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Peter Morgan

Teaching Artist - Past

Artist Statement:

My work is an exploration of issues of perception and representation and how these concerns mold our understanding of the world. I am interested in both actual representations and cultural perceptions of the way things are and what makes each significant. The work examines how much of what we know of the world is through illustrations and representation rather than from personal experience and the difference between “real” versus simulated experiences.

The work is an investigation and celebration of cultural mythologies. I think of my sculptures as being platonic ideals in physical form. They focus on our ideal understandings and desires of these objects in our minds, yet they often bear very little in common with the actuality of these concerns.

I think of my work as being a conspiracy where everyone knows that they are not dealing with an authentic object, but something quite far from that. Yet the viewer is willing to suspend disbelief and understand the arrangement as a common experience. I am interested in how far I can push various modes of representation and for it all to be believable. Much in the same manner as a model train set, which has props that come from many different sources in different scales yet they are all understood as part of a believable scene.

Recently I have been incorporating a variety of scale shifts in each series of work in order to create both actual and falsely perceived spatial experience. I intend for the viewer to experience the work and the space simultaneously, oscillating back and forth between the singular object and the expanse of space the viewer submerges into an absurd reality.

Through the process of creating a sense of place I am examining ideas of a false sense of authenticity. In my investigations I am attempting to come to a greater understanding of a culturally understood place and time thereby taking some sort of ownership over it through creating an absurd and bogus personal mythology.



Peter received a BA in fine art from Roanoke College, in Salem, Va., a BFA in ceramics from the California College or Arts and Crafts and a MFA in ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Peter has given lectures on his work at a numerous institutions in the U.S. and Beijing, and recently completed residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mont. and the Belden Brick Factory in Sugar Creek, Ohio. Peter has taught at California State University in Long Beach and Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He has exhibited across the United States and Europe, and his work is in the permanent collections of the Shine Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, the California College of the Arts, The Archie Bray Foundation, and many private collections. Peter is currently an instructor for both the School and the Claymobile at The Clay Studio.

2011-2012 Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellow