ART

BIVINS%2C+NICHOLAS

BIVINS, NICHOLAS
BIVINS, NICHOLAS
MONTANA
The ultimate goal of my work is to recover vitality in daily life through simultaneous mental and physical engagement with unique handmade functional objects that are expressive, intelligently designed, and superbly executed. Through making utilitarian pottery using a precise, clean, and efficient geometric language I am looking for a personal definition of perfectly handmade. My work is an examination of relationships between individual to object, handmade to perfect, object to object, and traditional to contemporary.

I am curious how functional pots continue to retain relevance in our contemporary society not only from elemental necessities of use and food service, but due to our indispensable need for connections to expressive thought. Being a studio potter provides me an opportunity to invent individual functional ceramic ware which will improve people’s lives by satisfying needs for objects surrounding us to have emotional, imaginative, and personal relationships to one maker. Through use, the connection between people, pots, and the domestic allows the body and the mind to become aware and stimulated by being provided a dynamic daily experience that helps keep life from becoming anonymous, mundane, and automated.

I maintain an obsessive interest with the struggle towards perfection. I pursue the perfectly handmade through practicing my craft every day. This practicing is a continuous and never ending refinement of physical execution, conceptual discovery, and technical proficiency. I determine the degree of tension between perfect and handmade in my work through the making process. I am continually searching for a satisfying balance of how much hand I put in, and how much hand I take out. I keep a rhythm that is informed by my idea, my patience, and my knowledge of process that compels me to complete each task and move on. I stretch and balance my desire for tightness and precision with my requirements to be prolific and efficient.

The simultaneous attention of the user on the objects and the attention of objects on the user reveals the unique nature of personal production for personal use. The act of eating and drinking is then elevated and enriched by objects that require the viewers’ attention while at the same time allowing them to enjoy the experience of replenishment. The perpetual shifting in focus shows that function becomes an element as a way to access my ideas through becoming an active participant in the experience. This precise manipulation of the viewer/user allows a more conscientious operation thus presenting questions about what occurs when the perceived traditional definition of handmade is denied, the ambiguity of perfection, and the role that objects play in our lives.

EDUCATION
Ohio University – Athens, Ohio MFA: Ceramics 2006-2009
University of Alaska – Anchorage, Alaska Post-Baccalaureate 2004-2005
University of Washington – Seattle, Washington BFA: Ceramics 2004
BA: Interdisciplinary Visual Art 2004

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Intermediate Wheel Throwing (Instructor of Record), Ohio University, Spring 2009
Drawing II: Color and Systems (Instructor of Record), Ohio University, Winter 2009
Beginning Wheel Throwing (Instructor of Record), Ohio University, Fall 2008
3-D Design (Instructor of Record), Ohio University, Spring 2008
Intermediate Ceramics: Mold Making (Graduate Assistant), Ohio University, Winter 2008
Beginning Wheel Throwing (Instructor of Record), Ohio University, Fall 2007
Woodfire with Jason Hess (Graduate Assistant), Ohio University, Summer 2007
Beginning Wheel Throwing (Graduate Assistant), Ohio University, Spring 2007, Winter 2007, Fall 2006
Advanced Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, University of Alaska Anchorage, Spring 2005

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS (* Denotes Solo Show)
2009
Strictly Functional Pottery National, Market House Craft Center – Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Wichita National All Media Craft Exhibition, Wichita Center for the Arts – Wichita, Kansas
* f(x), MFA Thesis Exhibition, Trisolini Gallery – Athens, Ohio
La Mesa, NCECA – Phoenix, Arizona
Handcrafted, Rocky Mount Arts Center – Rocky Mount, North Carolina
International Cup, Clay Studio of Missoula – Missoula, Montana
2008
Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft, Pennsylvania Convention Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Composite: Ohio University Faculty and Grads, NCECA, Borelli Edwards Gallery – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
2007
Mixed Media Ceramics, Rio Grande University – Rio Grande, Ohio
Verb Noun Adjective, Seigfred Gallery – Athens, Ohio
Ceramics Invitational, Foothills Art Gallery – Nelsonville, Ohio
2006
Sweep the Leg Jonny, Seigfred Gallery – Athens, Ohio
All Fired Up, Red Brick Clay – Nelsonville, Ohio
Local Works, Seward Park Art Center – Seattle, Washington
2005
Flux: Contemporary Ceramics, Student Union Gallery, University of Alaska – Anchorage, Alaska
Student Juried Art Show, Student Union Gallery, University of Alaska – Anchorage, Alaska
2004
* Distraction, BFA Thesis Exhibition, Ceramic and Metal Arts Gallery (CMA) – Seattle, Washington
BFA:2004, Jacob Lawrence Gallery, University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

AWARDS
NICHE Finalist, Ceramics: Functional, Student Category, Fall 2008
Ohio University Professional Development Grant, Fall 2008
Ohio University Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Fall 2006 – Spring 2009
University of Alaska, Travel Grant, Spring 2006

RELATED SKILLS
Kiln Building:
Wood/Salt Kiln, Ohio University, 2009
Train Wood Kiln, University of Alaska, South Campus, 2005
Soda Kiln, University of Washington, 2004
Reduction Kiln Rebuild, University of Washington, 2004
Salt Kiln Rebuild, University of Washington, 2004