Andrea Keys Connell ( she/her/hers )

Artist Statement

In 2021 I lost the majority of my artwork to a fire. This experience offered me the opportunity to find what I value most in my work. Sifting through the debris, I began to see shards of pieces I knew I would miss and then, often, the opposite would follow. I would uncover a piece that felt ok to lose. The result of this is a body of work that better expresses my desire, love, joy for making. I am fully leaning into my obsession with clay- its ability to hold memory and mark the imprint of time. I am creating sculptures that are inspired by my affection for family, landscape, color, and light- things that bring me joy- joy that is equally as complex as the material my sculptures are made from. Ceramics have the ability to speak to permanence and impermanence simultaneously. I embrace this tension by sculpting images of the moments, things, people, and feelings I wish to hold onto- with the knowledge that they, like most things, can be fleeting.


Andréa Keys Connell is an Associate Professor of Ceramics in the Department of Art at Appalachian State University. She is a former Fountainhead Fellow and served as the Head of the Clay Area in the Department of Craft/Material Studies at VCU from 2010-17.

Andréa’s work has been featured in a number of national and international publications and she has widely exhibited her work. She has had 17 solo exhibitions in various galleries and museums since 2009, including The Florida Holocaust Museum and The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Andréa also works on large-scale public art commissions such as the See Also endowment commission with the Cleveland Public Library.

Along with exhibiting her work and teaching at App State, Andréa has taught workshops on figure sculpting at various craft schools across the country including Haystack, Arrowmont, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.