We are thrilled to announce the winners of our Award for Texas BIPOC
Ceramic Artists! Each awardee was selected by a group of external
jurors, Gabo Martinez, Raheleh Filsoofi, and Virginia Felix.
Congratulations to Eliza Au selected as the award winner in the
Mid-Career and Beyond category and Ricardo and Marcelo Ramirez
Garcia-Rojas were selected as the award winner in the Emerging category.
We had an exceptional pool of applications! Our jurors were very
impressed, making it a very difficult decision to choose a winner in
each category. Thank you to all of the amazing applicants and we
encourage you to apply again next year.
Mid-Career and Beyond - Eliza Au
Emerging - Ricardo and Marcelo Ramirez Garcia-Rojas
Virginia Felix is a ceramicist born and bred in Brooklyn, New York exploring the dichotomy between function and form. She designs decorative and sculptural vessels using the unpredictability of clay. Her work ranges from tableware and lighting to creative projects.
In 2019 she launched keraclay, a collection of handmade pieces designed with a distinct perspective on style without compromising functionality. All pieces are handcrafted with an obsessive attention to detail using recycled clay out of a shared Brooklyn studio.
In 2020, Virginia introduced the Figura Project, seeking to recreate the vessels that reflect earth ’s canyons. Experimenting with different clay bodies, form and shape, the principal theme in the Figura Project is informed by biomorphic and architectural practices. Veering towards representational depictions of the natural world and the human body, she attempts to draw the viewer inward to experience an encounter with object and the symbolic movement of practical life and use.
Raheleh Filsoofi is a collector of soil and sound, an itinerant artist, feminist curator, and community service advocate. Her work synthesizes socio-political statements as a point of departure and further challenges these fundamental arguments by incorporating ancient and contemporary media such as ceramics, poetry, ambient sound, and video. Her interdisciplinary practices act as interplay between the literal and figurative contexts of land, ownership, immigration, and border.
Her work has been shown individually and collaboratively both in Iran and the United States, including the recent interactive multimedia solo exhibitions Inh(a/i)bited, an interactive multimedia installation in Spinello Project Gallery in Miami (2020), and The Overview Effect, an interactive Multimedia Installation in Betty Foy Sanders Gallery at Georgia Southern University (2019). Filsoofi ’s ‘Imagined Boundaries ’ , a multimedia digital installation on border issues, consisting of two separate exhibitions, debuted concurrently in a solo exhibition at the Abad Art Gallery in Tehran and group exhibition ( ‘Dual Frequency ’ ) at The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida in 2017. The installations in each country connected audiences in the U.S. and Iran for few hours in the nights of the show openings. Her multifaceted curatorial project ‘Fold: Art, Metaphor and Practice ’ , which engaged over 20 artists, scholars, and educators in exhibitions, performances, and lectures over a period of one year in Edinburg and McAllen, Texas, has been a milestone in her professional career.
She has been the recipient of grants and awards, including the Southern Prize Tennessee State Fellowship and South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. She is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics in the Department of Art at Vanderbilt University. She holds an M.F.A. in Fine Arts from Florida Atlantic University and a B.F.A. in Ceramics from Al-Zahra University in Tehran, Iran.
Gabo Martinez was born in Tarimoro, Guanajuato, Mexico in 1995. She received her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics from Texas State University in 2018. Martini has exhibited work at the Conduit Gallery in Dallas, the Texas State Galleries in San Marcos, as well as at the Historic Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, and the Rockport Center for the Arts. Martini ’s work explores the interplay between surface and form. Inspired by indigenous Mexican and Native American art, she carves patterning and lettering onto vessel forms. She currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.