Our team is all over Miami Art Week bringing you our top favorite finds. With that said, we spotted American ceramic sculptor Beth Cavener at DesignMiami/.
Housed in Jason Jacques Gallery‘s Women in Clay exhibit, Cavener presents three new major works and a selection of small pieces. Cavener is best known for her implicitly anthropomorphic animal sculptures which explore human psychology beyond their physical form. Cavener writes of her work, “on the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension.”
Beneath the surface, her work explores the consequences of human fear, aggression, and misunderstanding through animal forms, and therefore transforms her animal subjects into psychological portraits.
Cavener’s process consists of carving her sculptures from a solid clay form–-often working with 2,000 or more pounds of clay at a time––which she then dismantles in pieces, hollows out, and then reassembles. One of her favorite animals to portray is the Hare, which is featured in her sculpture The Shadow Partner (2018).
About the artist: Cavener received a bachelor’s degree in Sculpture from Haverford College and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics from the Ohio State University. After a series of Artist-in-Residence programs in the United States, China, Italy, and Japan, Cavener relocated to Helena, Montana where she built a collaborative studio called Studio 740. She has had a number of important solo and group exhibitions, including From the Ground Up: The 2007 Renwick Invitational at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (Washington, DC, 2007).
Cavener’s work is in the collections of major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Art and Design in NewYork, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She was awarded the Artist Trust Fellowship in 2009, the Jean Grif Foundation Fellowship in 2006, the Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council in 2005, and the American Craft Council’s Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2004.