Chase Travaille, Shard Amphora.The idea for the Shard Amphora arose while walking around the Archie Bray Foundation, looking for free materials to work with during the last year of my residency. I began considering that I should develop a practice that didn’t require a kiln in case I wouldn’t have access to ceramic facilities after I left Montana. Wandering around the grounds, collecting fallen sticks for sculptures, I stumbled upon the Bray’s shard pile, a dumping ground for the unsuccessful projects of decades of past residents, piled against the back wall of the resident gallery, almost like a site-specific installation.

The shard pile seemed an apt metaphor. During my time at the Bray, I was bearing witness to how the institution was reconsidering its history through a contemporary lens and its efforts to rebuild and restructure its programming. Conceptually, I considered how the process of building vessels from the broken shards of past residents and staff mirrored the process of reconstitution and rebirth, especially how we were all collectively rebuilding and healing after the events of the past two years.

At the beginning of the pandemic, many of us were stripped of our studio spaces and discouraged from gathering with others. This time of isolation has helped me reevaluate my own philosophy for making art, and I have gained an appreciation of what it means to share a communal space with other artists. When I first saw Chase’s vessels, I could see that he was making an effort to acknowledge our strength as a whole ecosystem rather than focusing on the individual artist. Moving forward, I feel that it continues to be both the artist's and organization's responsibility to hold each other accountable in order to grow and embody the structural changes we were voicing at the height of the pandemic. I believe that these changes happen when we see each other without the labels attached to our names, share resources readily available to us, and appreciate one another as humans collectively working in clay.  – Kristy Moreno