Nick Vest

Artist Statement

My goal in creating work is to make something that is interesting enough to be thoughtfully considered. I find, in most cases, providing an explanation for how one should understand any given piece of work runs counter to that goal. Keeping the “meaning” of my work away from the presentation of it allows me to focus on the objects I produce for their own merits and allows viewers to have an unpolluted experience within which they can create their own interpretation. It also gives me a freedom to shift topics and references I’m thinking of within even a single series of works, and to combine motifs and parts from conceptually disparate bodies. This mode of practice and presentation results in a portfolio that I like to believe is “efficiently diverse,” meaning it contains enough aesthetic and conceptual breadth to allow for a range of points of entry and interpretation while also stringing the individual works together with enough commonalities of practice to keep the whole feeling unique to my hand and mind.

-- Nick Vest


American Artist Nick Vest counts ceramics as his primary material, but works in a wide range of media and formats.

An admirer of philosophy his practice ponders questions both local and extraneous to art. His works are diverse in form and subject and change quickly, leaving viewers in position to narrate the space between thoughts.

A graduate of Kansas State University and Alfred University, he left the U.S. after finishing his education in search of a path to a career as an artist. In 2015 he found his path in China, and established a personal studio in Jingdezhen in 2016. He created opportunity for likeminded artists to do the same through the establishing of the Private Studio Jingdezhen program, and in 2018 opened the MenLo Gallery and Studio which aims to celebrate risk-taking and innovative work of young Chinese artists and expose non-traditional ceramic artists from abroad to Jingdezhen through residency and exhibition opportunities. He currently practices in China and runs MenLo with his wife, ceramic artist Zhou YuYe.