About Me

Artist Statement

I have studied business, psychology, biology, communications, computer science and art. In art I find the self-expression that was difficult for me as a child.   I try to distill the complexity of our times by weaving ideas from many different fields both current and historic.  Vintage and antique stoneware provides a canvas that already has a rich story which I try to build upon and make fresh.

Collecting mid-century pottery and ceramics gave me an appreciation of form and texture.  This led me to ceramics as my first 3D medium.  Whether creating ceramics from raw clay or decorating and assembling found objects, I like to combine form and storytelling.

Three dimensional textured objects appeal to me because they are missing from our visually saturated Internet culture.  Many of my works comment on boundaries between the real, the virtual and our subjective experiences and attempt to integrate the past, present and future using themes of science, nature, technology and imagination.

Some works are political, some psychological, some intellectual, some pop and some -I hope- simply pleasant to view. I want to evoke imagination, self-reflection, critical thinking and enjoyment.

 

Bio

I have collected interesting objects most of my life.  As a child I began as a naturalist, bringing home interesting rocks, leaves, sticks, bugs, feathers, bones and  nests.  At home, mechanical things fascinated me. I would  often take apart clocks, toasters, motors  and other appliances just to see how they worked.  My inner world kept me introverted, shy and quiet.

Later I became interested in collecting wood carvings and common antiques.  The stories behind these objects launched my imagination.  If something was old and worn I could imagine who had handled it, used it and appreciated or neglected it.  Hand-made items caused me to think about the life and inspiration of the maker.

I was strongly encouraged academically and very successful  in school,  but my creative self-expression was not encouraged and was even stifled by some school experiences.  In high school I took two photography classes and managed to hang on to a creative outlet.

I went to college right after high school and got a BBA in Marketing from Texas State University.  Business was the thing to do in the eighties.  I changed my major from finance to marketing where there was room for some type of creativity.

Most of the entry level jobs were in retail or restaurant management.  I just couldn’t do that.   I designed and sold some print advertising and tried telemarketing, but was unsatisfied.

I started substitute teaching and did some long-term assignments in mental hospitals, teaching troubled adolescents.   After that I worked as a psych-tech/counselor in a mental hospital and at a wilderness camp for emotionally disturbed boys.

Between jobs I waited on tables and delivered pizzas. Eventually I got certified as a special ed teacher K-12 and worked for Victoria ISD for 3 years using applied behavior analysis with violent children.

About six years of working in mental health was enough for me, I decided to change careers and go into computers.  Worked my way up from help-desk tech to network administrator in three years. Earned a Microsoft Certified System Engineer certification and applied for  a computer job at the Victoria College teaching computer science, multimedia and digital publishing.  Here I rediscovered my creative impulse.

The college let me work while I earned a Masters degree.  At the University of Houston Victoria I earned an interdisciplinary degree in computer science, bioinformatics and communications. To further satisfy my creative needs I have taken  over 40 hours of art classes at VC And TAMUCC. I have started painting and enjoy its flexibility and tradition.  I plan to study it for an MFA.

I find great satisfaction bringing the variety of my experience and knowledge together in creative projects.  I am hungry to master new materials, create more complex works and explore my self-expression that can’t come out in any other way.

 

Trent Thigpen