By MANDY MARKSTEINER
Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery is welcoming a new artist, Becky Steritz.
Meet Steritz and see her work at the “Living Things” exhibit opening reception 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 19.
When Steritz was getting her Master’s Degree in Ceramics in the 80s, one of her professors asked her whether her artwork was “personal.”
At the time she was learning a lot of useful techniques, and working with wonderful materials, but she knew that her work wasn’t personal.
Over the years her work has evolved to be deeply personal, she said.
“My pieces are a reminder of who I want to be,” Steritz said.
Her work is infused with personal reflection. Her most recent pieces illustrate values that she holds dear to her heart, like grace, joy and compassion.
Steritz is spiritually inspired by Buddhist texts, and loves to incorporate some of the prayers and ideas into her work.
“The Wishing Tree,” has inspirational words hung from the branches of a small tree. “The Wishing Tree” began with a bout of wishful thinking.
“I was looking out my window on a dreary winter day and wanted to see some color, so I painted some branches and shaped them into this piece,” Steritz said.
Finding meaningful ways to break the rules is another way that her work has become more personal. For example, most ceramic artists use glaze. She discovered that she would rather paint the clay.
Finally, learning to let go made it possible to make her work more personal. She learned that lesson when she brought in a painting on a smooth slab of ceramic to a class for critique.
After she hung it on a moveable wall and sat down, another student slammed the door and her piece fell to the floor and shattered. The other students were mortified, but she could accept it, because anything can happen when you’re working with ceramics.
Meet Steritz and other local artists at the opening reception for the “Living Things” exhibit. Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery is at 1475 Central Ave, Suite 125 in downtown Los Alamos.