Kelli Sinner is an artist living in Missoula, Montana. She served as a Professor of Art at Minnesota State University Moorhead from 2005-2021 where she taught ceramics, papermaking, and foundation design. In 2015 she received MSUM’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Originally from Utah, Kelli obtained her MFA in Ceramics from Penn State University and her BFA in Ceramics from Utah State University. Before moving to Minnesota, Kelli worked in New York City where she taught ceramics at Marymount College Manhattan, the 92nd Street Y, and the Educational Alliance.
Kelli has completed artist residencies at the Zentrum fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany, the Winter Residency at Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina, a short-term residency at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT, and most recently, a short-term residency at The Clay Studio of Missoula.
My recent body of work called “Small World” was both created during and influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. My world became very small, as I traveled less and decreased the number of people I interacted with. The conditions of the pandemic forced a hyper awareness of our immediate spaces.
I started drawing from memory the places where I spent most of my time. I drew the layout of my yard, the parking lot outside my studio, and the route I walked countless times between my work table and the sink. Spaces that were once so familiar they were invisible, became a comfort amidst a new way of living that was less social, and more alien.
Each object that I make is one of a kind. Every piece presents an opportunity to solve a new problem, whether that problem is one of content, design, utility, or technique. The result is a quirky rawness that delights in being handmade, while still serving as a reflection of contemporary society.