Arrowmont is a special community full of creative people – a family who know that coming together and making art is important. We talk a lot about the Arrowmont Experience – connecting through craft and community. That connection exists beyond physical proximity. It is in shared memories and new ideas. It lives in the friendships we make with each other. It grows when we learn and support one another.
Whether on campus or off, we are connected as members of the Arrowmont family. Over the next few weeks, we are going to share stories from our community of instructors, residents, and students in a new series, Arrowmont Connections.
Maggie Connolly is a ceramicist and author from Dubuque, Iowa. She is the first American graduate to earn an MFA in ceramics from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and the second American graduate to earn a Ph. D for studio ceramics at Tokyo University of the Arts. Recently, she finished a two-year post-doc at TUA where she completed book manuscripts about Chinese and Japanese ceramics. She is a contributing author to Ceramics Monthly. Connolly is a 2019-2020 Arrowmont Artist-in-Residence. Recently, Maggie shared her reflections after completing the 2019-2020 Artist Residency at Arrowmont.
What have been the highlights of your year as a AIR?
The way the residency is set up, it’s like they are preparing us and giving us practical experience for ANY potential path we may take after Arrowmont.
How did Arrowmont’s unique environment impact you?
Coming from some of the world’s most populated urban metropolises, the ease at which I was able to return to nature really afforded me some space to relax and enjoy my surroundings in a way that made me feel incredibly lucky and appreciative of my living situation, like I had won a life lottery or something.
How has your work evolved this year?
The work I produced here in my year at Arrowmont is completely unrelated to all my work from before.
Any personal challenges you overcame in the work?
I came to Arrowmont after spending 12 years abroad and I faced many challenges in my day-to-day life simply trying to re-integrate to American life and culture.
What’s next for you?
What advice you have for artists in your field – even if they don’t get an 11-month residency?
Anything else you want to share?
Maggie Connolly’s Website: http://www.maggieconnolly.org/
“Clay Culture: Ayutthaya – by Maggie Connolly for Ceramics Monthly”: https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/ceramics-monthly/ceramic-art-and-artists/ceramic-artists/clay-culture-ayutthaya/
“Clay Culture: Tradition and Change – by Maggie Connolly for Ceramics Monthly”: https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/ceramics-monthly/ceramic-art-and-artists/ceramic-artists/clay-culture-tradition-change/
Zurkonic Blog Interview with Maggie: http://www.zurkonic.com/blog/2018/3/26/maggie-connolly-artist-interview