Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MERGE: Alumni Exhibition 2010 featured artist Mary Cay

Mary Cay (’98, art) is this Tuesday’s featured MERGE artist. According to her Web site, Cay’s first memory of clay “was as a six-year old child when a visiting artist in elementary school taught her how to make pinch, coil, and slab pots. The teacher chose her shiny red pinch pot, complete with lid and knob, to be exhibited at the 1961 Yellowstone County Fair in Billings Montana, an event that set a future career in motion.” Since then Cay’s work has been published in various magazines and books, and her ceramic sculptures and functional ware are in private and corporate collections and the artwork has traveled nationally and internationally.

Metro State: How would you characterize your art?
Mary Cay: Contemporary Ceramics with a nod to trompe l’ oeil in that the canvases are made of bone China.

MS: Tell me about your latest work and why you are inspired by it.
MC: My very latest body of work is a return to painting where I started as an artist 40 years ago. These paintings will be transferred into ceramic decals and applied to the ceramic canvases. The freakishness of nature inspires this new work.

MS: In what ways did your Metro State professors influence your work?
MC: To say the Metro professors influenced my work would be an understatement. They influenced my life. When I took Monica Visona’s Art History course, she was so engaging that I thought I might change my major, but the clay always calls one back. The course of Rodger Lang’s life impacted my own; and his philosophy on teaching continues to resonate with me.

MS: How has your work evolved since you graduated?
MC: My work has evolved slowly but surely and from functional ceramics to sculptural.

MS: Tell me why you submitted the pieces that you did for MERGE.
MC: I submitted the canvases because they are the most recently completed pieces and I always want to show the latest work.

MS: How do you feel about this opportunity to present your work for Metro State’s new CVA facility?
MC: I am deeply honored to be part of this show. Thanks so much for thinking of the alumni and I personally appreciate a juried exhibition.

To see more of Cay's work, please visit her Web site.

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