Grace McCraw is an inter-disciplenary artist with an emphasis on ceramics. She is fascinated with the idea of joy and the labor that is necessary for every moment of pleasure throughout the day. She has shown work locally and nationally from Fayetteville to Dallas to New York City. When she is not working in the studio she is working at Presley Paige to help create event installations, new products, and digital designs.
For the past year, I have been deeply interested in the topics of joy and labor. As someone who takes great joy in creating art, I find myself wondering if art as work is too frivolous and therefore too precarious to survive or gain security in the current capitalist landscape, which values the tangible outputs of labor above all else. My current series of objects are monuments to joy-- of the joy of creation, the joy of experiencing art, and the universal joys of the human experience. My work, often characterized by bright and childlike imagery, is tethered to reality through its materiality. I have used the laborious material processes of ceramic art to summon a greater permanence for these objects of joy. A balloon, typically running its joyous life cycle within one week, has been suspended in ceramic indefinitely. I pride myself on the accessibility of my work, given that most Americans can recognize a party balloon as a symbol of ephemeral joy; however, I am interested in the relics of joy which exist in other cultures and the possibility that to many people around the world less captivated by consumerism, joy cannot be purchased for $1.99. I am conflicted and caught between my own consumerist tendencies, my desire to create genuine moments of joy, and the fixed cost of existing under capitalism. By giving the nuance of joyful moments validity and presence, I hope to allow viewers to consider the labor of joy they find in their lives.
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