Abstract ceramic art pieces in the Sculpture National 2021 exhibit at the Clay Center of New Orleans

Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA.  If you enjoyed this post, then like the post, and also like my Facebook page.    Check out Beachfront Pottery posts on Instagram @beachfrontpottery.    There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.

The Venue


The Sculpture National 2021 exhibit took place from April 9- May 22, 2021 in the gallery of the Clay Center of New Orleans in New Orleans, LA. This is the side view of the building.





This is the exhibit space with the curated exhibit.








The Call for Entry

The call for entry read: The Clay Center of New Orleans seeks applicants for its annual “Sculpture National” exhibition, a juried group show that explores and celebrates clay as a sculptural fine art medium.   Open to sculptures and sculptural wall-mounted works or installations that are at least 50% ceramic materials

The Ceramic Art Pieces

In this post I’ll report on the abstract ceramic pieces.

“Unearthed” by Pancho Jimenez


His statement from his web site reads: “In this work, I suggest that underneath our “polished” exteriors we hold a plethora of memories and experiences which overlap, crash into and blend in with one-another. These memories and experiences are all represented by the images, people, places and things that reveal themselves when an outer shell is opened and exposed.”  For more of his works visit his web site




“Projected Fallacy” by Owen Laurion

His statement reads: “Start with the pronoun I, and one encounters an indefinite display of contradictory and reversible realities. I am interested in the shared space of individuality, culture, political infrastructure, materiality, dehumanization, agency, and ideology. Within the folds of art and the visual field I am able to explore the ways persons navigate landscapes of socio-tecture. We are constantly experiencing our world with both individual perception as well as cultural conceptions – how we mediate the two creates new productions of both. To engage this dynamic system enfolding contradictory narratives of individuality and collectivity one must first encounter the pronoun, I.” For more of his work visit his web site.



“Hidden in Plain Sight, II” by Kristen Morsches

Her statement reads: “I approach my practice through the immediacy of touching clay, manipulating it to tell a story. Nature is my muse for these “drawings” in clay. The pinching, folding and tearing of the medium guides me in creating an environment of texture and color. Each sculpture is a new world for me because it is controlled by me and there is safety in this.” for more of her work visit her web site. 





“Transformation” by Judi Tavill


Her statement reads: “My work is inspired by the beauty of shapes and textures that I observe in nature. Travel and exploration allows for reflection during seaside moments and meditative pauses. Coastal discoveries, woodland finds, or lush flora, influence my experimentation in the ceramic studio. When I create, I choose to re-imagine, not replicate, these memories. I intend for the work that emerges to feel new and modern, yet decidedly familiar.”  For more of her work visit her web site.





“Untitled” by Jing Huang

His statement reads: “In my recent work, I have been exploring nature, identity, miniature, dislocation, cultures and conventions. Comparing and utilizing the symbols and values from the east and the west, I trace my past, find my position. The scene now looks ambiguous – it is neither the picture of my hometown nor the view of here. It is something extracted from a recollection of experience and imagination; it comes from a person who appreciates the past and embraces the possibilities of the future.” for more of his work visit his web site.



“Around II” by Ian Mabry

His statement reads: “My work is inspired by the visual qualities of biological and mechanical systems. I am drawn to the way the forms of organic structures and synthetic mechanisms flow into and out of one another and my eyes follow one part to the next with curiosity and intrigue. I strive for my work to combine these organic and machine-like qualities and to evoke the same kind of wonder that I enjoy.   With my latest body of work, I have engaged in the challenge of applying two-dimensional non-objective compositions on the surfaces of my ceramic sculptures with the intent to make the designs seem integral to the forms. These sculptures are simplistic in shape so as not to compete with the surfaces. However, the curves allow the enveloping designs to expand and contract as the viewer’s vantage point changes while moving around the piece, enhancing the complexity and dynamism of the imagery.  For more of his work visit his web site.


“Small Rainbow Grid” by Heidi Fahrenbacher


Part of her statement reads: “I am obsessed with color. When I see something I usually think I bet that would look better with some red or blue or green. I am inspired by the contrasts that make colors really pop like neon lights on a dark rainy night, brightly colored flowers against all green foliage, and autumn leaves vibrant against a gray November sky. It is these details of color observation that go into my pottery.” for more of her works visit her web site.






“Water Series No. 31” by Phyllis Kudder Sullivan

Her partial statement reads: “Over the past 25 years I have developed and honed the technique of “weaving” clay coils, a process defined by textile designer, Jack Lenor Larsen, as “both a concept and a system.”  I work exclusively with plastic clay coils to create my “space nets,” organic constructions that are enclosed, seamlessly, with no obvious evidence of where they begin or end.  The naturally occurring window-like openings between the coil grids allow visual access into the interior and give the illusion that I am constructing a form with voids.” For more of her works visit her web site.


“Deep Sea Scroll, IV” by Robert Kokenyesi

This is my piece in the exhibit. The Deep Sea Scroll series was inspired by the Dead Sea Scrolls that brought new and confirmed old information about biblical texts.  The Deep Sea Scrolls are objects still hidden at the bottom of oceans, and when they are found they will bring new information about the oceans.  The piece is made from a rolled clay sheet that is decorated with a mixture of crushed bisque and black matt glaze. On top glass frit was used to write the third commandment in Aramaic.











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