6:44 PM EDT, September 25, 2011
Kitsch can be cool, according to Nick Ramey. The 29-year-old ceramic artist from Aurora, Ind., is always looking for the perfect image or object to add to his artwork. His pieces are meant to be functional and sculptural — they can be used on a daily basis or simply sit as curious decorations on a shelf. Ramey is a resident artist and instructor at Baltimore Clayworks, where he teaches classes in wheel-thrown and altered pottery. On Sunday, Clayworks will be teaching a workshop as part of Free Fall Baltimore. The session includes “Storybooks Come to Life,” “Wings, Fangs and Things” and “Hold it: Make a Good Container.” Here, Ramey talks to b about AVAM, bargain shopping and his biggest source of inspiration.
Worst pet peeve? People [who] lack a good work ethic
What's on your iPod? A very eclectic mix that ranges from bluegrass to dubstep, but right now the most frequently played artist would have to beGirl Talk.
TV shows you can't get enough of? “American Pickers” and “Storage Wars.” Both shows are based on the idea of finding hidden treasures, kitschy objects and lost bits of Americana, all things that constantly influence my artwork.
Last great meal you had? B&O American Brasserie. B&O oysters, house-made duck chorizo flatbread and duck-fat french fries, and slow-roasted pork belly with saffron potatoes.
Favorite place to get a drink? Joe Squared Pizza on North Ave. Great beer selections and awesome cocktails.
Favorite store? Tie between Goodwill and Ebay. I’m a bargain shopper.
Favorite artist? Meredith Host for her use of color and pattern, Richard Notkin for his attention to detail and Robert Arneson for his sense of humor.
Favorite museum or gallery? American Visionary Arts Museum. I love the seemingly random mix of interesting stuff.
Favorite art style/period in art history? Postmodernism. The first time in art history where artists felt free to mix and match ideas, symbols, objects and styles from other cultures, popular culture or other aspects of man-made visual or nonvisual culture.
Favorite quote/saying? “I want to make high art that is funny, outrageous and also reveals the human condition, which is not always high.” — Robert Arneson
Favorite source of inspiration? My surroundings. Each time I move to a new place, my artwork changes and is heavily influenced by my environment. The architecture of the city along with its murals and vast array of street art are currently the primary inspirations for my work.
AS TOLD TO LAURA LEFAVOR, B
If you go:
What: Free Fall Clay Workshop
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Rash Field, Key Highway,Inner Harbor.
More Info: freefallbaltimore.com
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