The permanent nature of clay motivates the drawn, sculpted, thrown and painted forms within my work. Image, color and material coexist in order to communicate stories on objects.
The disposition of contemporary society’s relationship with wild and domesticated animals is complex. By recording the threatened and vulnerable creatures that inhabit the natural world through drawn, functional and figurative forms I hope to capture their fragility as permanent artifacts.
The practically imperishable ancient Middle Eastern clay tablet is an object that communicates a writing system which has shed light on cultural and spiritual events of a time long past. It eloquently testifies Babylonian, Sumerian, and Assyrian contributions to human civilization. Communication through fired or hardened earth is also evident in the caves of Lascaux and the engraved petroglyphs found globally. I attempt to capture this spirit in the wall tablet series.
Pictorial stories between humans and animals continue to inform our perspective on human behavior. It is for this reason I have chosen to portray the present landscape, narrate environmental changes, and call attention to the imposition humans have inflicted on the natural world. With the intention that these works endure, they allow future generations see into a window of the past.
– Shanna Fliegel
Shanna Fliegel grew up in Northwest New Jersey. After graduating with a BFA in Studio Art from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA in 2001 she went on to complete two residencies at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA and Greenwich House Pottery in NYC. Drawing and painting was Shanna’s first love and she continued to search for the perfect marriage of image and clay while fulfilling her MFA at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
After graduate school in 2008 Shanna worked as a resident artist and instructor at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY and as a summer resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. In 2010 she moved to Billings, MT where she taught as Assistant Professor of Art at Montana State University until 2014.
Shanna currently resides in New Bern, NC where she teaches Ceramics, Painting and Art Appreciation at Craven Community College and works as a studio artist.