Sonya Clark                art news: Summer 2011 



The academic year at VCUarts has come to an end.  As I reflect on the year I realize our students never cease to surprise me with their humor, talent, and revelations. And, the faculty are among the hardest working creatives I know. It is a privilege to be in such good company.  


I am sending this to you as I start part two of my Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship at the National Museum for African Art.  I  just started yesterday and will be here for a month. Before I arrived in DC, like an end-of-semester gift,  I found out I had received grants for two projects I will be working on over the next twelve months or so.  The first is from Culture Works in Richmond, VA. The second is from Art Matters in NYC.  As one of my mentors once shared with me, "a blessing for one is a blessing for all." So it is. Both grants are for projects that will extend my artwork into the community.  


Later this summer I will be in North Carolina to do a residency at the McColl Center in Charlotte.  I am looking forward to meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends, doing lots of research , and making discoveries in the studio this summer. Before I know it I'll be back with the students and faculty and VCU starting the fall semester.  


As always, the exhibits I am currently in are listed below. Enjoy the summer. 

My best,


through June 26
Exhibit: NEW MATERIALITY - Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Craft
Where: Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"The New Materiality shows us that the lines between art, design, and craft are becoming more porous as each co-opts various theoretical, technical, and philosophical aspects of the other, asking us to scrutinize the distance between them in contemporary creative practice," said Fo Wilson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor and curator of The New Materiality. Represented in the exhibition are Brian Boldon, Shaun Bullens, Sonya Clark, Lia Cook, E.G. Crichton, Maaike Evers, Wendy Maruyama, Christy Matson, Cat Mazza, Nathalie Miebach, Mike Simonian, Tim Tate, Susan Working, Donald Fortescue, Lawrence LaBianca, and Mark Zirpel.


through July 3
Where: Craft Alliance's Delmar Loop Gallery
, 6640 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO
Duane Reed, Curator/Juror, has selected artists to explore the concept of identity through their art. The questions asked are, "Who are you? What is your history and what makes you, you?" Duane Reed choose work that explores ideas pertaining to cultural identity, psychological identity or personal narrative. Some of the invited artists include Sonya Clark, Gregory Grennon, Elizabeth Lo, Mark Newport and Joyce J. Scott.   

through July 9 


Where: Platform Gallery,
Clitheroe, United Kingdom 

"Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution considers how the practice of contemporary craft making embraces similar values and philosophies to those supported by the Slow Movement.  Both ask us to slow down, perhaps not literally but certainly philosophically, and to reflect on other and perhaps more thoughtful ways of doing things. The works on display may ask questions of notions of time.  

The exhibition, which has been curated by the maker Helen Carnac for Craftspace, brings together nineteen international artists, makers and designers whose making practice and work connects with these ideas." Among the exhibiting artists David Gates,  Sonya Clark, Sue Lawty, Elizabeth Turrell, and Rebecca Earley.    

through July 10

Exhibit: TRUE SELF: The Search for Identity in Modern and Contemporary Art
Where: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St, Madison, Wisconsin
 "True Self explores the ways artists have understood and conveyed the essence of the self: through facial expression, body language, dress, and the particulars of setting. For the modern and contemporary artist, the true self is fluid, not fixed; layered, not clearly evident. The true self is both innate and determined by experience and culture. Never consistent, it is often self-contradictory. Artists represented in the exhibition include Thomas Hart Benton, Sonya Clark, Chuck Close, K�the Kollwitz, Alfred Leslie, Diego Rivera, Cindy Sherman, Hollis Sigler, Raphael Soyer and Ida Wyman."
through October 16

Where:Reginald Lewis Museum, 830 E Pratt St, Baltimore, Maryland

"Ordinary materials transformed into extraordinary pieces of art is the emphasis of Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists, the newest exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, which features work by Maya Freelon Asante, Chakaia Booker, Sonya Clark, Torkwase Dyson, Maren Hassinger, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Joyce J. Scott and Renee Stout."
Some background information
I'm chair of the Department of Craft/Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to this I was a Baldwin Bascom Professor of Creative Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  I went to Cranbrook Academy of Art for my MFA,  the Art Institute of Chicago for my BFA, and before that, Amherst College for a BA in psychology. My work has been exhibited in over 250 venues in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Taiwan, Austria, Australia, Ghana, France, Switzerland, and throughout the USA. I have been able to pursue my studio practice because of generous honors and opportunities such as a Pollock-Krasner Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Residency in Italy, a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Award, a Red Gate Residency in China, a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship, and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and an Art Matters grant.