Collection: Wade MacDonald - Featured Artist

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Artist Statement:

Contemporary architectural design and construction represents a remarkable fusion of artistic expression and practical functionality, akin to a form of innovative utilitarian sculpture. By examining the shared stylistic elements, production methods, and utilitarian goals of contemporary architecture, artists and designers can identify and address societal challenges.

The intersection between ceramics and architecture is dynamic and symbiotic. Both disciplines address social concerns through their aesthetics and utilitarian nature. By highlighting this connection through the reinterpretation of the pedestal and the incorporation of diverse construction materials alongside clay elements, contemporary architecture gains a more relatable human quality. As architectural models, my work serves as a means for viewers to gain insights into their individual roles within the broader social fabric. Clay acts as a conduit, bridging past and present ideas of material innovation, challenging our notions of new architectural paradigms while questioning the relevance of ceramic art forms in the twenty-first century.

Through extensive research, ideation, and practical application, I have laid the foundation for celebrating the human element of contemporary architecture and the clay object, recognizing their shared essence as fundamental concepts or structures. I firmly believe that this intrinsic correlation possesses the conceptual power to reflect the intricate complexities of living in a globally fragmented community.


Wade MacDonald was born in Nashville, Tennessee and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan by two former opera singers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education from Western Michigan University. In 2014, Wade received a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics from Michigan State University. As a graduate student, Wade received the Stanley and Selma Hollander Graduate Fellowship in Studio Art, the Varg-Sullivan Award for Distinguished Research, and the John and Susan Berding Family Foundation Endowment Juried MFA Prize. Wade has exhibited work nationally and has completed artist residencies at Banff Centre, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Red Lodge Clay Center, Zentrum für Keramik and Arrowmont School of Art and Craft. In 2018, Wade received the NCECA Emerging Artist award and recently published articles in Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated. Wade lives with his wife and stepdaughter in Birmingham, Alabama and is Assistant Professor of Ceramics and Ceramics Area Coordinator in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

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