Austyn Taylor


About the Artist:


What is really going on with human beings and this planet? This is a question we all think about from time to time. Deep thoughts about human history, culture and our place in the universe are quickly overshadowed by more pressing everyday issues of life. Much of our American time is occupied with short term animal concerns; for basic needs like full battery, Wi-Fi and “likes”- what else is there? Of course, this is a very one dimensional view of modern life.

In my figurative work I attempt both 2 and 3 dimensional feats of creation! Being raised within the symbolic system of American Saturday morning and weekly afternoon cartoons I always wondered what happens to these characters after the show? What sort of purgatory are they trapped in between scenes? I assumed their must be more to these flat characters. I studied the philosophy of consciousness at university as well as art history and mythology. I studied the ancient absurd demons within Hieronymus Bosch’s 14th century paintings and the reality breaking freak show of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” In searching for what cannot be known, I now see my figures through an animist framework, as functional totems for lost thoughts and spirits of human intuition.



Current methodologies and research interests include using ceramic sculpture and drawings to create visual statements concerning a person’s ability to relate to reality through symbolic abstraction.

My art practice is at it’s core a reaction to the deconstructed heaps of culture left by post modernism and a search for value and virtue. My aim as an artist is to create works which circle around sacred values such as unconditional love, authenticity, imagination and human dignity. For 20 years my work has utilized figurative characters evolved from the closest thing to authentically sacred symbols from my culture- the graphic hand drawn aesthetics found in American animation.

Cartoon imagery personifies the human tendency to abstract from reality- to simplify and flatten it. Stubbornly living as if life is a 1-dimensional world of caricature has some advantages. Unfortunately the disadvantages range from obnoxious, torturous and to an extreme- deadly. Looking at the world multidimensionally one is overcome by absurd complexity and shocked by the cruelty, it’s almost too much to bare. American animation itself holds the contradiction of deeply loved foundational child’s entertainment and deeply racist black faced, white gloved history of minstrel shows.

Although it may be profoundly uncool, I maintain hope for the human race. I believe that being an artist means a commitment to translating unspeakable, unthinkable aspects of reality in great detail; for me a functional contemporary artist is an alchemist philosopher. My practice is based on the assertion that if humans could understand each other’s experiences and communicate clearly ignorance would recede. I believe the public are more intelligent and less sophisticated than they are given credit for.

Between world wars, scientific materialism and postmodernism, foundational traditions and histories have been ripped apart. Truth and corruption were exposed but left was a shredded corpse of culture.  I use imagery which is foundational for so many millions of minds, the cartoon, the toy, the animal, symbols of growth and healing. My work deals in a sort of flat, affected, “end of the world” humor.

The works are idols to innocence and love as forces contrary to ignorance and malevolence. What is really “real” between thoughtful people of the “public”? I believe there is a future for humanity, there is a quiet groundswell of decency, patience and humor which is orders of magnitude larger than a few monsters on the pages of history. I make accessible, meaningful work for intelligent courageous people.


Taylor hails from Rochester, NY. Born of Southern artist parents, raised Unitarian, in a Jewish neighborhood. Brief time as an art instructor in Denver, CO taught her valuable lessons about the ancient spiritual qualities of working with ceramic materials and their quasi-mystical ability to tame the most anxiety riddled souls of hyped 13 year olds. After studying with master ceramicists, Doug Jeck, Christina West, Russell Wrankle and Arthur Gonzalez she obtained her MFA in Ceramics from Alfred University in 2016. Since then she has been traveling, teaching, making and showing work across the world attending residencies in Sonoma, CA, Beijing, China, Minneapolis, MN, Skælskør, Denmark, Wichita Falls, TX and soon Vadodara, India. Taylor’s quest through her artwork is to piece together an authentic “American-style” narrative which may heroically disrupt modern alienation and through her sculptural “healing” ceramics- create sign posts ushering people back home, to Earth.



