Artist Feature: Renee LoPresti
When I first met Renee LoPresti, she was showing her wares on the front porch of the studio at Eye of the Dog's Holiday Show last fall. The colorful, graphic nature of her pots caught my eye, and we got to chatting. A relatively new transplant to Texas, Renee was both humble and enthusiastic, happy to 'talk shop' about the intricacies of working with stencils and colored slips. In the months since then, her work has evolved and captured the spotlight, popping up in galleries from Louisiana to Colorado, and delighting attendants of this spring's Dirt Dauber Festival.
A BFA graduate of Alfred University, Renee first moved to the Lone Star State back in 2010 to take a glassblowing position at Wimberley Glassworks. A bit of coincidence and a twist of fate eventually landed her squarely at Eye of the Dog Art Center in San Marcos, where she has taken up as an artist-in-residence for the past year. No stranger to dedication, she can often be found hard at work in the studio in the early hours of the morning.
I recently had the opportunity to take a workshop taught by Renee, and obtained a glimpse of the playful-yet-laborious process she puts into every piece. Working with a combination of slips and underglazes atop Armadillo's Cinco Rojo stoneware, each pot is painstakingly layered with blocks of color, incised with tools, and tediously patterned with tiny dots squeezed from an applicator bottle. At the end comes the "big reveal", when the paper and vinyl stencils are carefully removed to unveil the bold, dynamic focal points of the piece. Renee lists architecture and vintage objects alongside Meredith Host and Kristen Kieffer on her well-rounded index of influences. Her passion for design pushes her to make work that is both communicative and accessible.
So far this year, Renee has had her work featured in eight different exhibitions, and she shows no signs of slowing down. With future plans to pursue both teaching and a potential residency program, for now she is focused on making. The next place to find her pots will be in Lubbock on June 11th and 12th for the Wine and Clay festival at the Llano Estacado Winery. This October, she will make her debut at the renowned Texas Clay Festival in Gruene. In the meantime, you can follow her work on Instagram at @staygoldceramics