The Clay Studio will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

Grace Orwen

I use my work as a vehicle to understand my role in the communities I am a part of, as well as in the society around me. Through referencing media and objects from my childhood, I am focusing on my changing values from a rural Nebraskan child to a first-generation academic. These rural icons, objects, and patterns act as a bridge between the two worlds I am now a part of. It is a way of inserting my values that conflict with those of the small community that I am a product of in a way that is familiar for those still within it. I strive to create imagery that has familiar visual dialogue for each community. I am heavily influenced by 50’s aesthetics, particularly those that glorify the “American West”. Shows like Gunsmoke, The Riflemen, and Bonanza glorify the western man: a hardworking, hunky, skilled, and deadly hero, who is often guided by their religious morals. I am interested in inserting myself into and interacting with these narratives.

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