2014-16 Alfred University, Ceramics MFA, Alfred, NY

2007         Rochester Institute of Technology, MST, Art Education, Rochester, NY

2002-06 Rochester Institute of Technology, BFA, Illustration/Minor Philosophy, Rochester, NY

Teaching Experience:

2019       3-D Design I Adjunct, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX

2018       Art Appreciation Adjunct, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX

                Visiting Artist Instructor, Region 9 Educational Services, Wichita Falls, TX

2017-18 Ceramics Instructor, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

Interim Ceramics Instructor, Wayzata High School, Wayzata, MN

Interim Ceramics Instructor, Shakopee High School, Shakopee, MN

2017       Guest Lecturer/Demonstrating Artist, Beijing International Bilingual Academy, Beijing, China

Guest Lecturer, China Central Academy of Fine Arts(CAFA), Beijing, China

Guest Lecturer/Demonstrating Artist, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

Guest Lecturer/Demonstrating Artist, Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California, Sonoma, CA

2016       Liberal Arts Ceramics Instructor of Record, Alfred University, Alfred, NY

2015       Liberal Arts Drawing Instructor of Record, Alfred University, Alfred, NY

Ceramics Sculpture Graduate Teaching Assistant, Alfred University Summer School, Alfred, NY

Ceramics Hand Building Graduate Teaching Assistant, Alfred University, Alfred, NY

2014       2-D Foundations Graduate Teaching Assistant, Alfred University, Alfred, NY

Ceramics Technical Assistant (Arthur Gonzalez), Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Island, ME

2013       Ceramics Technical Assistant (Doug Jeck), Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Island, ME

2008-11 Art Instructor, Pinnacle Charter School, Federal Heights, CO

2007-08 Interim Art Instructor, The Harley School, Rochester, NY

2006-07 3-D Foundations Graduate Assistant, Rochester Institute of Technology,              Rochester, NY


2019       Emerging Artists Show, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

Resident Show, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX

Animals Among Us, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT

7 Deadly Sins, Carlson College, Minneapolis, MN

Decoding the Lexicon, Bender Gallery, Asheville, NC

The Art of Clay Wichita National Exhibition, Wichita, KS

2018       18 Cubed, Ceramic International, Art Aqua: Art Miami, Miami, FL

SOFA Expo, Bender Gallery Booth #A15, Chicago, IL

                Guldagergaard Udstille, Galleri Magasinet, Skælskør, Denmark

                The Great Ceramics Revival, Art Spirit Gallery, Coeur d'Alene, ID

22nd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition, San Angelo  Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, TX

Teapots! Invitational, Morgan Glass Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

                Northern Clay Center Resident Show, NCECA, Pittsburgh, PA

Beyond the Brickyard, Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts, Helena, MT (Director’s Choice Award)

Fantastic Beasts, All You Need Now Gallery, Shanghai, China

2017       American Craft Council Show, Grain Belt Brew House, Minneapolis, MN

SOFA Expo, Booth #1303 Bender Gallery, Chicago, IL

Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics, Seilers Gallery, Zanesville, OH

Requiem for Mickey, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China

Dawn, UFO Gallery, Oakland, CA

2016       Solstice, Healdsburg Center for the Arts, Healdsburg, CA

Humata, Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma, CA

Augmented, Healdsburg Center for the Arts, Healdsburg, CA

Aftercare, Thesis Exhibition, Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Alfred, NY

2015       Southern Tier Biennial, Jamestown Community College, Olean, NY

(Emerging Talent Award and Honorable Mention)

                Variance, The WURKS, Providence, RI

2014       On Edge, Edge Gallery, Denver, CO

2013       Spark Mark, Spark Gallery, Denver, CO

Exquisite Corpse, Groundswell Gallery, Denver, CO        

2012       Emerging Artist Invitational Exhibition, Colacino and Arts Center Galleries, Nazareth College, Pittsford, NY           

2010       The Figure, Allison Art Gallery, Shulman Arts Center, Tusculum College,                 Greeneville, TN

                Bridge, Drake Memorial Library, State University of New York, Brockport, NY

2009    6X6, Rochester Contemporary Art Center Gallery, Rochester, New York

Metamorphic, Lucky Lotus Studio, Rochester, NY

Scion Art Education Auction, Th’Ink Tank Tattoo, Denver, CO



2018-19 Resident Artist/Art Adjunct Professor, Midwestern State University, Wichita ¬-                Falls, TX

2018       Resident Artist, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Skælskør, Denmark

2017-2018 Resident Artist/Instructor, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN

2017       Resident Artist and Guest Lecturer, China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing, China

2016       Resident Artist/Instructor, Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma, CA



                Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX

                Sculptureum, Auckland, New Zealand

Kamm Teapot Foundation, Sparta, NC

Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Skælskør, Denmark

Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China

Sonoma Ceramics, Sonoma, CA

Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred, NY