Ceramicist Michelle Erickson Begins Monthlong Artist Residency at VisArts

March 15, 2016 News

Hampton-based ceramicist Michelle Erickson begins a one-month artist residency at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond this week.

Erickson is best known for analyzing contemporary culture through the use of 17th and 18th-century Colonial American ceramic history, combining traditional pottery-making methods with contemporary narratives. Her work is in the collections of the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Yale University Museum, among others.

In addition to her contemporary ceramic work, Erickson has earned international acclaim for her 17th and 18th century reproduction pottery. Her reproductions are in the collections of Colonial Williamsburg, the National Park Service, Parks Canada, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Historic Deerfield. She has consulted on and designed ceramics for major motion pictures including The Patriot, The Time Machine, The New World and the HBO series John Adams.

“VisArts put on an exhibition of Michelle’s work in 2010, ‘Tradition & Modernity,’ and we’re so lucky to have her back with us as an artist-in-residence,” said Stefanie Fedor, executive director of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. “Michelle’s work brings history into the present.”

Jamestown commissioned Erickson to make the official gift presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her 2007 visit to Virginia, in which she celebrated the 400th anniversary of the founding of the American colonies. Erickson completed a residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England in 2012 and received a Professional Fellowship Award from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2013.

During her residency, VisArts will provide Erickson with studio space in which to work. Some of the pieces she plans to complete during the residency will become part of the forthcoming exhibition, “You & I Are… Earth,” which opens at the Wilton House Museum on April 15 and runs through Oct. 30.

As part of her collaboration with Wilton House, Erickson is reproducing two of the house’s artifacts in clay—a pair of satin shoes and a Derby porcelain figural couple, or figurine. Bernard Means, with VCU’s Department of Anthropology, is scanning the items and printing 3D replicas from which Erickson will work.

Erickson will lead a one-day symposium at VisArts on Saturday, April 16. During the six-hour program, she will use different artifacts to demonstrate various ceramics processes. Registration costs $85, and 25 seats are available. Register at