Resident Artist, 2020-21
Born and raised in the Western States, Mary Krochmalny began playing with clay probably around the same time we all did. The difference is, she just kept going. And now it rules her world.
She sees everything in clay: the human form, the forces of nature, the interconnected universe. And her work makes you see clay like that too. In this aim, she has help. Ghosts love Mary, and they help her bend clay with the deft grace of a freshly used comb bending a thin stream of water. Mary lives in Missoula with her Cat and Vitamix.
Stella Nall is a full time multimedia artist working out of Missoula, MT. She received a BA in Psychology, a BFA in Printmaking, minor in Art History + Criticism from the University of Montana in 2020. Her work has been published in Scribendi, Cutbank, Denver Quarterly, Montana Quarterly, The Thalweg, and Poetry Northwest. She was the 2020 recipient of the Western Regional Honors Council Award for Visual Art. She is involved in the community of Missoula as a member of the WMCI Indigenous Art Advisory Committee, by playing in the local band Cry Baby, and by frequently sharing her work through exhibitions, publications, murals, and interactive installations which invite community participation. She is currently an exhibiting artist with the Art Mobile of Montana, and her work lives in numerous public and private collections, including The Montana Museum of Art and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts..
Gallery Intern 2021-22
Hailing from small town Arkansas, Lane Chapman started out as a painter and illustrator until she transitioned into clay in college. She received her BFA in Ceramics from the Uni- versity of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2017. After graduating, she moved to Rochester, NY for a two-year residency at the Flower City Arts Center. She just finished a two year residency at The Clay Studio of Missoula and is now an incoming resident at Wildfire Ceramic Studio in Missoula, MT.
Studio Manager 2020-22
Stephanie Dishno is a ceramic artist born and raised in Indianapolis Indiana. Stephanie obtained her BFA in ceramics at Herron School of Art and Design. After which, Stephanie attended a two-year post-baccalaureate at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Stephanie has participated in two short term residences at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge Montana. Stephanie received her MFA in ceramics at the University of Montana. Stephanie is creating work in Missoula, Montana.
Sarah Conti is a ceramic sculptor from western Washington, she received her BFA with a sculptural emphasis from University of Idaho. After undergrad she lived in Illinois for three years and was a resident artist at Terra Incognito ceramic studio. She then attended Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon to receive her post baccalaureate in ceramics. Sarah is passionate about ecology, conservation, preservation and sparking conversations about climate change and human impacts on wildlife species. She lately completed a ceramics post baccalaureate at the University of Montana and is currently living, working, and birdwatching in Missoula.
Krissy Ramirez discovered her passion for clay in the small border town of Douglas, Arizona. After moving to the hills of Silver City, New Mexico she continued her studies in ceramics and graduated with a BFA from Western New Mexico University in 2017. Krissy was awarded the Artist in Residence position at WNMU from 2017-2019 and is well known for her dedication to the arts community. There she was involved with a number of educational themed community mural projects that involved making ceramic tiles with Mimbres Regional Arts Counsel. She was also an assistant to many visiting artists for the Silver City Clay Festival such as Bede Clark, Julia Galloway and Sunshine Cobb. She helped juried annual K-12 arts shows and showed work in local galleries. Now, Ramirez resides in Missoula, MT and just finished the year as a Post-Baccalaureate at the University of Montana.
Summer BIPOC Fellow 2021
Chanel McNamara was born in 1997 and raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She attended Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) before transferring to Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Bston, where she received her BFA in Ceramics. After graduating college in 2021, Chanel continued her journey at MassArt as a Teaching Assistant for the ceramics department and she currently works as a substitute teacher for the city of Pawtucket, RI.
As an emerging ceramic artist, Chanel works in a variety of materials and forms, including intricate patterned ink drawings, performative, and site-specific installations and 2D/3D ceramic works. She uses her studio practice as a response to and documentation of her experiences and is determined to explore her own identity and Black history.
Her current work aims to acknowledge and initiate a dialogue surrounding mental health awareness, trauma, and racial injustice against people of color. She wants to curate conversations surrounding Black history, her experiences, and the experiences of others.
MEGAN CHRISTINE CALDWELL
Megan Caldwell received her BFA with a P-12 teaching licensure in 2017 from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. In 2017 she was awarded the Charles A. and Margaret Pollack Art Purchase award, making one of her ceramic works of art a permanent part of the Mulvane Art Museum’s collection. During her time at Washburn University, Megan showed work in local, statewide, and national exhibitions. Since 2017, Megan has been teaching art to grades 3-12 on the Flathead Reservation. She currently resides in Missoula, Montana with her husband and her 3 cats.
Resident Artist, 2020-21
Patricia Countryman is a latinx ceramic artist born and raised in a border town of Arizona and Mexico. She received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics at Western New Mexico University. Patricia is experienced in sculpting, wheel throwing, ceramic mural/public art and tile making.
I am interested in life and our character as variables. I work in a way of interpreting struggling moments into a metaphor for growth and reflection. I focus on the challenging experiences; it’s those trying times where the shedding and adding of personal qualities are more abrupt. By tuning into psychological coping processes I look to express this idea of balancing out characteristics. This allows me to bring out the duality of a person in this state and represent the two sides or a cycle. As I work I take the malleability of one’s character and emphasize it through the figure to produce a moment of reflection.
Resident Artist, 2020-21
Mary Krochmalny graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 with a BFA in Textile Design, focusing on the tactile process of weaving and natural dying. She is curious of the many parallels between fiber and clay. Both mediums lend themselves to an infatuation with materials and encourage a dance between physical interaction and mental meditation.
Excited by how sensuous touch and land can interact through the intervention of a vessel, Mary incorporates natural objects as tools to discover a balance between organic forms and human senses.
“Clay allows me to be present and curious in my body and senses, as the smallest movements affect the outcome of a pot. I am drawn into awareness of how my body is positioned and where pressure and force lies, while being mindful of maintaining a gentle ease. I am devoted to clay because of the conversation it has with my body. I apply this by mimicking the body in form and letting my energy affect the spirit. The spirit of a vessel is a mysterious element that I am always investigating but know I may never fully grasp. The search is the point.”