Biography - Resume
Claire Clark Sculpture Studio -- High Fire Stone Ware with Glazes and Oxides
Photo © Claire Clark
Claire Clark is currently doing figurative sculpture. Most of her work originates from observations of the model, using clay to build shapes structurally with feelings of the model and glazes with oxides for emphasis. Her work is easily recognized by her unique use of clay, keeping a hollow shell, using no armature.
Claire Clark is a born and bred New Yorker. Her mother is from New England and father from Yugoslavia. They were both architects. She and her younger sister grew up in Forest Hills and were active participants in community affairs.
Claire started her art at an early age. As a family, they did watercolors together, she starting at the age of three, on summer vacations. In the backyard she became aware of the growth of vegetables and plants. In the morning, seeing the morning glories in full array and then closing up. Digging in the sand at the beach and on her own in her studio or in the garden were all lively activities for her. She loved quoting her Grandmother saying you can dig a hole and get to China.
Claire first discovered ceramics in a high school class. Here she was able to fire and glaze her small sculptures. She also took weekend classes at the Museum of Modern Art, where she did a series of tempera paintings and also became very familiar with the museum. She became more involved with painting, first studying with Howard Trafton at The Art Students League of New York, and then with Harry Sternberg and then sculpture with John Hovannis. At Bennington College she studied painting, sculpture, and etching, and became more drawn to sculpture.
She worked at the Museum of Modern Art in a non-resident term with Ms. Constantine who liked her abstract work. At that time Claire did realistic drawings from the model. She worked with the model with an armature and clay, as well. It was a very exciting time for her. Every time the model turned, she felt there was so much fresh to look at. Her likenesses were good from the start. She continued studying sculpture with Nathaniel Kaz and John Hovannis. Proportions, application of clay, armatures and casting were all a part of this learning process.
After Bennington College Ms. Clark went to Cranbrook Academy of Art as a sculpture major. Here she worked abstractly. There were very few models and so she started really building with terra cotta. At this time, she was also welding, learning ceramics and throwing on the wheel, doing etching and dry point and wood and stone carving. Her subjects were figurative.
Soon afterwards, Claire Clark went to the University of Oregon in Eugene where she was an assistant in sculpture to Dentists. She took a full term of courses. She had her own studio as she previously had at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Here she did hands holding a peace dove.
Most of her work originates from observations of the model, using clay to build shapes structurally with feelings of the model and glazes with oxides for emphasis.
Later she attended Teachers College in New York and studied to be a High School Teacher. Her first job she had started in January 1966, and she continued to work with the Board of Education for 25 years.
Initially she taught in Junior High through High School students. She was permanently placed at Prospect Heights High School. She learned how to reach the children with painting and design; helped them to build their vocabulary and not to be afraid to express their ideas in pen or pencil. She taught ceramics too. The children needed to hold on to something. This in turn gave them something to work with. While teaching art in High School she did ceramics at Hunter College, sculptures in the summer at ASL, and later started acting to help keep everything together. She was in many plays and really loved acting, but found it best not to do both.
Since Claire retired in 1991, she does only sculpture. She started with an armature and then decided not to ever use one again. Her familiarity with clay helped her build figures without an armature. It took practice.
After 2 years of studying full time again, she won a McDowell Traveling Scholarship. She went to Rome and visited Naples, Sienna, and Florence in Italy. She did stone carving at the American Academy of Rome with Simon Verite. She helped him with a fountain he was making for the Academy in the Villa Aurelia garden.
She has continued to show her work with several distinguished groups: The Pen and Brush Club, Professional Sculptors Guild, Visual Individualists United, Artists Craftsman of New York, and Burr Artists. She has had a one-man show at the Art Students League for her McDowell scholarship. At the league, she also won a Nessa Cohen scholarship.
Claire Clark has a good size studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with her own shuttle kiln. The kiln is Bailey's 38" high by 27" width and depth. She hopes to do more of her abstract work and at continue to do her realistic work at the League with the model, for now.
an Essay of - Claire Clark,
Claire Clark most recently won a Prize for one of her Twin Towers with arms and heads. Her work was on exhibition with the National Association of Women Artists - 113th Annual Exhibition.
This show was on view from May 24 thru June 29, 2002, at the Banana Factory located at 25 West 3rd Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Her prize among many is the Beatrice G. Epstein Memorial Award Twin Towers3
Included in Clark's educational background is a BFA degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in the early 50s. In the late 50s she began studying at The Art Students League of New York where she won the Edward G. McDowell Travel Grant for 1995.
Her work in ceramics started in the late 70s at Hunter College. It was the facilities at Hunter College that made it possible for her to complete her pieces (color from glazes and oxides from firing of the clay.
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EXHIBITIONS & PRIZES
Salmagundi Club Contemporary Expressions 7/09 - 8/09 showed
member shows & Annual Thumb- sold ‘01 - ‘09 Alphaeus P Cole Memorial
National Sculpture Society (Associate Member)
Private Collections ( Info. upon request )
McDowell Scholarship $6000 to study sculpture (Rome & Paris
1966-1991: Board of Education (NYC) Instructor of Fine Arts
Day High School Art Appreciation & Ceramics
Photography (digital, slides and prints and videotaping my
sculpture trips and events ).
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