Biography

Brett WallersteinBrett Wallerstein is an associate artist at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. He is currently working on completing his MFA in ceramic arts at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Primarily working in porcelain, he creates whimsical sculptural forms inspired by diminutive organic forms that contain usually contain beautiful fractals when examined close up.
Wallerstein has served as an art educator for the Neshaminy School District in Bucks County, Pennsylvania for over 27 years. He has taught art and ceramics at every grade level and is also an adjunct professor at Rowan College of Burlington County where he has taught ceramics.

Artist Statement

My whimsical ceramic forms are inspired by diminutive organic subjects that usually contain beautiful fractals when examined close up. Fractals are complex patterns formed in nature that increase in complexity when magnified. While taking a casual stroll on the beach or through the park I often find myself collecting different types of seed pods and oceanic specimens. First drawn to the overall form of the object for its simplicity, sensuality, and elegance, the object is picked up and its texture is felt. While examining it more closely, I am often fascinated by what first appears to be a chaotic surface arrangement. As I look closer. I notice the remarkable order in the complex patterns the fractals create. The harmonies and rhythms they create relax me as I watch them meditatively. Transformed through gesture and line, the essential elements of my sculptures originate from my drawings of these carefully selected objects. Some of the organic subjects that inspire me are visible to the naked eye, while others are microscopic based on SEM images of living organisms from both the ocean to the diverse plant subjects on the land.
As my porcelain sculptures are created, I am drawing in three-dimensions allowing the touch of my hand and intuition guide me in the making process. Line and edge are carefully considered while trying to accentuate the sculpture’s silhouette. The sculpture’s bold shapes are given strength by carving detail which also enhance the movement and texture of the form. The plasticity of the porcelain allows me to alter each piece to my liking and the purity of it offers a seductive smooth surface for embellishment. The unglazed surface allows the form to remain pure and simple, drawing attention to its bold silhouette and graceful movement. Polished sheens are often produced on the surfaces bringing out the beautiful characteristics of the porcelain. Displayed with soft lighting, the modeled and/or carved surface patterns are accentuated by the contrasting light and dark shadow areas. The body of work I am currently creating aims to take both familiar and unfamiliar organic subjects and transform them into playful explorations of forms and innovative, thought provoking creations. As the piece speaks to me while working, biomorphic or abstract territories are sometimes explored by morphing, exaggerating and simplifying. My intention is not to replicate the natural subject exactly the way it appears but to evoke the feeling of bewilderment and awe when the object is first discovered.

CV

Brett Wallerstein____________________________________________

Education
Tyler School of Art,Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, 1993
Bachelor of Science in Art Education, 1993

(Attended Rhode Island School of Design (1989-1990)

Gratz College, Philadelphia, PA
Masters of Arts in Education, 2003 Summa Cum Laude. 
 
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Earned over 40 additional graduate credits in ceramics, painting and studio arts, computer arts/technology, and art history

Hood College, Frederick, MD
Master of Art in Ceramic Art; currently finishing MFA in Ceramic Arts

Major Exhibitions
2020  Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2020  Collective Voices, Associate Artistis Exhibit, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2018  Organic Art, solo exhibition, Show of Hands Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2018   Fractals of Nature, solo exhibition for Masters of Art , Hodson Gallery, Tatem Arts Center, Hood College,Frederick, MD                                                          

2012  Three Contemporary Raku Ceramic Artists, featuring the works of Fran Leyenberger, Joyce Inderbitzin and Brett Wallerstein, Show of Hands Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2011  Bubble Pots, solo exhibition, Crestmont Gallery, Collingswood, NJ

2011  Altered Forms in Raku, solo exhibition, Soha Arts Galleries, Haddon Township, NJ

Juried Craft Shows/ Arts Festivals

2013   Bucks County Guild of Craftsmen Exhibition, Show of Hands Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2013   Annual Graduate Student Show, Hodson Gallery, Hood College, Frederick, MD

2013   Gift of Art , Markeim Arts Center Gallery, Haddonfield, NJ                                                           

2013   Fine Crafts at the Winery, Bucks County Guild of Craftsmen, New Hope, PA                                           

2012   Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Arts Festival,  Haddonfield NJ                                                                      

2011  Ruttenberg Fine Arts Invitational Exhibition, Manhattan, NY                                                                 

2011  Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Arts Festival,, Haddonfield, PA                                                     

2011  Collingswood Fine Arts Festival, Collingswood, NJ

Galleries

Currently represented by Show of Hands Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

 Awards  

2020   The Penland School of Craft Scholarship, Bakersville, NC           

2020   The John & Robyn Horn Foundation Scholarship, Pocosin Arts (School of Fine Craft), Columbia, NC     

2014  The Peter’s Valley School of Craft Art Teacher’s Scholarship Layton, NJ                                                 

2011  Ardmore Toyota Award, Best in Show in ceramics, Main Line Art Center Exhibition

Publications

Ceramics Monthly, Featured Artists at Hood College Gallery Openings, April, 2018 

Arts& Activities Magazine: Biomorphic Creations in Clay, February, 2017

Dwell Magazine, Hunt with the Hounds, May/June 2017 

Atomic Ranch, Preservation & Personality, winter, 2015   

Modern Magazine: Design,Architecture,& Decorative Arts, spring, 2013

Teaching and Professional Experience

27 years of experience of teaching Fine Arts in Neshaminy School District, Langhorne, PA including the following:  

Carl Sandburg Middle School Art Teacher and Department Head, Levittown, PA, 1998- Present    

Pearl S. Buck Elementary Art Teacher, Levittown, PA, 1994-1998,

Neshaminy High School Art Teacher, Langhorne, PA, Advanced Art Program, 1993-1994          

Neshaminy Summer Fine Arts Teacher, Maple Point Middle School, Langhorne, PA, 2000                                     

Other Teaching Positions:    

Adjunct Professor of Ceramic Arts:   Rowan College of Burlington County, winter-spring semester, 2017 –present    

Ceramics Instructor:  Yay Clay, Philadelphia, Pa., spring-summer 2017

Ceramics Instructor:  teacher workshop A Day In Clay, Maple Point Middle School, Langhorne, PA, 2013

Ceramics Instructor (co-taught):  raku one-day workshop for art teachers, Into the Fire, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA, 2010

Photographer Instructor: Summer Fine Arts Program at Bucks County Community College                                                                     

Arts Instructor (Foreign Exchange Summer Program, Columbia University, Manhattan, NY, summer, 1998

Recent Ceramic Workshops Attended

Transformation in Form & Surface with CJ Jilek, Pocosin Arts School of Fine Crafts,  Columbia, NC, summer, 2020

Building Structures with Paperclay with Shiyuan Xu, Penland School of Craft, Bakersville, NC, summer 2020

Testing the Limits of Porcelain with Jennifer McCurdy, Santa Fe Clay, NM, summer 2019

Ceramic Sculpture with Claudia Matroba, The Clay Studio, PA, summer, 2016

Elegantly Altered with Martha Grover, Sugar Maple Art Center, NY, summer, 2015

Approaches to Slab Built Sculpture with Dan Molyneux, Peters Valley Craft Center, NJ, spring, 2015

Mold Making and Slip Casting with Wynn Bauer, The Clay Studio, PA, winter, 2015

Firing the Anagama Kiln with Simon Levine, Peters Valley Craft Center, NJ, summer, 2014

Ceramic Decal Workshop with Sharon Bartman, Conshohocken, PA, spring, 2014

Alternative Firing with Bob Green, Bennington, VT, summer, 2013

 

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