MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2012
Artist StatementI am interested in the sources and by-products of invented utopian promise, exploring forms that reference the duality of our monocultural, suburban landscape. A landscape typified by its balance between hope and fear, the suburbs are an invented plan, created mathematically, an idea before a phenomena. The suburbs have become a frame of mind rather than a geographic location. My own cultural perspective necessarily frames my work, but it attempts to occupy and critique our prevalent systems of self-identification looking into their cyclical patterns through history. As Ebeneezer Howard’s idealism gives way to white flight and Constance Spry is remade as a multi-national, my work attempts to trace these cycles, juxtaposing images that reference suburban architecture and design. I seek the science of the mundane, a tension between the generic and the highly personal. The sources and images I have sought out: cheap Styrofoam knock-offs of classic suburban decorative trim; become as much a mirror of the phenomena of the suburbs as a frame of mind. The approach I have taken attempts to reflect on the monumental within the mundane, and seeks to bore out the middle of modernism to see its split-level by-products. The work rotates around these axes operating as much a strategy of thinking as of making; one that takes ubiquitous, anonymous and mundane forms and presents them for what they are (a flat plane, a marketed mirage) as well as what they promise to be (a moral retreat, a ideal future).
Currently serving as Chair of Ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art, David S. East has taught and been a visiting artist at numerous locations including University of Missouri-Columbia as an Assistant Professor (2001-2007), Alfred University, Kansas City Art Institute, Massachusetts College of Art, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Washington University, Ohio University and Tainan National College of Art, Tainan, Taiwan. David’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in juried and curated exhibitions, most recently in the 20th anniversary exhibition at Northern Clay Center, in recent solo exhibitions at the Maryland Institute College of Art and upcoming solo exhibitions at Hunter College and Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY. He has received numerous awards including an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, and those from the Lighton Foundation, the McKnight Foundation. He was in residence at the European Ceramic Work Centre in 2007 and was recently the Visiting Artist in Residence at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. David received his B.F.A in Ceramics from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls (1997) and his M.F.A from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2000).