23 x 14 x 11 inches
hand-built, polished porcelain, taxidermy, cast plastic, mixed media
I am interested in the nature of the autonomous, decorative object and the perception of finely crafted skill used to exhibit a persistent commitment to an idea or exploration. Contextually speaking, my work tends to be derivative of specific aesthetic qualities that I associate with my personal autobiography. Growing up in the rural mountains of North Carolina, I had little exposure to art. Always a visual thinker, I found myself cataloging the visual descriptors of my place within this culture.
I generally assess a particular hierarchy of materials that I associate with this aesthetic and often apply skilled processes to either contradict or reinforce my understanding of them. Important to me is the idea of “double coding,” both honoring and critiquing my common inspirations as well as the more artistic elite. On some level, my work is generally designed to be both beautiful and disturbing.
In regards to my use of animal specimens, while often more of a formal decision, I feel that absolutely all people, in one way or another, act to both honor and consume animals. My own direct use forces me to more readily acknowledge my own conflicted consumptive role. To some extent, I am interested in the ego attached to this process and sometimes attempt to almost “justify” the death of the animals by including them in a ridiculous setting that makes them seem more like humorous participants rather than victims.
In regards to the potential empathic response of the viewer, I find that people are apt to draw their own defining ethical lines in regards to their connection with animals, often influenced by their own distinct upbringings. I make no attempt to be a moral compass on this subject. My work is simply a personal study of my own hypocrisy as a participant in the notion of both honor and consumption.
John Byrd an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida. He received his BFA in Ceramics from Louisiana State University and his MFA in Ceramics from the University of Washington in 2000. His work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad.
Master of Fine Arts University of Washington, 2000
Bachelor of Fine Arts Louisiana State University, 1997
Confrontational Ceramics/ group show Arts Exchange
White Planes, NY, October 2008
Full & Spare / Clay in the 21st Century, FSU Museum of Fine Artsgroup show Tallahassee, FL, February 2008
Everyday Atrocities, group show USF Contemporary Arts Museum Tampa, FL, January 2008
A Human Impulse: Figuration from the ASU Art Museum, Nelson Fine Arts Ctr.
Diane and Sandy Besser Collection, group Tempe, AZ, January 2008
Material Transcendence: UA Fine Arts Center Gallery
Clay as Commentary, group show Fayetteville, AR, January 2008
SOFA Chicago, group show Festival Hall, Navy Pier
Chicago, Il, November 2007
Point of Departure, group show Dean Project
Long Island City, NY, September 2007
Man and Beast, group show Garth Clark Gallery, LIC
New York, NY, May 2007
4th World Ceramic Biennale Icheon World Ceramic Center
Icheon, Korea, May-June 2007
John Byrd & Adelaide Paul, Garth Clark Gallery
two person show New York, NY, February 2007
One Part Clay, group show Dean Projects andGarth Clark Gallery, LIC New York, NY, September 2006
Feral Nature, group show Univ. of Texas at Dallas
Dallas, TX, August 2006
One Part Clay, group show Dean Projects SOFA New York
New York, NY, April 2006
Sensibility, group show Ash Street Projects
Portland, OR, March 2006
Thresholds: Innovative Clay, group show Ogle Gallery
Portland, OR, March 2006
UnNatural History, group show Kittredge Gallery: University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, September 2005
Arcimboldo, group show PNW Gallery
Seattle, WA, August 2005
Animal Instinct, group show Baltimore Clayworks Gallery
Baltimore, MD, January 2005
Man’s Best Friend, group show Santa Fe Clay Gallery,
Santa Fe, NM, January 2005
New Works, group show Oculus Gallery,
Baton Rouge, LA, December 2004
From the Neck Up, group show Garth Clark Gallery,
New York, NY, August 2003
(Im)mortal Clay, group show Garth Clark Gallery: LIC
New York, July 2003
Tastefully Tawdry, group show Wexler Gallery
Philadelphia, October 2002
Groundswell; group show Garth Clark Gallery: LIC
New York, September 2002
Blue & White; group show Garth Clark Gallery,
