PJ Hargraves

PJ Hargraves

Artist
Profile Location
Lincoln , NE
Biography

PJ Hargraves is from Philadelphia Pennsylvania and earned a MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2020. Before moving to Nebraska, he receive a BFA in Ceramics from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 2017 along with a K-12 Art Education Certificate. During undergraduate school PJ worked for two consecutive summers as a staff member at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in 2015 and 2016 in Newcastle Maine.

PJ has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. PJ was an invited participant in the first Mid-Atlantic Keramik Exchange in Reykjavik Iceland in 2019. In addition to teaching classes and workshops for kids and adults, PJ enjoys the labor of the studio, including building and fixing kilns and helping students troubleshoot problems with materials and firing.

Artist Statement

I tap into a playful innocence through the gestural use of clay and my sculptures are romanticized amalgamations of a collective lived experience. Through my process, I explore the physical nature of working with clay by harnessing the tactility of the material, crystalizing evidence of the joy I find in making. I utilize accessible imagery to create imaginative and humorous sculpture; this affords the viewer a light-hearted moment in an otherwise overwhelmingly complicated human existence.

My work is both strange and familiar. By embracing a skewed perspective of recognizable form I find beauty and charm in altered perception. I draw inspiration from tchotchkes, souvenirs and commemorative objects, adopting a simplified and exaggerated approach to representing figures, animals, landscape and objects. I also reference historical ceramics, relating and positioning my work within this rich vocabulary. My sculptures function as artifacts of contemporary life that respond to diverse influences from current events to ancient history. Ceramics has long been used as a vehicle for recording and perpetuating culture through the creation of utilitarian objects and sculptural symbols. My work is navigating the territory between these two methods of making by establishing a medium between recognizable form and emblematic function.

Medium
Ceramics
 
 

Exhibitions Featuring this Artist

Allison Arkush
Katie Bosley
Neil Celani
Katherine Cox
Dehmie Dehmlow
PJ Hargraves
Kristyn Robe
Juston Rominger
Taylor Sijan
Olivia Tani
Iren Tete
Mallory Wallace
Amythest Warrington
Dec
06
12/6/19 to 12/27/19
Multiple Mediums

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