Elaine Parks ( She/Her )

Artist Statement

This series of work are objects of contemplation about my years of engagement with the desert landscape. In developing these pieces, I have taken into account my shifting perspectives of the vast landscape and the closely observed details of the desert. This work synthesizes the qualities of the creaturely, artifact and fossil. The making process involves very detailed manipulation of each piece to create highly realized forms with a timeless quality. The forms are invented during the process of making.

Taking advantage of the malleable quality of clay, I create structures that enclose and expose space. One form will lead to another with slight variation in construction creating forms that have a different feeling and character. Tension is created by the difficulty of pinning down a name to associate with each piece. The sculptures resemble skulls, pelvis, teeth, cross section of bone and coral and many other associations. While no piece is created intentionally to mimic nature specifically, the combination of deep interested in the landscape and the hours handling each piece creates a resolved object that serves as an artifact of time spent outdoors in observation.

At the heart of this work is a desire to make objects of contemplation, to bring attention to nature and to find value in the desert landscape.


Elaine is a ceramicist and sculptor. A Los Angeles native, she received her MFA from California State University, Los Angeles. In 1999 Parks moved from a town of 14 million to Tuscarora, Nevada, a town of 14 people. She currently divides her time between Reno and Tuscarora, Nevada.In Nevada, Elaine recently had a solo show at Northwest Reno Library, titled Fossils and Bones. In Nevada, her work has been exhibited at the Nevada Museum of Art, Oats Park Art Center, Marjorie Barrick Museum, Sierra Arts and The Holland Project. Elaine taught art for seven years at Great Basin College in Elko and twice received the Nevada Arts Council Fellowship Award. She is a board member of Double Scoop Art, an online arts journal. In Los Angeles, Elaine has shown most recently at Ronald Silverman Gallery at Cal State LA and Neo LA Gallery. Elaine has also participated twice in Telephone, an international game of art, whispered around the world. In 2010, Elaine curated and hosted a pop-up exhibition with 24 artists, music and performance events called pLAyLAnd. Nationally and internationally, Elaine was part of LA Contraventions in Germany, Cryptographics: a tribute to the Voynich Manuscript at the EXPO Chicago and designed sets and costumes for Cabaret Revoltaire: 100 Years of Dada, a performance event at ArtShareLA. Elaine exhibited in Los Angeles at LA Artcore, Far Bazaar, Angels Gate Cultural Center, L2Kontemporary, Antebellum Gallery and Beyond Baroque.