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Michelle Summers

Past Resident Artist

Long-Term Resident Artist, 2015-2017
Hometown: Portland, Oregon

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Michelle Summers describes her work as a journal of her life’s journey through both lived and imagined experiences. At first glance, her decorated porcelain vessels seem innocent and playful. Often, however, there is a subtle, if not subversive, message waiting beneath what is presented superficially. During her time at the Bray Michelle, aspires to numerous accomplishments, including finding greater balance in her art-making practice and working to develop full series of pieces based on her ideas.

Michelle is originally from Portland, Oregon. She received her MFA in ceramics from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 2014 and her BFA in ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2005. In the years between school Michelle taught ceramics at community colleges, creative art camps and schools across the country. Most recently before coming to the Bray she was a resident artist at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN. Michelle was the 2015–2016 Joan Lincoln Fellow and is the 2016–2017 Lillstreet Art Center Fellow.

“I am fascinated by the complexity of the mind hidden beneath the surface of the body. Through my work I depict the abstract spaces and characters that exist within the confines of one's conscious and subconscious. I often touch on topics of identity, perception, fantasy and yearning. My work at first glance seems innocent and playful, and sometimes it is simply that. But often there is a message waiting to reveal itself to the viewer if they take the time to question and reflect upon what the images might mean. Whether or not a narrative emerges to the viewer, the feeling of a weightless dream like world is always present in my work.”—Summers

To see more work by Michelle visit her website at michellemsummers.com.