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.
Paul Andrew Wandless is an artist working in ceramics, printmaking and sculpture, and an Arrowmont Instructor. He was born in Miami, Florida and grew up in Smyrna, Delaware. He earned his BFA in ceramics and sculpture from the University of Delaware, an MA in ceramics from Minnesota State University-Mankato and then earned his MFA in ceramics and printmaking from Arizona State University. He also worked with art historians while earning his MA and MFA to study the different styles of writing in the arts. Paul returned to the greater Philadelphia area after finishing graduate school, where he has taught and had his studio for 10 years.
I’m a storyteller. My art is the vehicle through which my voice can be seen.
As an artist, craftsman and writer, I want to engage and inform the viewer both visually and intellectually through the mediums and processes I employ. My personal philosophies and concerns manifest themselves as musings, stories or philosophical statements. These conceptualized ideas then take physical form as visual narratives through my work.
Usually, Paul shares images of his many works-in-progress on social media. “I don’t post a lot of finished work on [my Instagram] feed because I purposely focus on sharing works-in-progress to give folks a sense of my creative process and what I’m currently doing in my studio,” he wrote.
However, Paul has recently begun sharing finished work to contextualize his process.
These two figures are made of clay and their heads are carved in stone. The works also include wood, leather and metal. Clay is my primary medium, but printmaking, stone carving, mold making, metalsmithing and leatherworking are materials and mediums I work with and love as well.
I tend to think of myself more broadly as a sculptor/printmaker whose ideas are funneled through clay, but also takes advantage of other materials when creating sculpture and prints.
Currently, Paul is exhibiting his piece, Tools of the Trade (No. 1, Suite 2), in the online 2020 Instructor Exhibition.
“My accumulated observations and personalized philosophies manifest themselves as narratives, anecdotes, myths and characters… Some clay prints are one-of-a-kind pieces… others belong to suites. But all tell stories and share insights with the viewer. Working sculpturally, the figure serves as a point of departure and is used as canvas for images, symbols and text. This allows me to apply a metaphorical face to personal concerns, beliefs, fears, ideologies and philosophies.”
Paul will be returning to Arrowmont in August, 2021, for a special topics course combining clay, narrative and multiples: Moldmaking: Ceramics and Multi-Media.
To see more of Paul’s finished work, visit his website at https://www.studio3artcompany.com/
Arrowmont Connections Profile: https://www.arrowmont.org/instructor/paul-andrew-wandless-connections/
2020 Instructor Exhibition: https://www.arrowmont.org/2020-instructor-exhibition/wandless-2/