Current Residents


Andrew Avakian

Andrew AvakianAndrew AvakianAndrew received a BFA in ceramics from Western
Carolina University, and spent two years studying ceramics at the University of Florida as a post baccalaureate. He has been a resident artist at Cub Creek Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, and at Odyssey Clayworks. In 2015, he moved to Missoula and was the gallery assistant at the Clay Studio of Missoula through summer 2016.

My hand built terra cotta vessels bring the richness of public architectural form into homes and individual, intimate environments. Architecture, design, abstract painting and color theory are some current ideas driving my work. Ornamentation, pattern, textures, and contrasts result from the use of different materials in building. These play a role in the layering form, texture and color in my work. Underglaze colors, terra sigillata, glazes and sandblasting add depth and a sense of passing time, age and experience.

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Chris Drobnock

Chris Drobnock workChris DrobnockChris Drobnock began his ceramics studies at Juniata College (PA). He received his BFA with a dual concentration in Ceramics and
Printmaking at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and has worked as both a Studio/Lab Technician and an independent studio potter and sculptor in Pennsylvania. In 2016, Chris completed his MFA at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

I have been investigating and making based on the idea that all objects, all things, have a preconceived understanding of object use that is culturally imprinted in our psyche; into our subconscious or even deeper our subliminal mind. The sculpture presented references the mundane, the profane, things that we come in contact with on a daily basis. These objects have been taken for granted, but in focusing on presenting these things a rarified sense of awareness is given to them. By fabricating them they become symbolic or iconic, immediately understood as having a direct purpose or referencing specific action. Functionality is a truth, historically and ultimately assumed or pronounced utility objects that, collectively, we have faith in. The clay material is of the physical world and records touch as it is handled. Color choice and formal decisions are playful and methodical, used to mimic blurry vision in the periphery of our point-of-view or to react to the thought that the everyday object might exist like a John Cage-style of ‘silence,’ that nothing is ordinary; that nothing is, in fact, sacred.

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Kirk Jackson

Kirk Jackson workKirk JacksonKirk Jackson discovered clay while studying at The Ohio State University. While pursuing his BFA, Kirk had the opportunity to spend a semester in Jingdezhen, China. After completing his BFA, he worked as Studio Manager at Watershed, participated in the Working Artist Program at Longwood University, and was a
Resident Artist as well as instructor at Seward Park Clay Studio (WA). Prior to coming to the Clay Studio of Missoula, Kirk was a long-term resident at the Red Lodge Clay Center (2014-2016).

As a maker, I revel in the collections of objects and possessions people choose to surround themselves with and the rituals and intimate experiences that are generated by those articles. Objects used for the daily cup of coffee or the annual social gathering with family and friends can express much about the individual. For me, I have an internal need to control and organize the things around me. This desire navigates my aspiration to master the ceramic process


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Ben Jordan

Ben Jordan workBen JordanBen Jordan was born and raised in the American Southwest. He earned a bachelors degree in Sociology at Northern Arizona University before discovering a passion for clay in 2006. After completing a Bachelors of Fine Art in ceramics at Northern Arizona University he went on to work and apprentice in the city of Groningen, in the Netherlands.  After finishing a residency at the Red Lodge Clay Center in 2014, he went on to obtain his Masters in Fine Art in ceramics from Virginia Commonwealth University. After graduate school, Ben completed a year long ceramics residency at Pocosin Arts in North Carolina.

My work explores the complex social geography of modern society and the intricate relationship between mankind and the environment. My ceramic sculpture serves as a metaphor for a wider global panorama of political power and industrial production. I am currently exploring the lineage of manifest destiny, from its beginnings in Europe to westward expansion in America, to forms it has taken in modern America. These ceramic forms serve as the conceptual grounds upon which to explore industry and culture. In these works I simultaneously celebrate the history of the pastoral life while questioning the ideologies of modern society. Through hand-labor, contemplative making, and a reverence for tradition, I aim to explore both interrelated and divergent human perceptions using clay as my primary medium.

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Scott McClellan

Scott McClellanScott McClellan workScott received his BFA in ceramics from Utah State University. After graduating he worked as a studio technician at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He then served as a long term ??resident artist at Taos Clay in New Mexico. He recently graduated from the University of Missouri with his MFA in ceramics and a minor in sculpture.

Weathering, metamorphosis, heat, and tectonics are forces that form and transform the earth. Over millennia, these methods of abrasion construct captivating structures out of ubiquitous materials. I reference erratic rock architecture by using the same minerals and modes of construction to create new metamorphic rocks. By stripping clay down to its basic nature, I exploit the rawness of the material. The dramatic craggy surfaces hold a dignified presence of solemnity. When observing these objects, one can see how the undulations and irregularities are what give them fortitude, encouraging contemplation in the viewer; a time set aside to recognize the earnestness of life in comparison to the gravity of death. I have often found myself in this capacity when surrounded by the vastness of desert landscapes. The massiveness of the rock formations combined with the expansiveness of the horizon, humbles me to a contemplative state. In these times I have been able to resolve who I am and what is important to me. I replicate these experiences by inducing solemnity in the individual interacting with my work.

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