New York, NY, July 2002
New Work, solo show Garth Clark Gallery,
New York, NY, May 2002
Myhre Fellow Exhibition, solo show Warehouse Gallery, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, Montana June 2001
Menagerie, group show Kirkland Art Center
Kirkland, Washington, March 2000
Summer Works, dual show Sperry Gallery, UW
Seattle, Washington, September 1999
Honors and Awards:
4th World Ceramic Beinnale, Korea Juror’s Award, 2007
Virginia A. Groot Foundation Award Second Place, 2004
Myhre Fellowship Archie Bray Foundation, 2001
Kottler/Noritake Scholarship University of Washington, 1999
Gonzalez Scholarship University of Washington, 1999
Charles Craig Travel Award, Louisiana State University, 1997
In Memory of Joseph Aurbach
Berringer Ceramics Award Louisiana State University, 1996
Artist Lectures, Panels, and Instructed Workshops:
University of Oregon, 2009 Western Carolina University, 2009
Southern Methodist University, 2008 CAA Conference Panel, Dallas, 2008
Santa Fe Clay, 2007
CAA Conference Panel, New York, 2007 University of Louisiana Lafayette, 2007
San Jose State University, 2006 University of Washington, 2005
University of Central Arkansas, 2004 University of Northern Michigan, 2004
University of Colorado, Boulder, 2003 California State at Long Beach, 2002
Penn State University, 2002 Louisiana State University, 2002
Kansas City Art Institute, 2002
Archer, Sarah: “Kitchen Table Politics,” American Craft, February/March 2009
Genocchio, Benjamin: “Ideas Abound in Clay: Ceramics That Go Beyond Bowls,” The New York Times, November 28, 2008 (show review).
Schwartz, Judith S.: Confrontational Ceramics, A & C Black Publishers Ltd. 2008, p. 227
Bernstein, Fred A.: “Sacrificing Space for Scenery,” The New York Times, June 1, 2008 (work mention).
Held, Peter, editing; Bonansinga, Kate, essay: The Human Impulse, Figuration From the Diane and Sandy Besser Collection, Perpetua Press, 2008, p. 30-31
Tarkasis, Kostas, Editor: Clay In Art International Yearbook, Stachosi -Athens, Greece. 2006/2007 ISSN: 1790-6458, p. 25
Reichert, Elizabeth; “Encountering Hybridisation, Avant-Garde Ceramics and Mixed Media,” Ceramics Art and Perception, Issue 68, 2007. P. 47-52
Reichert, Elizabeth; “John Byrd, Indeterminate Histories,” Ceramics Art and Perception, Issue 67, 2007. P. 61-64
Perereault, John; “Review: One Part Clay,” American Craft, Mar. 2007. P. 106-107
Reichert, Elizabeth; “Review: One Part Clay,” Ceramics Monthly, Nov. 2006, p.21-22
Tourtillot, Susan, Editor: 500 Animals in Clay, Lark Books 2006, p. 249, 317, 325
Tourtillot, Susan, Editor; The Figure in Clay. Lark Books 2005, p. 105,106
Sculpture; November 2004, p. 3. Groot Award Recognition
Art in America; October 2004, p. 66. Groot Award Recognition
American Craft; October/November 2004, p.15. Groot Award Recognition
Ceramica: Revista Internacional. No. 88 – 2003, p. 75, 78
Morgenthal, Deborah and Tourtillott, Suzanne, Editors; The Penland Book of Ceramics.
Lark Books 2003
Coates, Brenda; Times-News, June 2002
MacLeod, Chris; “Mixed Media,” City Week, May 30, 2002
New York Guide, Art Now, May 2002
Clark, Garth; “Garth Clark, Life and Works,” The Studio Potter, December 2001
Clark, Garth; “Going for the Gold,” Ceramics Monthly, October 2001
Davis, Don; Wheel Thrown Ceramics, Lark Books 1998.
Post-Graduate Teaching Experience:
University of South Florida: 2005 – Current
Currently Assistant Professor in the School of Art. I am the 3-D Area Coordinator within an interdisciplinary visual art school at a Research-One university. My area of instruction has consisted of classes in the 3-D area, both ceramic and sculpture practices.
University of South Florida: Spring Semester, 2004
Sabbatical Replacement: Ceramics & Sculpture Department. I taught two sections of introductory ceramics and one advanced sculpture class dedicated to various methods of mold making and the use of multiples. As well, I coordinated an independent study program for several graduate students.
Louisiana State University: Spring Semester, 2002 and Fall, 2003
I taught one adjunct section of introductory ceramics in each semester.
Kansas City Art Institute: Fall Semester 2002
Sabbatical Replacement: Ceramics Department. I instructed a full schedule of ceramic sculpture classes including six contact hours with the sophomore class and three contact hours with the seniors.