Sculpting faces: UW-Whitewater professor brings unique art performance to Australia

September 05, 2014

Frame artTeri Frame starts her 45-minute artistic performance by sculpting a raw clay mask, imbedded with cheesecloth, tied to her head.

Then, while looking into a mirror, she shapes the mask around her skull, adding clay to distort the piece and create a completely new, incredible visual.

It takes only minutes for Frame to transform her clay-covered face into a sculpture.

After each performance, she removes the mask and prepares for her next creative endeavor.

"I've never met anyone that does the kind of thing I do," said Frame, an assistant professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. "It's rather unique, specifically because I'm not using fired clay like other ceramic artists do."

After years of perfecting her performances, Frame is now preparing to take her talents around the world.

Frame was invited to present demonstrations to artists around the world at Stepping Up: The Australian Ceramics Triennale in Canberra, Australia from July 6-11, 2015. After the event, she will serve as a visiting artist at the University of Sydney, and will end her stay with a three-week artist residency program at the Clay House in Perth.

"I'm looking forward to experiencing a new learning environment," Frame said. "I've never been to Australia, so I'm excited to see what trends in ceramics are popular or most common."

Frame has been working with clay since 1990 and once owned her own pottery business. Besides performing, she also creates sculptural busts.

"There's always a specific topic in my mind, and it typically revolves around the human body," Frame said. "Notions of beauty and how the body is portrayed in society serves as inspiration for my work, along with various other smaller themes."

Frame recently released Pre-human, Post-human, Inhuman, a six-act performance series that features the clay demonstration and themes related to the human body.

Before she ventures to Australia, she will participate in "Cosmographie," a collaborative multimedia event Thursday, Nov. 6, at UW-Whitewater, hosted by the College of Arts and Communications.

-- Written by Jonathan Fera


Jeff Angileri

Sara Kuhl