Chris Salas ( they/them )

Artist Statement

My work is an investigation of life and its delicate impermanence. We are always in a temporary state of being. As part of this investigation, I reflect upon the momentum with which I was brought into this world. Nothing anybody becomes is ever by themselves. Momentum is the context which can help me understand our social structure. The metrics that are useful to understand momentum are class, race, ethnicity, ancestry, geographic location, temporal location- any clue that helps illuminate context.

The studio is time for me to metabolize and synthesize internal and external ongoings. I divide my time between researching and making, following curiosity brings me a sense of calm and understanding. My research is split between media consumption and materials testing. I read, watch, and listen to media about contemporary, historical, and ancient Latin American culture, people, histories with hope to contextualize the current moment, seeking traces of context to understand my own positionality and momentum as a Mexican-American. 

Making is a practice in search for a mental state; the engaged and unconscious divergence and convergence of ideas. The mind and body are not separate; meaning is imbued through creation and understanding is found after reflecting upon finished works. When building, I do not want to know where I am going, preferring to stay focused on the journey. While it is important to be disciplined and to have a plan, reality is rarely exactly what we want it to be. If one remains soft and attentive, it is possible to be reflexive and to adapt to the discrepancy of what something is to one’s idea of it. 


Chris Salas (they/them) is an artist and educator primarily working in Ceramics. Their studio practice is a search for a particular mental state – the engaged and unconscious divergence and convergence of ideas that imbue themselves into objects. These objects become abstracted forms of personal experiences, relationships, conversations, research – all of which currently revolves around time, place, momentum, with a pervasive presence of the history of colonization of the Americas. Chris received a BA in Chemistry from Michigan State University and an MFA in Ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art. They have completed residencies at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN, at Ceramics School in Hamtramck, MI, at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME, at Starworks Ceramics in Star, NC, and Township10 in Marshall, NC Chris is currently a Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) through the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship.