Yve Holtzclaw

Artist Statement

I still look into the dark, searching for the creature who left a coin under my dresser. Curious, I draw his shifty face and bizarre eyes. My work identifies the marvelous by addressing both what is clearly there and what could be. My childhood interest in the supernatural has manifested in a desire to understand what makes a particular person, place, or object sublime. I draw what I see and I sculpt those drawings. I paint those sculptures and then sew my paintings. Working intuitively with clay, fabric, wood and paint, I layer my experience and my imagination until they are indistinguishable.

My process is spontaneous, meticulous and unfussy. I abstract, anthropomorphize, and exaggerate my subjects to express their metaphysical characteristics. My work, speckled with the things that I have loved and lost, tells open-ended stories, about magic, love, and nostalgia. These tales gather like leaves caught on a fence. When they twist and spin, I see how the wind moves among them. 

What if when the river swallows the land, we sit on the roof of our home and row down the stream? What if we are in love but we are suddenly very far away? And only when we sleep, we may eat together again? A breakfast with cold coffee, hot toast, and a dandelion in that little jar I made for you. I imagine the night that the world ends. We find something funny to watch on the television and eat peanutbutter m&m’s and cheese from the bag. We laugh, we drink, and we play something we haven’t heard in a while.


Yve Holtzclaw is an artist and educator originally from Atlanta, Georgia. After double majoring in Art History and Ceramics, they graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with honors and academic distinction 2020. Their work focuses on the intersection of the metaphysical and the tender through immersive, surreal, and nostalgic installations. These pieces tell stories about the things that persist in our world despite their circumstances, focusing in particular on the neglected, the quiet, and the scary. Yves’ process is interdisciplinary, using clay as the foundation and accessing all materials and surfaces to build out the story and its setting.  They currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts where they teach ceramics.