Interview with Robert Kokenyesi of Beachfront Pottery for the ENCORE! exhibit at Webster Arts

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.

About the ENCORE! exhibit

The exhibit was set up in the gallery of Webster Arts in Webster Groves, MO. The original exhibit dates that was to run throughout March of 2020 had to be changed, because of the coronavirus-related lockdowns in Webster Groves. The ingenious idea of a virtual exhibit was carried out by Webster Arts Executive Director Jeane Vogel.  You can search youtube for ENCORE! and you’ll find a the main video about the works of every exhibiting artist. On top of that each artist was interviewed at the exhibit site.


The Video of the Entire Exhibit

This was an invitational exhibit right at the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic. ENCORE! is a multimedia exhibition that features former Webster Arts Gallery award winners. ENCORE! includes works by Abbi Ruppert, Gena Loseto, BJ Parker, Luanne Rimel, Robert Kokenyesi, Judith Shaw and Alex Johnmeyer.


Encore! Exhibition at the Webster Arts Gallery in Webster Groves, Missouri

Join us for the online video exhibition of Encore! Encore is an exhibition of Webster Arts’ award winners from the St. Louis region. Artists in the exhibitio…

In addition to this I encourage all of you to check out individual ENCORE! artist videos on youtube.  BJ Parker does painting, Abbi Ruppert is a sculptor, Gena Loseto does watercolor paintings, Luanne Rimel is a fiber artist, Judith Shaw is a painter and Alex Johnmeyer is a painter.


Video of the interview with me

Robert Kokenyesi interview for Encore! exhibition at Webster Arts

Welcome to the second artist interview to be posted for the Encore! exhibition. We are listening to Robert Kokenyesi talk about her ceramic work. Encore! fea…


Transcript of the interview

My name is Robert Kokenyesi and I’m a self-taught artist. I started working in ceramics a long time ago and about a year ago one of my piece won the juror’s price here at Webster Arts. It’s a very happy moment for me; I like the gallery space, this is a great organization, so even when my pieces don’t make it into the show I come to the event just to enjoy the art.
I have six pieces one wall hanging and you see two pedestal pieces here are represented here. All of my pieces are inspired by beaches and oceans. My studio is called Beachfront Pottery and the inspirations differ for each piece you see here over behind me a piece inspired by Aborigine spirituality. There is a piece right here inspired by the all the long-lived creatures like this manta ray that has been around for 400 million years, and by how they made it this far. This piece here is an archaeology piece from the 27th century. Thanks to building a time machine I can now explore further reaches of ocean and beaches.
My pieces start with a visual inspiration; I have an image in my head and I just perfect a technology sometime it takes a year 18 months before I can say that yes this piece is what I saw a year or 18 months ago. So I stick to my original vision as much as possible.
I took a three-month class with Craft Alliance, oh 12-13 years ago and my teacher there was absolutely phenomenal.  I liked the feel of the clay, and the freedom she gave us to explore during those three months  brought me to exclusively hand building area. I always loved beaches and oceans; I did a lot of scuba diving – just totally awesome experiences – that made me think that I should make those memories more permanent in ceramics. So that’s how I got started.
There is a special feeling of acknowledgement that comes with having pieces juried into exhibits. Sometimes it won’t happen for a while, so stick to your ideas because if you are a true artist you are the only one who is doing what you’re doing and so you have to be the best at it.

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