Taylor Robenalt attended Southern Methodist University for her BFA in bronze casting and stone carving. She then received a graduate assistantship at the University of Georgia accomplishing her MFA in ceramics in May 2011. She is currently a visiting full time professor at Ringling College of Art and Design and has taught at State College of Florida, Auburn University and Columbus State University as an adjunct professor. Taylor was a long-term artist resident at Odyssey Clayworks. In addition Taylor has participated in many national and international ceramic shows. She has been part of multiple panels at NCECA as well as participated in many NCECA shows. She has co-taught a workshop at Penland School of Crafts in 2018 and has been a visiting artist at many Universities. Taylor won the NCECA International Residency Award in 2019 and studied at A.I.R. Vallauris, France for a month. 2020 was a particularly rewarding year, because she received the Halo Fellowship Award to help her install her first solo museum show at the Canton Museum of Art. This year, Taylor is curating two large ceramic shows, one at Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, NC, and a large animal themed show at the Canton Museum of Art in Ohio. Taylor has received many scholarships including tuition waivers to Monte Verde, Costa Rica, Cortona, Italy, Tokoname, Japan, Watershed, Maine, Penland, North Carolina and Red Lodge, Montana.
Storytelling has been apart of our culture since the beginning of human existence, from the cave paintings of Lascaux and the fertility figure of Venus of Willendorf. I, in my own way want to be apart of this storytelling by making detailed porcelain sculptures that explore the figure, flora and fauna. I create narratives using personal experience combined with animal interactions and semiotics. Art helps me understand the relationship between humans in the natural world, myself, and my place in the contemporary world. I strive to reveal human and animal commonalities, by exposing both the light and the shadow that blind us together.
Clay is a fantastic material that allows me to create whatever surface I want to help enhance my narratives. It is so versatile and both the additive and subtractive qualities make it easier for me to manipulate. The history of clay dates back to the beginning of humans and has been a tool for helping humanity survive and tell stories on its surfaces and through sculptures. It is a medium that unites every culture.
I have chosen porcelain because it is a beautiful, pure material. I often leave it in its raw state, which has a skin like quality. Most of the imagery that I utilize has specific meaning that relates to my personal emotions and creates a narrative: dogs represent loyalty and unconditional love, birds represent vibrancy and freedom, and swans represent purity and bunnies fertility. Flowers represent the cycle life and rebirth. I view the work as a metaphor for how life is always transforming itself – constantly bringing forth a new chapter of unforeseen existence.