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Yves-Olivier Mandereau

Teaching Assistant
Ceramic Artist  (caution: mature content)

Artist Statement
“Using found china, I confront the coming of age experience as a queer individual in a traditional household. Recently I completed an artist residency at
Zentrum Fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany.   

As a kid I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. I think I didn’t know because no one allowed me to consider a career in the arts. In middle school, I always had the most fun in art class, yet art was never really considered a legitimate pursuit like science and athletics. In high school, I attended a pre-college art program over the summer. I saved up all the money I could from busing tables and catering.The art program was beyond anything I could have imagined, and that’s when I knew I had to pursue visual art seriously. There was no end to the possibilities of learning and expressing myself in art.

Having experienced the value of a quality visual art education, I have committed myself to encouraging and helping others pursue their passion. That’s why I’m here, to help other students experience a broader art education independent of school systems where visual arts aren’t supported.”

Video transcript
“Hi, I’m Yves-Olivier and I’m a ceramic artist. I remember one of the first memories of loving art, and clay in particular, was my brother’s ninth birthday, I think. I was around five and my mom had invited one of her friends over to do an activity with the kids. She was an artist and she brought some clay over, and we were sitting around the table just kind of working.

And after about 15 minutes or so everybody had gone to the pinata to get some candy, but I stayed the whole afternoon working on this little clay dragon that I just loved working on.

I’ve had a lot of experience being a teaching assistant for wheel throwing classes. And throwing on the wheel is super tough because it has kind of a mind of its own. And especially when you put it on a wheel head and it’s spinning so fast. People don’t realize how difficult it is to actually control it, you know, and like put your will onto the clay and make it move, because it wants to do what it wants to do.

And I love TAing for that class because it is a difficult skill set that not a lot of people have. And over the years I’ve gotten to a point where, being pretty good at it and having learned these tips and tricks, imparting that to somebody else allows me to see them go from not being able to make anything at all to being able to make it a cup or a bowl within a month. And that growth is really kind of an amazing thing to see.”

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