KANSAS CITY, MO.-
Spanning a decade, this collection was brought together to showcase the ceramic sculpture of Misty Gamble. The Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
hosts this three-month retrospective. The exhibition highlights several bodies of work and their development. Sculptures from Sweet Terror, Explorations in Multiplicity, Abject Reverie, and Studio Nong over the years are presented in this exhibition of specifically selected works. Recent works, Blue Sunday and Forevermore also are included in the exhibition.
Issues surrounding femininity and set standards of normalcy, propriety and the abject inform my work. Through my ceramic sculptures, I confront and challenge conventional standards of womanhood, beauty, and power. My work is meant to upset the status quo so that one may re-examine their own notions of womanhood. I am interested in examining how women conform themselves to fit standards. I explore the themes of excess, materialism, and waste for a voracious consumer society. As a social satirist making feminist commentaries, I confront the most material aspects of cultural traditions forcing the viewer to rethink concepts of body, adornment, social status, personal worth, and the roles of both sexes. The sculpted figure, multiple figural fragments, installation and theatricality provide a perfect vehicle for communicating ideas about beauty, excess and the abject. The work exposes stereotypes while simultaneously, confronting the viewer with seeing oneself in familiar meaningless pursuits. The work is influenced by my continued interest in figuration, as well as fashion, textile pattern, contemporary fetish objects, and hair. Combining formal elements of art and design to depict familiar objects of adornment such as wigs, handbags, accessories and shoes contributes to the figures lifelike, yet grotesque feminine image. A residue or absence of the body produces an opportunity to explore new motifs, multiplicity and fragmentation of the body.
Misty Gamble is the recipient of a number of honors including awards from the Martin Wong Foundation, National Conference for the Education of Ceramic Arts and the Ellice T. Johnston Foundation. In 2008, she received an artist grant from the Ruth Chenven Foundation and was honored as a Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist. Misty has been awarded long-term residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, where she earned the Howard Kottler Fellowship, and the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Additionally, Gamble was invited to lead an Artist-Invite Artist Residency at Watershed and was an invited artist at Project Art in Cummington, Massachusetts. In 2014, Gamble was an invited artist at C.R.E.T.A Rome and has continued to study or teach in Italy since 2013. Gamble is the co-founder of Studio Nong: International Sculpture collective and residency program. Studio Nong travels to China (2013, 2016), the US and Europe to accomplish residencies that focus on clay figurative sculpture. Gamble is an Assistant Professor in the School of Foundation at the Kansas City Art Institute. Before receiving her MFA from San Francisco State University in the visual arts, she worked as an agent, publicist, and event producer in music and the performing arts. She has been widely published and her work is exhibited both nationally and internationally.