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Brooks Oliver

Brooks Oliver

Inventive ideas on Modernism and riffs on everyday vessels we all use...amazing color and scale, all in ceramic.

From Brooks Oliver:

The ambition of my work is to reimagine and reinterpret the familiar functional vessel.  By isolating, altering, and exploiting the necessary components of a vessel, I attempt to provide new visions of utilitarian ceramic wares. 

No matter the situation, my experience with education, family dynamics, and social settings has left me with the general impression that most people tend to adopt a binary-like “black and white” mentality or way of thinking about various subjects.  Despite this I have always felt uncomfortable with thinking in binary terms and find myself fascinated with and imbedded into, what I call, the “charged grey area” between the black and white. In fact, my life as a gay person is all about living in a charged grey area.  Society often sets up the binaries of “man” and “woman” but I like to think that gay individuals somehow bridge this gap.  While many gay people do identify as either man or woman, the gender stereotypes surrounding these binaries (especially in regard to love and gender roles), are often blurred by the queer individual.  While my work might not always directly reference my identity in the LGBT community, my aesthetics and thought process are certainly informed by it.

My work inherently blurs the boundaries between craft, design, industry, and technology as the charged grey areas between binaries inspire me.  By marrying the production techniques of CAD software and rapid prototyping technologies with the creation techniques of the hand, a unique dialog can be formed between the digital and clay that ultimately influences both ways of making.

Brooks Oliver is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of North Texas and a studio artist based out of Denton, TX.  He recently completed a long-term residency and now serves on the Board of Directors at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.  In 2017 was named an Emerging Artist by the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts.  He received his MFA from The Pennsylvania State University, his BFA at Southern Methodist University, and completed his post baccalaureate studies at Syracuse University.  He taught in Jindezhen, China in 2016 with West Virginia University and regularly teaches workshops in and out of university settings, including Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the Anderson Ranch.  In 2017 he was named an Emerging Artist by the National Council on Educations in the Ceramic Arts. He actively exhibits work and has recently been included in exhibitions at the San Angleo Museum of Art, Ceramics Park Mino Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, UIlrich Museum of Art, the LacosteKean Gallery, Northern Clay Center (MN), The Archie Bray Foundation, the Artstream Nomadic Gallery, the Dallas Pottery Invitational, the Penland Gallery, Belger Crane Yard, and Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum.

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