Jennifer D. Martin was named Executive Director of The Clay Studio by its Board and Executive Committee in March 2018.
Martin brings years of strategic know-how, comprehensive industry knowledge, and invaluable perspective to this role, having served as the Studio’s Vice President for six years, and the Director of Education and Operations prior to that. Since first joining The Clay Studio in 2007 as its Senior Studio Technician, Martin has worked closely with the organization’s leadership and its staff to strategically manage operations, direct projects and programs, and inspire internal and external teams.
"The Board and senior staff were enthusiastically in support of appointing Jennifer as our new Executive Director,” said Michael Lukasek, President of The Clay Studio Board. “She has been intimately involved in every aspect of The Clay Studio for more than ten years and is the ideal person to advance our mission and lead us through this exciting new chapter as we build a state-of-the-art facility."
The new Clay Studio, completed in spring 2022 with a groundbreaking in January 2020, is located in Philadelphia’s vibrant South Kensington neighborhood. As the first of its kind ceramic arts facility built in the United States, it is designed from the ground up as a welcoming center that will strengthen the cultural community of Philadelphia and propel the field of ceramics nationally and globally.
Martin, who originally hails from Atlanta, Georgia, is also an accomplished artist. Her ceramic work is nationally recognized in numerous exhibitions and publications, and she has held a number of residencies, including Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. Martin received her MFA from Georgia State University, and served as faculty there soon after. Since 2005 she has held a number of instructor positions and continues to present workshops and lectures locally and regionally, along with serving as juror for exhibitions and as panelist for cultural conferences. Martin’s current professional associations include Artaxis, The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, NCECA.
The Clay Studio will be breaking ground on a 30,000-square-foot facility just outside Kensington later this year. The Studio, which was founded in 1974 by five artists, has grown from serving a small group of potters to providing services for over 35,000 people on an annual basis.read more
present Executive Director, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2012 - 2018 Vice President, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2010 - 2012 Director of Education & Operations, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2008 - 2010 General Manager, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2007 - 2008 Senior Studio Technician, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2006 - 2007 Studio Artist, Tucker, GA
2005 - 2006 Art Installer and Handler, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO
2003 - 2005 Visiting Professor, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
2001 - 2003 Adjunct Instructor, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
2001 Visiting Professor in Ceramics, State University of West Georgia, Carrolton, GA
2014-15 Board Member, University City Arts League
2015 Panelist, CAELI (Community Arts Education Leadership Institute) Applicant Review Panel
2012 Panelist, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Multidisciplinary Panel
2011 Panelist, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Multidisciplinary Panel
2010 Juror, Small Works Show, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences
Juror, Clay In Mind Show New, Jersey High School Ceramic Students
2007 Juror, Georgia Southern University Student Show
1998 - 2000 Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics
1993 - 1997 Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics
2014 Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME
2005 - 2006 Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO
2005 Mudfire Clayworks, Atlanta, GA
2015 – Present Artaxis, Member
2005 - Present The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Member
1997 - Present National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Member
2010 National Guild for Community Arts Education, Member
1998 - 2000 Student League of Independent Potters, Member
1994 - 1997 Club Mud, Member
On one’s physical body we know that scars and imperfections mark moments in our lives, working as visual reminders of our own history. I am interested in celebrating human experience through my work, while embracing both the positive and negative memories it may reveal.
I seek to honor ceramic tradition without being inhibited by its vast history. I explore the sensual nature of clay as reflected through physical touch. Using similar tools and processes to that of a traditional potter, I look not towards the ideal symmetrical vessel but instead towards asymmetry. My work often acts as a metaphor for the physical body, and I consider function secondary to fluidity and gesture in the form.
While the marks on the surface of the pots record the history of my hand in its creation, these same marks symbolize an individual’s experience. Like the rings seen in the cross-section of a tree, these marks provide a history of growth. In a similar manner, I use the repetitive lines and patterns in my work to create a vocabulary able to describe gender, memory, a personal journey or simply one’s personality make-up.
Both the scale of the work and the way it is grouped is of utmost importance to me. I seek to elevate the ceramic vessel from simply a utilitarian object to that of something that explores memory, relationships, and personal history. I do this by creating various scenarios in which to view each piece. The way two forms reflect each other’s profiles, such as a grid-work of cups both similar in form but distinct when viewed together, or large-scale forms created from actual body measurements, provide a variety of experiences to explore the same body of work and find one’s own individual narrative. In a final homage to the human body, I use traditional glazes in order to maintain a flesh-like aspect to the clay.
Stay up to date on all things Clay Studio with announcements, invitations and news delivered straight to your inbox.