My work throws light on issues experienced by most women—from becoming aware of the male gaze and self-objectifying, to harassment, abuse, marginalization and ageism. Simultaneously, women struggle to remain relevant, take care of their physical and mental health, and maintain financial stability. I've had firsthand experience with all of it; from finding my way as a young single mother to having spent a large chunk of my adult years in a male dominated corporate world, to navigating the art world later in life. My uncompromising figures are informed by these matters. I create deliberate parallels between my materials and how women are treated in society. I often use clay—a medium historically excluded from the fine art world—to illustrate how age is explicitly linked to failure for women. The pieces are hand built and sometimes include bits of fabric, found objects, metals and nature. I apply surface treatments like colored clay slips, pastels, stains, oxides and graphite to emphasize the textures and characteristics of living, breathing skin. I display my figures as solitary objects on plinths or hung on walls to create an intimate viewing experience, or as part of larger installations—interacting with paintings, collages and other related works to foster an immersive environment. Since relocating from the Southwest back to the Northeast, installations are evolving as I adapt to my environment and consider ways my work is being influenced by it. I'm creating work to illuminate the contributions of women through a lens of strength and resilience.
Constance McBride (b. Philadelphia, PA) delves into gender-based issues with ceramic sculpture, installations and mixed media. Recent awards include grants from The Puffin Foundation, Philadelphia Sculptors, Phoenix Art Museum’s Contemporary Forum, Arizona Commission on the Arts and a position in the 2021 Chautauqua Visual Arts Summer Residency Program in Chautauqua, New York. Her work is shown nationally in the USA and abroad. Notable exhibitions include a solo at Tubbs Gallery (Rehoboth Beach, DE), a Contemporary Forum Grant Recipients show at Phoenix Art Museum (Phoenix, AZ), Craft Forms at Wayne Art Center (Wayne, PA), The Clay Studio National (Philadelphia, PA) and Beyond the Brickyard at Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts (Helena, MT). In 2018, McBride spent five weeks as a resident facilitator/art educator at Sias University in Xinzheng and villages in and around Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China via a World Academy for the Future of Women and US State Department grant. Her work has received attention from several publications including Yahoo News Cities Rising series, Philly Artblog, Cleaver Magazine, Java Magazine and the international magazines Inspirational and Ceramics Now. Currently based in Chester Springs, PA she teaches Sculpture and Hand Building at Clay on Main in Oley, PA and is a host of the show Art Watch at WCHE Radio Station in West Chester, PA. McBride earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arcadia University, Glenside, PA.