I am drawn to working with maps because of their innate aesthetic qualities. Beyond their capacity to graphically describe space, they function as utensils for navigation and orientation; tools for defining real and imagined worlds, chronicles of past journeys, as well as instruments to understanding ourselves in relation to the world. The maps I investigate are inquiries into my own world; a collection of destina-tions and landmarks. I make aesthetic selections based on the dance and flow of lines or contours that describe the land. Fabrication is an action where information is lost in translation, allowing me to reimagine the cartographic data.
Tai Rogers grew up in the South-East, mostly Florida and Tennessee, but lived in over a dozen places before undergraduate school at Eckerd College, FL, studying with Brian Ransom. After college, Tai joined the US Peace Corps, serving two years in Jamaica during the most transformative time in recent memory, ’01-’03. While experiencing the ‘War on Terror’ has influence all of our lives, Tai found himself reflecting on his identity as an American overseas, and experiencing a literal dislocation from his foundations. After Peace Corps service, Tai joined AmeriCorps NCCC, where he worked doing service in the homeland, including disaster relief after Katrina, and fighting wild-fires with the US Forest Service. Tai then went on to work as a fire fighter for six more seasons, spending the off season at the Penland School of Crafts, NC, working as an assistant for several artists. Ten years after his undergraduate degree, in 2010/11, Tai returned to academia as a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he worked with Kim Dickey and Scott Chamberlain. After CU, Tai was a resident artist at The Clay Studio of Missoula, MT. He recently finished graduate school at Indiana University, studying with Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Chris Boger, and Tim Mather, in 2015. Tai is currently working as head of the clay department at DePauw University.