Logo: Artemis K. Nelson posed as archer without a bow
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Sudent Ceramic Show, April 27-30, 2006
University of California, Davis

Con-Temporary Building 9: Against Gravity poster

Con-Temporary Building 9: Against Gravity

"Con-Temporary Building 9: Against Gravity" is the 2nd annual showcase of active ceramic work which is going on in the historical TB9 ceramic studios of UC Davis. This year we have three locations in which work will be displayed, as well as the opportunity to walk through "the big room" in TB9 and see work in progress. TB9 has a history of distinguished professors and alumni, many of whom return for CCACA (California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art -- this year is the 17th annual CCACA, sponsored by the John Natsoulas Gallery.) Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this impressive exhibit of student work.

  • Angela Ambruzzese
  • Colby Claycomb
  • Bo Choi
  • Julia Haft-Candell
  • Sara Lavender
  • Tyler McGinn
  • Artemis Nelson
  • Brian Perkins
  • Jesse "Nemo" Pruet
  • Jason Trinidad
  • Kaija Uno
  • Ann-Marie Wise
  • Fonda Yoshimoto-Garner

And more!

Basement Gallery: Tues., April 25-Sat., April 29, 9am-6pm
Art Lobby: Thurs., April 27-Sun., April 30, 9am-6pm
TB9 Ceramics Studio: Thurs., April 27-Sunday, April 30, 9am-6pm

Artists Reception: Friday, April 28 from 6pm-8pm

For more information e-mail fmyoshimoto@ucdavis.edu

Show! November 11 - December 8, 2005,
at Naked Thread, 231 E Street, Davis, California

Announcement of show; opening night is November 11, 7-9 p.m.

Au Naturel: Oil Paintings and Ceramic Tiles: Artist's Statement

In my painting, whether in oils on canvas or underglazes on clay tiles, my aim is presence. I want to portray myself, or another creature, engaged with the viewer, in direct eye contact—or else in close-up examination. Alive and intent. I am looking for contact and communication.

Three of my oil paintings are exhibited. Close-up Dragonfly Face and Leaf Eye were completed this fall. Self-portrait with Bare Shoulders is one of a series of quick self-portrait studies I painted in a class with Gina Werfel at UC Davis in the fall of 2004. Also during that quarter, I took Entomology 1 (Art, Science and the World of Insects), an innovative science class using art sections to further integrate learning, taught by Diane Ullman. My ceramics section was co-taught by Donna Billick and Diane herself.

I had worked in ceramics years before but had never made tiles. I love the combination of working with clay, the malleable earth, to make forms, and applying pigments that are very much like paints but not; rather, they are mysterious, a magic trick that is not over until the kiln is unloaded! This method of low relief and underglaze painting, with clear overglaze, is proving to be a new love of mine—as are the insects!

I have become fascinated with the multitude of little beings that make up 75% of animal species on earth: their ability to camouflage themselves like a leaf or a flower or a stick; or to make silk, or honey and wax; and for some, to actively nurture their young. How are they like us, and how are we like them? Their faces: so strange, and yet familiar.

I am currently working on a fellowship with Diane Ullman, further exploring the subject of insects and techniques for handmade tiles. Diane has been of invaluable assistance in pressing out tiles with me, and in firing my completed tiles. I've used three colors of clay: white, red, and black; the tiles are mid-fired to cone 5.

For this show, I've chosen to concentrate on one insect, the dragonfly, and the female human form, both au naturel: as found in nature, and nude. As usual, I'm the model who's always there. Doing any kind of art, putting it out there, one already feels naked—so why not? And besides, people don't see enough middle-aged women nudes. And bodies are beautiful. And, for that matter, insect bodies are beautiful. Why not display this beauty openly and extravagantly, like the butterfly?

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Ceramic Tiles

My numbered tiles are one of a kind, hand pressed from my own low-relief molds, hand painted with underglazes, glazed with a glossy or matte finish, and fired to cone 5. See some of my tiles in more detail.

Custom Tile Design

I usually use photographs as a taking-off point for my tiles. If you would like a custom tile made from an image you have, I will work on approval, with final price (if you like what I've created) being $3/square inch for creation of original tile and plaster mold and my usual $1/square inch for each fired, glazed tile. Prices negotiable based on complexity.


I paint primarily in watercolors and oils. Watercolor styles vary but are mostly sketches. For oil portraits, I prefer a combination of photos and sittings, but I can work from photos alone. I work on approval - if you don't like the finished product, I will keep it! Other oils range from landscapes to abstracts, still lifes to wildlife portraits. View some of my oil paintings.


Prints of some tiles and paintings will be available in the future, both in gicleé notecard form and in archival gicleé prints.


Born in Long Beach, California, in 1952. Attended UC Santa Cruz, College of the Redwoods, Humboldt State University, and American River College. Eventually took a long hiatus from higher education to work in libraries and raise a wonderful daughter. Member of the Artists' Cooperative, in Sacramento, and the Artery, in Davis, in the 1970s and 80s. Currently working full time and taking classes part time towards a BA in Studio Art at UC Davis. Live in Davis with partner Amy J. Boyer, editor and writer.


Artemis K. Nelson
1214 J St.
Davis, CA 95616

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All images and website content ©2005-2006 Artemis K. Nelson