owens Valley in eastern California), As a parallel to the human struggle for survival, I’m drawn to the tenacity of the bristlecone pine trees that have endured for thousands of years, both because of and despite their fragile environment. The textured surfaces of my sculpture reflect the intersection of time, weather, growth, and decay. As memory and experience abstract themselves over time in our minds, so I encourage my figurative sculptures to transform themselves, in the form of markings carved upon their surfaces. My intent is to connect with others, to bring awareness to nature’s current state of peril and to empower viewers to reconsider and to recalibrate their own relationship to our earth.

Learn more at Cynthia’s website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook


Artists Sharing Artists: is a series of posts where I share some of my favorite artists who are also inspired by nature and use their art to protect what they love. More artists coming soon…