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New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art will host the group exhibition Residence VII, April 22 through June 3. The exhibition features ceramic works by recent residents of New Harmony Clay Project: Grant Akiyama, Sarah Alsaied, Elizabeth Arzani, Caro Burks, Cameron Ford, and Jackson Shaner. An opening reception will be held from 4-6pm Saturday, April 22. Gallery hours are 10am–5pm Central, Tuesday – Saturday.

Grant Akiyama currently lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2017, he graduated from Alfred University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Art History and Theory. Since then, Grant has complete artist residencies at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park and the Toshiko Takaezu Studio. His work is exhibited nationally at locations such as the Oklahoma Visual Arts Council, 108 Contemporary, Artspace at Untitled, Applied Contemporary, and Companion Gallery. Grant has received various awards for his work including, “Best-in-Show” from the In Art Gallery for their first Annual Ceramics Exhibition and “Honorable Mentioned” from New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art during their “Filled Up 3” exhibition. He has featured work with the American Craft Council, where he received recognition from Penland School of Craft and was selected as an “Editor’s Choice” from Karen Olsen. Grant advocates for the crafts, locally, through his teaching programs with Addis Ceramics, 3rd Street Clayworks, Tulsa Dream Center, and 108 Contemporary.

Sarah Alsaied is a Kuwaiti artist currently based in Wichita, Kansas. She earned her MFA in Sculpture at Wichita State University in Kansas and BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Ceramics at the University of Southern Indiana. Sarah’s work has been exhibited throughout the Midwest and explores otherness and navigates invisible spaces between identities as a brown woman. Throughout the work, she uses the figure to express beliefs, tell stories, and explore humanity. Sarah uses different mediums in the work to engage the range and complexity of human experiences and emotions from the hardness of clay to the softness of fabric.

Elizabeth Arzani is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Portland, Oregon. As a collector of sorts, her work is rooted in storytelling, offering a form of communication that extends language. Arzani has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally at The Center for Contemporary Art & Culture in Portland, OR; CoCA (Center for Contemporary Art), Seattle, WA; Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte, NC; City Hall Rotunda Gallery, Rock Hill, SC; and during Luxembourg Art Week in the Salon 2019 du Cercle Artistique de Luxembourg. She has participated in the Kulturschapp Artist Residency, transforming a former freight depot in Walferdange, Luxembourg into a site-specific installation and has collaborated on public art installations with Shunpike’s Storefronts Project at Amazon Headquarters. Arzani recently earned her MFA in Visual Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art and holds a BFA in Painting and Art Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Caro Burks uses mixed-media sculpture and installation to explore themes of sentimentality, storytelling, and symbolism in decorative culture. Caro received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015, held a post baccalaureate position at the University of Arkansas from 2015-2017, and received her MFA from Southern Illinois University in the Spring of 2020. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Windgate Foundation Graduate Research Award. Caro has been awarded residencies at Penland School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and New Harmony Clay Project. She has participated in various national juried, group and solo exhibitions, and most recently, her solo exhibition BITTER AND SOUR opened at SHAG Space in Charlotte, NC, in 2021.

Cameron Ford is a ceramic artist whose tile and slip-cast work draws from his childhood spent in Ukraine. He uses Eastern European and socialist imagery to explore personal history. Cameron’s ceramic practice started in community studios in Virginia and he completed Post-Baccalaureate studies in ceramics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2022. Cameron’s work has appeared in craft fairs in Southern Illinois, and he was awarded Judge’s Choice in the Edwardsville Art Fair in 2021. Currently his work is available at Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, Illinois.

Jackson Shaner has worked with clay for seven years. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at Furman University (2022). While there, he worked as a teaching fellow for the introductory ceramics class and fell in love with teaching. Jackson also received the Glen Howerton Award for his achievements in 3-D artwork and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society for his academic accomplishments. Currently, he works as a ceramic artist, a pottery instructor, and a production assistant for another potter in Greenville, SC. Jackson has participated in several art exhibitions and has had work published in Artistonish magazine. In the future, Jackson looks forward to pursuing his MFA so that he may teach at the university level.

New Harmony Clay Project (NHCP) is an artist residency and educational center located at the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Ceramic Studio in historic New Harmony, IN. NHCP fosters an environment that supports the investigation of new ideas and work in the ceramic arts. It is an organization under the New Harmony Artist Guild, a non-profit 501(c)3, that serves as an incubator for nurturing the arts. NHCP is a rural residency program, supported by the Efroymson Family Fund, Lenny and Anne Dowhie Trusts, and Robert Lee Blaffer Foundation The goal is to encourage emerging and professional visual artists/educators in ceramics by giving them quiet space and the time to develop a new body of work.

New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art at University of Southern Indiana promotes discourse about and access to contemporary art in the southern Indiana region. New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art is a proud outreach partner of the University of Southern Indiana.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Efroymson Family Fund, Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, and the Indiana Arts Commission, which receives support from the State of Indiana and the National Endowment for the Arts.