Josh Van Stippen

Artist Statement

Nanoparticles are too small to be seen with the human eye, so my work brings nanoparticles to the human scale. The size of nanoparticles determines their properties and is critical to research and development of products. Across many scales, my work explores the positioning and irregularity of nanoparticles and the unique functions that are achieved only on the nanoscale.

As an artist and scientist, I incorporate the creative process to invent my own materials and products that demonstrate the advancement of nanotechnology. I am inspired by what nanoparticles do, how they operate, and the open questions about their effects on health and the environment. I draw from concepts and research to create sculptures and installations. I translate microscopy images into three-dimensional forms using ceramics and mixed media. My objects capture the shapes, uniformities, and defects of nanoparticles. Through experimentation and testing, I make new discoveries in material and optimize their function.

-- Josh Van Stippen


Josh Van Stippen was born in Neenah, Wisconsin. Currently, he is a lecturer at the University of Iowa where he teaches Ceramics. He earned his M.F.A. in Ceramics from the University of Iowa (2014) and his Bachelor’s degree with double majors in Studio Art and Art History from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin (2009). He has been awarded academic scholarships by Oneida Nation and the University of Iowa. Between his undergraduate and graduate programs, he worked as a radiochemical lab technician at New Mexico State University, which influenced and informed his studio practice. He has been a resident artist at the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China and a visiting artist at Oneida Nation Arts Program in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He has exhibited his work at Clay AKAR; the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts; the Lawton Gallery, The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; the Glassel School of Art in Houston, Texas; Grinnell College; Public Space One; and Baltimore Clayworks.