Twice each year, the Sonoma Community Center accepts a new six-month resident ceramic artist to teach, run the kilns, and create a new body of work in Sonoma.
From the many applicants for the coveted spot, Maxwell Mustardo has been named the Center’s first ceramics Artist-in-Residence for 2020.
Kala Stein, director of Ceramics and Arts at the Center, that a resident is an essential element in the Ceramics Studio because of the fresh perspectives and techniques that each individual brings as a resource for the rest of the students.
“Our residence artists are awarded the gift of concentrated studio time and use of our exceptional facilities while a short-term resident of Sonoma Valley. We support their pursuit of a career in the arts, but the benefits are reciprocal.”
“During their time at the Center they are a vital part of our programming through teaching, making chili bowls, a solo exhibition in Gallery 212, and as a spokesperson for the value of creativity in ones life,” she said.
To learn more about Mustardo and welcome him to Sonoma, the public is invited to attend his Artist Talk/Demo/Potluck on Thursday, January 30. The potluck is at 5:30 p.m. with the presentation at 6 p.m.
Free and family friendly, the artist will share his backstory about work, life, and what it means to be an international artist in the world today. Additionally, he will show work in progress including chili bowls and glaze tests, answering any and all questions from the public.
Maxwell Mustardo was born in 1993 in rural New Jersey. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science in Art History and Theory from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2017.
The award-winning artist studied industrial design and material culture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China, and was recently an artist in residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Houston, Texas.
Describing his work, Mustardo says, “I approach making as a vital opportunity to examine perception and signification. Many projects revolve around broad, reverential notions of the vessel, the body, and language.”
Stein said the New Jersey native was chosen from an impressively competitive pool of applicants based on the merits of his bold forms and colors, as well as his technical bravado. He will be sharing his talents through an eight-week class called Pottery Techniques & Processes that begins on March 20.