Artist Statement and Resume

Garret Pendergrass Artist Statement

I come from a family of builders. For three generations building has been a part of my family’s occupation: my grandpa, an engineer, helped rebuild Anchorage after a large earthquake in 1965; and until his retirement, my father took part in building homes and assisting in downtown revitalization in major metropolises like Houston, DFW, and San Antonio. My mother’s calling was to help people and families build their lives by assisting them in buying their first home or starting a business. It is no wonder why I’m drawn to clay, which allows me to construct my ideas into forms that excite me and help realize what I am, a builder.

Some of my ideas come from childhood memories. For instance, my friends and I would go down to the river by my house and play explorer, fish, and swim. We threw rocks against other rocks to see if we were strong enough to break them apart. Surprisingly, they were pretty easy to crack open, and sometimes what we later deemed to be “valuable crystals” became exposed upon impact. We spent hours trying to break open rocks to see what it looked like on the inside. If it shined, we later hid them in a box for fear that if others found out what valuables we found, they would take them. Little did we know we amounted more of a mess in my mom’s garage than riches and glory. Recalling these memories helps me recollect what energy and excitement I had while growing up and gives me the desire to manifest that energy I experienced from finding “treasure” and transform it now into works of clay.

Over the years I have continued to hunt for hidden “treasure” by taking the time to find not just what is pleasing to my eye but to discover what excites me. Early in the twentieth century, prior to WWI, a formation of ideas stirred together to create Expressionist Architecture. In reaction to the dreary, unattractive buildings being built in Berlin, artists like Taut, Scharoun, and Fensterlin desired to create structures that enhanced their cityscape for the exponentially growing population. Although few of their designs were actually constructed, they left behind innumerable drawings, writings, and models that communicate their aesthetic criteria. Though there are a myriad of characteristics, some traits seem to sparkle like the rocks by the river I recall from my boyhood.

In my own work, distortion helps express the energy I had as a child. Every day as a boy I saw grass, flowers, and other organic, even unruly, images by the river. They became commonplace to me, but by breaking open a rock, I revealed the unordinary, hidden beauty of nature. Mineral formations are one quality Expressionist architects employ that associates with my “treasure.” Expressionist architects distort the entire building as opposed to just the building’s accents — such as railings and balconies found in Art Noveau architecture. Like their blueprints, I plan each form with a preliminary drawing but try to keep a sense of spontaneity, allowing the form to grow and take its own shape during the building process. Fueled by fond memories of my past as well as becoming familiar with Expressionist architecture provided the foundation to build my vessels. 

Education

May 2007 Master of Fine Arts, University of North Texas (3.92 G.P.A.)

May 2002 Teaching License (7-12), University of Mississippi

December 2001 B.A. Graphic Design, Business Minor,Univ. of Mississippi (3.45 G.P.A.)

May 1997 All Saints Episcopal High School, Fort Worth, TX

Professional Experience

Spring 2014- Guest Artist Decatur ISD

August 2013- Present Firehouse Pottery and Gallery, artist and instructor

August 2013- Present Adjunct Professor Tarrant County College, ceramics I/II

Sept. 2009- May 2013 K-6 Art Teacher, All Saints’ Episcopal School

March 2007 Guest Instructor, All Saints High School, Ft. Worth, TX

March 2007 Workshop Facilitator, Eastfield Community College, Mesquite, TX

Jan-Aug. 2007 Sales Assistant, Texas Pottery Supply, Saginaw, TX

Aug.- Dec. 2006 Teaching Fellow, UNT

Jan. 05- May 2007 Teaching Assistant, UNT

Aug. 03- Aug. 04 Junior High, High School Art Teacher, Bruce, MS

Exhibitions/Sales

July 2014 Selections, Community Art Center, Fort Worth, TX

March 2014 FWADA Gallery Night, Fort Worth, TX

Nov. 2013 Open Streets, Fort Worth, TX

Oct. 2013 ARTS Goggle, Fort Worth, TX

Sept. 2008 Alumni Art Show, ASES

August 2007 Best of Show, Forms and Shapes: Inspired by Architecture, Juror, Wayne Branum

April 2007 Visual Arts Society of Texas 39th Annual Spring Event, Juror, Karen Kunc

May 2007 Texas Arts and Craft Festival, Kerrville, TX, Juried

May 2007 Construct, Solo Exhibition, Edmund Craig Gallery, Fort Worth, TX

April 2007 “Coffee, Tea, or…” Angelo State Ceramic Exhibition

April 2007 Denton Fine Arts Show, Juried

April 2007 Voertman’s Art Competition, Juried

April 2007 Denton Arts and Jazz Festival

May 2006 Texas Arts and Craft Festival, Kerrville, TX, Juried

April 2006 Current Works, Group Exhibition, Denton, TX

April 2006 Force, Group Exhibition, Dallas Museum of Natural Science

April 2006 Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, Denton, TX

Sept. 2005 Out of Sight Group Exhibition, Dallas, TX

April 2005 Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, Denton, TX