Sue Tirrell | Biography


Back to Sue Tirrell | Work
 
Born and raised in Red Lodge, MT, Sue Tirrell received a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1997. She served as Education Director for the Custer County Art & Heritage Center in Miles City, MT for seven years where she implemented arts education outreach to rural schools and communities. She has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT; California State University, Chico; and the Custer County Art & Heritage Center in Miles City (also director of education from 1998 to 2005). Tirrell's work has been included in regional and national juried and invitational exhibitions and museums.
Sue's work explores themes of the West and nature. She investigates cultural stereotypes of the west in a witty and whimsical way with her cowgirls and cowboys that have an underlying tongue and cheek humor to them playing with sentiment, nostalgia and kitsch. Her rich glazes have a seductive quality while the work refers to several ceramic traditions from Greek to Chinese to Folk art.
Tirrell's work has continued to gain widespread attention and acclaim. In 2006, images of her work were published in the book "500 Animals in Clay" (Lark Books).


Artist's Statement:
"Winston Churchill once said: 'No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.'
I strive to live and make artwork by this credo."

All my life I have loved making things with my hands. Tree forts, doll clothes, sculptures of animals, pies, pottery, knitted socks, jam. I love the practice of choosing and assembling materials; getting physical with the process; following the piece from idea to tactile, useful, beautiful, delicious object. When my work is finished, I know the best part is yet to come... sharing these gifts from my hands makes my efforts joyful, the work a pleasure. Thank you for welcoming this handmade object into your life!

My pots are made by hand, one at a time, in my rural Montana studio. The windows in my workspace look out at ground level where chances are good that an animal - large or small, wild or domestic - will stop by for a curious visit. These creatures inspire and inform my work with their gentle, constant presence. Due to the nature of handmade pottery, pieces may vary slightly in size, shape or detail. For maximum enjoyment, hand wash gently and use daily!

CV:
EDUCATION
1997
Bachelor of Fine Arts, concentration in Ceramics, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY
1995
Associate of Arts, Cottey College

RESIDENCIES
2008
California State University, Chico, CA
2006-2008
Eastside Elementary School, Livingston, MT
Gardiner Public School, Gardiner, MT
2007
Pine Creek School, Pine Creek, MT
1998-2005
Custer County Art & Heritage Center, Miles City, MT
2002
Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
2008-2011
Board Member & Vice President, Art Mobile of Montana
2003-2007
Board Member & Treasurer for the Montana Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE)

TEACHING & LECTURES
2009
Clay Projects for Classroom Teachers, presented for MEA-MFT annual Educators Conference.
2008
Mosaics For Classroom Teachers, presented for the Eastern Montana Teachers Conference, Miles City, MT
2006
Hands-On Clay, Workshop for classroom teachers, presented at Montana Educators Annual Conference
Artist Lecture Series, Two-Person Panel, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
2005
How Artists Really Sell, Six-artist panel/lecture, Montana State University College of Technology, Billings, MT
2004
Oil/Water/Fire, Three-Person panel, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
2003
Animal Sculpture: Lecture & Workshop, Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Great Falls, MT
2001
Visiting Artist: Lecture & Workshop, University of North Dakota-Grand Forks
Visiting Artist: Lecture & Raku-Firing Workshop, Minot State University, Minot, ND
On Ceramics, Glass and Metal, five-person panel discussion, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
2000
Greek Pottery: Two-day handbuilding workshop for children ages 4 - 9 & 10 - 15, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
1999
The Arts in Education, 3-person panel, Montana Art Gallery Directors Association (MAGDA) annual meeting, Chico Hotsprings, Pray, MT

