Tiffany Leach was building a body of research with her series titled Mother’s Collection of ceramic work and, as research, gave little thought to where she would be applying it, or being accepted to. The work was dedicated to the making of a body of work for the purpose of revealing a truth about the human desire to collect.
This very day, Tiffany Leach’s series is double-box packed and being shipped to Gallery Alliages in Lille, France, for an exhibition … and not just any exhibition.
Her work is going to prestigious international juried Du Bol 2016 exhibition as one of only 24 artists selected from throughout the world.
“It’s pretty exciting,’’ Leach, Assistant Professor of Art in the College of Fine Arts, said. “For the Du Bol exhibition, they were looking for vessels, bowls with a little more content than just a perfectly thrown form. I had been working on the Mother’s Collection series and knew it would be great for this exhibition and was just hoping the juror would see it the same way.’’
After seeing an on-line call for the exhibition, Leach realizing her work was eligible, she went through the application process, which led to a juror, Ana Belén Montero, ceramist, sculptor and curator, putting her in the elite group. Her work will be on display through mid-November.
“I’m always looking for opportunities to get exposure for the research and juried exhibitions are a really great way,’’ she said. “When someone significant in the field of ceramics is choosing my work for an international exhibition, I am honored.’’
Her work was selected out of hundreds who applied.
“Regional and national exhibitions are great, but an international juried exhibition with hundreds and hundreds of people from all over the world applying lets me know that my work translates culturally,’’ Leach said.
The difficulty in gaining international recognition is a testament to Leach’s maturing as an artist, according to Division of Visual Arts Chair Dana Tupa.
“It is really difficult to gain international recognition for ceramic work when we consider the historical contributions in the field from around the world,’’ Tupa said. “Tiffany has matured as an artist and her ability to depict the push-pull of human communication is propelling her to new heights. I could not be more proud for her and what she brings back from these experiences to her classroom.”
The seven pieces for her second international event, she had another in 2009, are of clay and each is both hand built and thrown (using a wheel to shape the work).
In this particular case, her children, Vida, 4, and Eliza, 2, were the models, if you will.
“I have done a couple of variations of this series, the one that was chosen for this exhibition has clay replicas of objects like cut finger nails, ear wax on a Q-tip, there is one with little teeth in it,’’ she said. “Things that aren’t really what you would collect, but as a mother you go ‘this is my child’s first nail clipping’ or ‘what do I do with this?’ As a maker and a collector and a mother I find myself with these things that I don’t know what to do with and I question and research the human need to keep and collect for the sake of recollection.’’
– Jim Nasella