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Bethany Krull

Bethany Krull

Born: Lancaster, New York, U.S.

Bethany Krull is a ceramicist and a teacher. Born in Lancaster, N.Y., she earned a BFA from the State University College at Buffalo in 2004 and an MFA from the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007.

Krull's work explores the complex relationships between humans and other species by envisioning creatures simultaneously adorable and nightmarish, living in absurd conditions that are alternately haunting and darkly humorous, presented with deadpan seriousness. In a 2011 statement published in the magazine Ceramics Now and its website, the artist observes:

“In today’s increasingly nature-deprived society our most intimate connection tends to be with plants and animals that we ourselves have drastically altered through the process of domestication. We have turned wild animals into docile and sweet natured pets as we have selected for tameness, helping the animal to evolve in a manner that has been most beneficial to us. We have removed these creatures from the wild to give us unconditional love and eliminate our loneliness, to amuse us, and to assist us in our day to day activities, but this comes at the expense of their own freedom to exist in their natural environment. Cats in today’s society, more often than not, live entire lives with their feet never once touching grass as they chase catnip-infused fabric mice and sleep in sunlit windowsills while the birds chattering outside remain just beyond their grasp. Although strong love and a desire to protect are at the heart of this captivity, the practice of keeping animals strictly indoors surely has its physical and psychological detriments. … It’s amazing to think that the drastic visual disparity between the Chihuahua and the Great Dane is due entirely to human intervention and selective breeding. … [N]o amount of love and affection lavished upon these creatures will erase the fact that the success of the relationship lies in our complete domination over all aspects of their existence.” [1]

Over the course of her career, Krull has worked primarily with clay, specifically with porcelain, a medium she prefers for her animal-themed sculptures because it “carries connotations of fragility and vulnerability but also preciousness,” she noted in a 2011 video interview. “My personal aesthetic is a very clean and pristine one. I gravitate toward tools that help me to erase any sign of my hand. I am trying to achieve a perfection of surface.” [2]

Krull’s work has been seen in solo exhibitions at Indigo Art (Buffalo), the Meadows Museum at Centenary College of Louisiana (Shreveport, La.); Mulry Fine Art (Palm Beach, Fla.); the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education (Rochester, N.Y.); and Dangenart Gallery, (Nashville, Tenn.), among other venues. She has also been featured in group shows throughout the U.S. as well as in South Korea and Ireland. Her appearance in the 2009 Arts in Crafts Media exhibition at the Burchfield Penney resulted in her winning the Langley H. Kenzie award, including a subsequent solo show at the museum. Krull has works in the permanent collections of the Burchfield Penney, the Meadows Museum, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Archie Bray Foundation (Helena, Mont.), among other galleries and museums, and has held numerous arts residencies around the country. In 2012, she was designated one of the Burchfield Penney’s first “Living Legacy” artists.

Krull has taught ceramics and sculpture at several universities and arts centers since 2005; as of 2013, she is teaching at Buffalo State College. She resides in Buffalo and is married to woodworker and furniture designer Jesse Walp.


For more information on the artist and her work, visit


[1] Bethany Krull, artist’s statement, Ceramics Now, n.d., (Accessed 08/29/2013)

[2] Bethany Krull, quoted in “Tools of the Trade” video interview, The Palm Beach Post website, 01/07/2011, (Accessed 08/29/2013)



Listen to Bethany Krull’s interview with Heather Gring of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, conducted on July 26, 2012. In it, Krull speaks about some of her early influences, including teachers she studied with, and the thought processes she goes through while making individual pieces and series of works. She discusses the role that environment plays in creating her work, and how and why the pieces she developed while living in Florida are different from those she has made in Western New York.  

Although Krull has already gained a great deal of experience in her craft, she is still growing as an artist and offers great advice to young emerging artists.