Meet Allison Luce, local ceramic artist who’s sculptures have been exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally. In her work she explores the ephemeral nature of existence and the mystery of eternity. Luce earned her MFA at Hunter College in New York. Read our interview with the artist and meet her in person at next weekend’s CIVA Symposium! More information about the Symposium can be found here.
HCLT: Describe yourself in three words.
AL: AEVUM SPATIVMQVE ANTIQVVM
This is the title of my most recent exhibition and conveys my interests. (Time Space and Ancient)
HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
AL: My freshman year in college when I changed my major from biology to studio art. I knew I wanted to be an artist in high school, but tried to have a more practical career choice for at least one semester.
HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?
AL: Nature and Art History are my biggest inspirations. Over the last seven years, I have participated in artist residencies in Denmark, Germany and Canada as well as in Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia and North Carolina. My artwork always grows and changes when I am able to travel and experience different cultures, natural phenomenon and artistic practices. My bulletin boards are filled with my favorite artwork from the many museums I have visited as well as pictures I take of the environment. For example, when I spent seven weeks in Boston this fall as a resident artist at the Noble and Greenough School I felt inspired by visits to the Peabody Essex Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Portland Art Museum in Maine.
HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?
AL: My current project, “Primoris Ortus” consists of twenty ceramic wall sculptures as well as an installation comprised of a thousand individual ceramic pieces entitled “Ancient Expanse”. “Primoris Ortus” explores fragility and femininity and its relation to the concept of eternity through ceramics, connecting my artwork made in a post-modern context to the ancient history of clay. Drawing inspiration from nature as well as art history, this series of sculptures links my current life with a visual history from the past. The idea for this artwork comes from the story of the Garden of Eden and investigates the frailty of the body and the fallibility of man. Referencing nature as well as the body, these sculptures are about birth, growth and temptation. At first glance, the forms seem to be living and innocent, but upon closer inspection they can appear slightly sinister and suggestive. It is this play between innocence and experience that forms the basis of my work. There is an element of surprise as people realize that they are not actually looking at real objects, but sculptural forms that reference nature. It blends the natural with an element of discovery that engages the community in a dialogue about perception and reality.
HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas right now?
AL: The Pop-Up residency at the GreenHill Center for NC Art. I was their first Pop-Up Resident Artist and had a great time making artwork and interacting with the patrons at GreenHill this past summer. And of course, The McColl Center for Art and Innovation. As an Affiliate Artist in 2008, it gave a jump start to my career and studio practice.
HCLT: What is your number one art piece/place/event in this area?
AL: I am excited to have been selected for the 2016 ArtPop group of artists who are chosen to have their artwork displayed on a billboard in the Charlotte area for the next year. Please see my billboard on I-485! Thanks to ArtPop, the ASC, and Adams Outdoor Advertising!
HCLT: Best meal in the Charlotte area?
AL: The crab cake salad at the North Harbor Club in Davidson. Living in Mooresville, we often go there by boat in the summer and it is our favorite restaurant on Lake Norman.
AL: I am pleased to be participating in the American Craft Council sale taking place in Atlanta, March 11-13, 2016. I also have work in the “First La Grange Southeast Regional” taking place at the LaGrange Art Museum in Georgia.
HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
AL: “Italian Art 1250-1550: The Relation of Renaissance Art to Life and Society” by Dr. Bruce Cole in preparation for the upcoming class I am teaching this spring in Orvieto, Italy.
HCLT: What is up next?
AL: In April, I am teaching for Gordon College’s (Wenham, MA) study abroad program in Orvieto, Italy. I will be teaching a one-month ceramic studio intensive connecting the ancient history of clay to contemporary ceramic artists. After I am done teaching, my husband and I will travel to Athens, Crete and Berlin.