EXHIBITIONS
2013
Duets, The Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY
Yunomi Invitational, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA (participated since 2009)
SORORAL, group show, guest curator; Schaller Gallery
2012
CUPS Invitational, Blue SPiral 1, Asheville, NC
Wit, Fun and FUNction, Invitational, Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MT
La Mesa at NCECA, Santa Fe Clay
Featured Artist in the Bonovitz Space, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Line & Color: Women in Clay, 18 Hands Gallery, Houston, TX
Montana by the Sea, Invitational, Stewart -Kummer Gallery, Gualala, CA
Hot Montana, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, MI
Dip, Dash, Pour & Spread, The Clay Studio of Philadelphia, PA
Source ∙ Material: Water and the Ceramic Cup, Crimson Laurel Gallery, Asheville, NC Nov 2012
Group show, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA
2011
Featured Artist, Toucan Gallery, Billings, MT
La Mesa at NCECA, Santa Fe Clay
Pairings, Invitational Exhibiton, Carbondale Clay Center, Carbondale, CO
Two-woman exhibition, Visions West Gallery, Bozeman, MT
Cups and Coffee, Invitational Exhibit, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Beyond Bounds: Brilliant!, Invitational Exhibition and Auction, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park KS
Clay as Canvas, Invitational Exhibition, Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC
Gifted: Annual Holiday Exhibiton, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Holiday Exhibition and Sale, Red Star Studios, Kansas City, MO
2010
REOBJECTIFICATION, group show, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
Set the Table, Solo Exhibition, Toucan Gallery, Billings, MT
Yunomi Invitational, ALAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
Featured Artist, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
2009
Gifts from the Hand, Lux Center for the Arts, Lincoln, NE
30 x 5, AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, IA
One and Only: Gifts made by hand, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
Ho-Ho-Holter Holiday Show, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT
Wild At Heart, two-person show, Visions West Gallery, Bozeman, MT
Draw + Decal Invitational, MudFire Gallery, Decatur, GA
Butter, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
Beyond the Brickyard Juried show, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT
2008
Yellowstone Art Museum Annual Art Auction Exhibit, Billings, MT
Group Show at the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art, Davis, CA
100 Years of Progress Two-Person Show, Visions West Gallery, Denver, CO
Archie Bray Resident Scholarship Auction, Helena, MT
Featured Artist, Holter Museum Store, Helena Montana
Drawn, Group Show, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
2007
New Year Solo Exhibition, Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
Guest Curator of A Place at the Table: A Ceramic Invitational Custer County Art & Heritage Center, Miles City, MT
Two-Person Show, Visions West Gallery, Livingston, MT
2006
Near and Far Harris Street Gallery, Helena, MT
Archie Bray Resident Scholarship Auction, Helena, MT
Ride on the Wild Side, Two-Person Show, Visions West Gallery, Livingston, MT
2005
Two-Woman Show, Carbon County Arts Guild, Red Lodge, MT April 2005
Western Art Roundup, Custer County Art & Heritage Center, Miles City, MT
Featured Artist, Dana Gallery, Missoula, MT
Annual Art Auction Exhibit, Custer County Art & Heritage Center, Miles City, MT
Winter Showcase, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT Oct. - Dec. 2005
2004
16 Hands, Solo Exhibition, Toucan Gallery, Billings, MT
Two - Person Show, Visions West Gallery, Bozeman MT
Archie Bray Past Residents Show, Red Sky Gallery, Spokanne, WA
2003
Past, Present, Future, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings MT
Six-Person Show, Danforth Gallery, Livingston, MT August
2002
Innovations in Sculptural Ceramics, Beal Park Art Center, Bozeman, MT
Archie Bray Resident Exhibition, Lill Street Art Center, Chicago IL
Genus/Species: Four-Woman Show, Hood College, Frederick, MD
Six-Person Show, Danforth Gallery, Livingston, MT
2001
Southeastern Montana Clay Invitational, Custer County Art & Heritage Center, Miles City, MT
In the Music of Horses, Two-Person Show, Toucan Gallery, Billings, MT
Beaux Arts Ball Art Auction and Gala, Hockaday Center for the Arts, Kalispell
2000
Six-Person Show, Danforth Gallery, Livingston, MT
Invitational Postcard Exhibit, Toucan Gallery, Billings, MT
Beaux Arts Ball and Art Auction, Hockaday Center for the Arts, Kalispell, MT
1999
Juried Show, Schoolhouse History and Art Center, Colstrip, MT *Best of Show
Art Equinox: Regional Survey of Contemporary Art, Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Great Falls, MT
Origins in Clay: Juried Exhibition, Hill County Arts Foundation, Ingram, TX
Solo Exhibition, Custer County Art & Heritage Center, Miles City, MT
1998
Lower Yellowstone Invitational Exhibition, Custer County Art & Heritage Center, Miles City, MT
1997
Special Exhibit of Ceramic Art, Whitewares Research Center Biannual Meeting, Alfred, NY
Enlarged to Show Texture, Two-Person Show, Robert Turner Gallery, Alfred, NY
1995
First Annual International Collegiate Ceramics Competition, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

GALLERY REPRESENTATION
Visions West Gallery, Denver, CO; Bozeman & Livingston, MT
Toucan Gallery, Billings, MT
Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
Holter Museum Sales Gallery, Helena, MT
ArtFusion, Big Fork, MT

COLLECTIONS
Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
Custer County Art & Heritage Center, Miles City, MT
Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts, Helena, MT
Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred, Alfred, NY
Division of Two-Dimensional Studies, School of Art & Design, Alfred University

PUBLICATION INCLUSION
2008
Handbuilding for Beginners by Shay Amber Published by Lark Books, Asheville, NC
2006
500 Animals in Clay Published by Lark Books, Asheville, NC