Sonya Clark                art news: APRIL/MAY 2011 



I just returned from a short trip to Morocco and must admit it was hard to come home. A place that values the integration of nature into living environments like the Riad El Fenn hotel inspired me to the depths of my soul.  The owner of the riad is a contemporary art collector. The art and architecture were amazing. Oranges were in season and I don't think I have ever eaten any so flavorful.  The place was a filled with the scent of orange blossoms and rosewater. There was a decided peacefulness in the riad while the souks were filled with life, color, and festivities. Trips to pottery studios and with Berber women weavers reaffirmed my passion for hand made objects. Who knows how all of this will effect my own artwork but I know it will.  


I am back in the studio working away to see what comes of this experience. In the meantime, I have few exhibits opening and a few continuing as listed below.  I will give a lecture at the Milwaukee Art Museum in conjunction with the exhibit New Materiality.  If you are in the vicinity, I hope you will be able to attend one of these events.  

My best,
Visiting Artist Lecture

SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2011, 2-4 PM

Milwaukee Art Museum, Lubar Auditorium
Free with Museum admission  


Come hear leading authorities discuss how cities around the world are bringing together art, industry, design, and technology in innovation labs. Can we do that in Milwaukee? Explore the possibilities in this discussion being held in conjunction with the exhibition The New Materiality: Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft. Artist, Sonya Clark, will be in dialog with Arts historian, Henry Drewal.



May 7 - 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.   

May 20 - 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 May 15
Where: Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, NYC  

Want a catalog? Order it
"Co-curated by Lowery Stokes Sims and Leslie King-Hammond, The Global Africa Project showcases a diverse group of creators, including artists who are experimenting with the fusion of contemporary practices and traditional materials, and design collectives that are using their creative output as engines of local economic change. Featuring the work of more than 100 artists working in Africa, Europe, Asia, the United States, and the Caribbean, The Global Africa Project surveys the rich pool of talent from the African continent and around the world." Among the artists included in the exhibit are Yinka Shonibare, Kehinde Wiley, Fred Wilson, Sonya Clark, Nick Cave, Mickalene Thomas, Chakaia Booker, Victor Ukpuk, Mark Bradford, Meschac Gaba, Mary Jackson, Odili Donald Odita, Magdalene Odundo, Joyce Scott,  Hank Willis, and Ike Ude.
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 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.