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Bryan Hopkins (b. 1967), Tall Cylindrical Vase with center strip of short horizontals, 2007; porcelain with celadon glaze, 35 in. high x 7 in. diameter; Bequest of Annette M. Cravens, 2017

Bryan Hopkins (b. 1967), Tall Cylindrical Vase with center strip of short horizontals, 2007; porcelain with celadon glaze, 35 in. high x 7 in. diameter; Bequest of Annette M. Cravens, 2017

Bryan Hopkins is a thoughtful ceramic artist/potter/sculptor who challenges our assumptions about porcelain with his series, Dysfunction: Sculptural Vessels. The descriptive title, Tall Cylindrical Vase with center strip of short horizontals, proves his point. The hand-built, subtly detailed cylindrical sculpture demands respect for its design, not subservient to functionality as a vase. About his aesthetic, Hopkins states: “The juxtaposition of glazed and unglazed surfaces combined with industrial textures not typically associated with porcelain produce a tension in the work, and the sometimes violent and rough treatment is at odds with porcelain’s implicit societal qualities…of purity and preciousness.”

Hopkins received his Bachelor of Science at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at SUNY College at New Paltz. Since 1997, he has been an adjunct professor of ceramics and three-dimensional design at Niagara County Community College. The philosophical artist is also an independent curator and writer. In 2012, he became a founding member of Objective Clay—a group of fellow clay artists who make functional ceramic objects that conduct workshops and share information about techniques and firing methods, sell their work together, and contribute to the community.—NW