Front & center
2017 Windgate Fellowship recipient and ceramicist Breana Hendricks used her $15,000 grant to travel, expanding her historical research, while further developing her skills in making.
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The Center for Craft’s Windgate Fellowship provides critical financial support to undergraduate art students as they transition to college and graduate school or life as a working artist.
2017 Windgate Fellowship recipient and ceramicist Breana Hendricks used her $15,000 grant to travel, expanding her historical research, while further developing her skills in making. Her goal was to involve herself in the communities she visited using historical research to form an authentic narrative.
Hendricks’ travels began at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, where she took a two-week workshop with Roberto Lugo who uses traditional European vessel formats and ornamentation to illustrate his complex relationship with American history.
“Reflecting on my experience in the workshop, I found clarity in bringing my personal experiences and relationships with my culture into my works,” Hendricks says.
Next Hendricks attended the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, enrolling in two workshops focused on surface decor for wheel-thrown, altered, and hand-built forms. Hendricks learned how to construct functional forms and how to apply narratives using deliberate mark making and passively through advanced firing methods.
Part of Hendricks’ journey during her Fellowship year was to transition from an academic environment to the studio. She interned at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York so she could experiment with all of the processes learned in her previous workshops. “Using midcentury European wallpaper and traditional African textiles generated into prints, I created a small series of vases experimenting with continuous prints on rounded forms,” Hendricks says.
As part of her internship with the Women’s Studio Workshop, Hendricks attended the National Council for the Education of the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), where she participated in Cups of Conversation, an invitational event that encourages engagement between pottery makers, users, and local businesses.
Hendricks then traveled to Jamaica for a workshop on the Good Hope Plantation in Trelawny Parish. With a goal of exploring the connections between pottery and historical Jamaica, Hendricks created work while living on a citrus and sugar plantation, and she researched the impact of practical pottery on everyday life.
At the end of her Fellowship year, Hendricks spent a month at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine as a Fall Resident. Prior to her residency, she spent two months renting studio space in Brooklyn, New York and visiting the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Art and Design, MoMA, and MoMA PS1 to view and gather more influences for her work.
Inspired by her travels and workshops, Hendricks is excited about the next steps in her career. “As I continue to immerse myself in long term opportunities, I aim to become more comfortable with using sgraffito on varied surfaces, and hope to integrate mold making into my practice to make larger and more complex vases,” Hendricks says. “I look forward to continuing my research in still life, building, and presentation to complete my narrative.”