This work from my ‘Prizewinner’ series combines decorative or celebratory imagery with some unlikely heroes and situations. Generally, the “Prizewinners” deal with the human inability to comprehend or express our connections to the natural world, and plays upon our separation and alienation from any natural state. The “natural” elements I portray (a battered and unlovely deer, a tired and recalcitrant donkey, a plain black rock) are isolated from their natural landscapes and re-contextualized within man-made compositions and environments. These normally unappreciated proxies are festooned with oversized bows and prize ribbons, here rewarded for their endurance and persistence.
Born in Santa Clara, California, Monica Van den Dool is a ceramic sculptor now residing in beautiful Oakland, California. She received an MFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, in 1995 and a BA in English from Santa Clara University in 1990. Named a NCECA Emerging Artist in 2002, her work has been exhibited at various national venues, including the San Jose Museum of Art, the DeSaisset Museum at Santa Clara University, and the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center. Her work is included in the collections of the Archie Bray Foundation (Montana), the Di Rosa Preserve (California), and the Arizona State University Ceramic Research Center, and her artist residencies include the Archie Bray Foundation, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and the LH Project. She has taught ceramics at several Bay Area universities, including San Jose State, California College of the Arts, and the University of California, Berkeley.