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Joe Kraft + Molly Bishop Trunk Show

Two of our favorite ceramics artists are coming back to town this summer! Molly Bishop and Joe Kraft return to Quirk for another pop-up event featuring some of their newest pieces. This trunk show begins August 3 during RVA First Fridays and continues through the weekend during gallery hours. Stop by to say hi, shop some great ceramics, and get a sneak peek of what's to come when Molly and Joe exhibit together next year in our Main Gallery!

Joe Kraft is a working artist in Chicago, IL. He received his BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2012. Upon graduation he received a Windgate Fellowship Grant and spent time traveling the Southwest to experience and research Land Art. Growing up in Illinois he wound up in Chicago soon after. He has been an artist in residence at Lillstreet Art Center, the AIR Ceramic Center in Vallauris, France and Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark. While his primary medium is clay, Joe’s practice is rooted in drawing, which drives all other parts of his artistic work. 

I work with clay, pushing the material around, pounding, pinching and slumping it into a slab, cutting shapes out with a knife while trying to fit the pieces together. I go back and forth with the clay, at times these steps are tight and calculated and other times they are quick, thoughtless and blind. Using these steps I eventually build what I see as a canvas to exercise and hash out an idea. The pursuit of fleshing out an idea is first put into place by drawing on paper over and over; bringing to life what is in my head. I make moves with marks. Sometimes I think really hard about them and other times I draw blindly. This is how the act of drawing works for me; it puts me in different states of being. This state varies from light dance movements to pulling at my hair. Sometimes I feel like I’m holding my breath and other times the movements are knowing and rhythmic, free of restraint. These marks and scribbles and loosely drawn lines interpret the way I see the world. I take the secure and real state of being and reimage them through mark making. Quote from Gerhard Richter, "I work until nothing is wrong anymore; then I stop."

Born and raised in Virginia, Molly Anne Bishop graduated from the VCU craft/material studies program in 2012. Working mostly in clay, she draws inspiration from lizards, popular sports, and travel. She has been a resident artist at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana, Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Greece, c.r.e.t.a. in Rome, and the International Studio in Jingdezhen, China. She has work in the permanent collections of her mom and ex-boyfriend. 

I recount my personal history, desires, and fears through drawings. Images become stylized and personal through my lens. I am interested in giving my drawings and words a place to live that provides more life than a piece of paper. For the past five years, that place has primarily been handbuilt, earthenware pots. Working with functional forms allows the drawing to exist in someone’s home in a casual way, inserting my world into her everyday life subtly, under her eggs in the morning, or adorning her cup of tea. My work is full of characters that are stand-ins for me and the people around me. They are the result of current pop culture obsessions, time spent in the natural world, research of historical vessels, and respect for my favorite artists, named or unknown, in the history of art. I am always thinking of ideas of wild and tame, the search for security in nature, and the nuances of femininity. I’m interested in straddling the line between funny and sad. Handbuilding means I don’t use the pottery wheel and the pieces show their imperfections, adding to the intimate, humble, and secret-sharing experience of my work.

Don't miss seeing the work of these two popular artists and Quirk favorites!