An interdisciplinary artist, Owen combines scholarly research with a studio practice exploring the (re)production of culture and personhood in contemporary society. He holds a BA from the University of Rochester in Anthropology and Philosophy and a MFA in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has exhibited his work nationally and is the recipient of the Robert Howe Fletcher Cup Award for Sculpture 2015, Rush Rhees Purchase Prize 2010, and was a Take Five Scholar at the University of Rochester 2010-2011.
“I am interested in human ecology and the (re)reproduction of ideas, content, and knowledge. My work relies on both process and materiality as the foundation for metaphor, analogy, or simulacra. Essentially, I work with, and speak through, a language of sculpture such that any crafted object imbues an array of cultural, social, and material trajectories which enter the work through process and social histories.”
Kirsten is a graduate of Juniata College in Huntington, PA with a BA in Anthropology, Minor Fine Arts and an MFA Ceramics from University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She most recently served as Ceramics Adjunct Faculty and Ceramic Studio Technician at the Art Department of Juniata College.
Kirsten says, “My inspiration as a ceramic artist is strongly grounded in anthropology, particularly cultural customs, ceremonies, and rituals. My forms and patterns recall the shapes of baskets, hats, mukluk patterns, and ivory objects while the glaze and kiln firing process also reflect textures associated with natural materials, such as bone, ivory, and wood. My ceramic vessels not only contain the food and drink that nourish, but also contain the ideas of culture and community. I’d like to continue to develop a new body of work for an exhibition reflective of my work using Northern Native ideas in relation to community. In my work, more specifically, I’m interested in community and how we create it over shared meals and utilitarian ceramic ware. For my MFA thesis, I held a catered dinner using my ceramic ware followed by a gallery exhibition of the work. I’d like an opportunity to exhibit my work like this again; to work with the local restaurants and galleries to build ties between food, art, and the public.”