Mallory Wetherell is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she teaches ceramics and drawing. She received her BFA in ceramics from the University of South Carolina in 2006 and her Masters of Fine Arts in ceramics from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2010.
After graduate school, Mallory lived and worked in Philadelphia, teaching at Tyler School of Art and serving as Gallery Coordinator of The Clay Studio, the east coast’s largest non-profit ceramic arts center. She has twice been a summer artist in residence and Windgate scholar at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT and was named an Emerging Artist in the field of ceramics by Ceramics Monthly magazine in 2015. Her work is nationally exhibited, with recent shows at the American Museum of Ceramic Arts (Pomona, CA), the Blue Line Arts Center (Roseville, CA), McMaster Gallery (Columbia, SC), and The Clay Studio of Missoula (Missoula, MT). Mallory is married to fellow ceramic artist Matt Ziemke, and the two are parents to a five year old daughter, a twenty month old son, and a few furry babies.
Mallory creates one of a kind works on porcelain. Each piece is hand-painted using washes of underglaze and fine brush strokes and then fired to cone six. The imagery is graphic in nature often with feminist undertones. While Mallory's work is typically sculptural in nature, in the fall of 2016 she launched a line of functional items - cups, dishes, vases, and jewelry - in an effort to make her work more affordable and accessible.
Throughout history, women have served as artistic muses, their bodies put on display for purposes of both glorification and sexualization. From the Venus of Willendorf, to The Birth of Venus, to the covers of the numerous magazines lining the check-out counters today, the female body has been a common object on display. Inadvertently, all of society has been taught to openly look at it, to freely analyze it. And as a result, the idea that we – as women – can look at ourselves, clearly and uninhibited, is unrealistic. There is undoubtedly subconscious imprinting from both history and the surrounding world that filters in to our notion of self.
My work is a reflection of the female self, exploring the complexities of being a woman in today’s society. To convey the conflicting emotions of empowerment and self-deprecation, I utilize imagery that represents the fluidity of being female. My pieces are small narratives of a much larger and timeless story – snapshots that expose internalized thoughts regarding what it means to be a woman, while attempting to fight the limitation of a dated and superficial society.