My current body of work involves an investigation into dialogues concerning extant negative forces in our lives, and to what degree the phenomenological ramifications of responsibilities and stress shape us physically, mentally, and emotionally. The formal language present in this analysis is based on a material study of erosion and geological processes translated into ceramic and mixed media objects. I seek a purposeful link between macrocosmic environmental change, and interruptions in our otherwise routine existence. Within this inquiry, alternative and diverse construction methods are emphasized as tools of fresh, genuine expression in the creation of dynamic assemblages of great fragility. The foundation of this exploration is a desire to uncover the sublime in these moments of incongruity; the rush of presence into experience that might otherwise remain banal and ordinary, brought on by perceived inconvenience. My work asserts that it is possible for our daily vexations to illuminate the power of the present moment – something we all too often fail to notice.
At its best, this investigation becomes collaborative in nature, and includes input from other artists to assist in problem solving, critical feedback on the relevance of one technique over another, and in the fabrication of unique construction elements. I often appropriate the discarded remnants of others’ work into my own; a type of studio “sampling” in the electronica sense. My best work becomes intertwined with the sentiments of those around me, metaphorically and literally, and links my concerns and ideas to the immediate community in tangible fashion.
— Andrew Casto
Andrew Casto was born in Delaware, Ohio in 1977. He received his B.A. from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and his M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from The University of Iowa. After serving as an Assistant Professor at Mount Mercy and Kansas State Universities, Casto returned to The University of Iowa, where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Art teaching Ceramics and a member of the Public Digital Arts Faculty Initiative. He was a 2011-2012 long-term artist in residence, and the 2011 MJD fellow at The Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Art in Helena, Montana, and has exhibited work internationally in Spain, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Belgium, China, and Japan. Casto was awarded the second place award in the 2013 VII Bienalle International de Ceramic, in El Vendrell Spain, and the 2010 FuLe Prize by the International Ceramic Magazine Editors Association in Fuping, China. He was recently selected as a recipient of a 2015 Emerging Artist award by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and completed a solo exhibition at Galleria Salvatore Lanteri in Milan, Italy in 2016.