Derek Decker

Artist Statement

Throughout history, commerce and trade has played an important role in the development of civilizations. My work explores the role in which mass production has inundated our culture, and the affects of mass consumption of those products in society. I look to question what will be found from our civilization maybe 2000 years from now, and what “object/artifact” will be considered important. Will it be a common informational street sign, or a hand tool, which is no longer needed due to our technological advances? In my work I am exploring the “object/artifact”, as well as the subconscious associations of form within this realm. These forms carry a reminder of a particular use in which the form may be associated with, in terms of time and place. I want to evoke the subconscious of the viewer by using familiar forms from my own culture and place in time, showing an awareness of the past, while capturing a moment in which I live in.


My love of Art and Design has always been ingrained in me since I was a small child. Having a mother from Mexico City, Mexico, we would visit regularly and the Mesoamerican Artwork caught my eye at an early age. I came into the Arts later in my life, at the age of twenty-eight. After High School I entered the U.S. Army and was a combat medic, where I served four years on active duty. The G.I. Bill helped me to attain my education. The experiences and places I saw only further pushed me towards the Arts.I received my B.F.A. in Sculpture from Indiana University at Fort Wayne, in Indiana (IPFW), in 2006. After graduating, my love of design and ceramic tiles led me to apply for the apprenticeship program at Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where I was juried and accepted. I attended in the Fall of 2006. After leaving the apprenticeship program, I returned to Indiana and continued creating ceramic work utilizing ceramic tiles and creating wall pieces and mixed media sculptures.In the summer of 2007, I was awarded a Kiln God Residency at Watershed, Center for the Ceramic Arts, in New Castle, Maine. This opportunity opened my eyes to the possibilities of the material and once again, after finishing my residency, I returned to Indiana to start creating work for a portfolio to apply to graduate school.

I applied to and was accepted in the M.F.A. Ceramics Program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. During this time (2009-2012), I explored forms and surfaces and more sculptural work relating to the “object/artifact”. I was honored to have a piece of my work purchased by the Edinboro Foundation for their permanent collection, as well as exhibit my work in numerous regional, national, and international exhibitions.

Currently I am an Adjunct Faculty member at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana (IPFW).

I am available to teach workshops or give public demonstrations and lectures. For more information about my work or to contact me, please feel free to check out my website.

— Derek Decker