Rebecca Chappell: Table Runner with Centerpieces

November 3, 2012 - May 12, 2013
Terminal D
 
Ceramicist Rebecca Chappell, like many contemporary artists who work with clay, often chooses to create vessels, basically a three-dimensional form able to hold contents such as water, food, or flowers. From early to modern civilizations, ceramic vessels have enhanced human existence as utilitarian objects and as forms of artistic expression. Today, artists continue to redefine and reinvent the creative potential of these forms. Some artists choose to make vessels that are functional such as a vase, teapot, cup or bowl, while others emphasize vessel-like qualities focusing more on the overall form and conceptual nature of the work and less about its function.  
 
Rebecca Chappell is interested in both aspects – to create a well-made, functional object while challenging the notion of what a vessel or vase can be. So Chappell creates “scenarios” as they have been described, groupings of smaller vases and elements carefully arranged, sometimes stacked, to create a larger composition where all of the individual forms work together visually. The juxtaposed forms become a sculptural, ceramic landscape. And for Chappell, the scenarios are visually dependent on the objects they are intended to hold. It is the final placement of the fruit or the arrangement of the flowers that makes each vessel or each composition come to life and fully complete Chappell’s vision.  
 
Rebecca Chappell received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cleveland Institute of Art (2003) and a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (2008). She came to Philadelphia in 2010, when she was awarded a one-year fellowship from the highly acclaimed Clay Studio where she began to develop this recent body of work.