Maya Vivas is a ceramic/performance artist. Their ceramic sculptures have been featured in an array of galleries throughout Portland, Los Angeles and New Zealand, including venues in association with The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. In addition to serving on the board of the Contemporary Art Council at the Portland Art Museum, Vivas is the Co-Owner of Ori Gallery. Whose mission is to redefine "the white cube" through amplifying the voices of Queer and Trans Artists of color, community organizing and mobilization through the arts.
I am interested in engaging and relating to clay as both an extension of my body as well as it’s own autonomous being. Clay possesses memory, body weight, and a flesh-like quality that I have yet to experience from any other medium: the feeling of another presence in the room.
The use of traditional hand building techniques is the root of my practice. Hand building requires dedicated time, meticulous attention to surface, and care. It is through time spent with the clay where I feel the most connected. Through push, pull, and mark making, I sculpt with shadow and light as an exploration of the senses; creating folds, complexity and narrative. My work captures the textures from mineral, flora, and the human body, re-translating these motifs into newly invented forms that are alive, sensual and dynamic.
Through these sculptural gestures, I explore concepts of race, identity, and gender as filtered through my own experience as a queer black femme. I am interested in using beauty and abstraction to investigate meditations originating from my own neurotic tendencies, mixed with ideas of absurdity, elegance, sensuality, the feminine, and body horror. Rooted in the anxiety that comes from feeling simultaneously detached from my being but also hyper-aware of every internal and external sensation, each work is pulsing, expanding, glimmering, rippling, and dancing beneath the viewer’s gaze. At what point do our identities become performative? Who are these performances for? And what does this reveal about us?
- Bachelor of Fine Arts : Ceramics - 2013
- Bachelor of Arts : Graphic Design - 2013
- Flagler College, St. Augustine Fl.
March 29th, 2019 - The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) 53nd Annual Conference: Cross Currents: Claytopia - Topical Discussion - Co-facilitators: Amanda Barr, Natalia Arbeleaz, Sara Jewell Olsen - “Talk Less, Listen More” - Minneapolis, Minnesota
August 20th, 2018 - Sitka Center for Art and Ecology - Mingle and Muse Summer Event - Lecture - “Set in Stone: The intersections of clay & personal narrative in our quest to be seen, heard & remembered” - Otis, Oregon
March 15, 2018 - The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) 52nd Annual Conference: Cross Currents: Clay and Culture - Panel Discussion - Co-panelist: Kathy King, Ron Geibel, Marval Rex & moderated by Dustin Yager - "New Queers Eve: LGBT Clay" - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sep 15, 2017 - Portland Institute for Contemporary Art - T:BA:17 - Workshop - "Asking for a Diaspora" - New Expressive Works - Portland, Oregon
March 30th, 2019 - The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) 53nd Annual Conference: Cross Currents: Claytopia - “WET: Performing UtopiaZ” - Minneapolis, Minnesota
September 15, 2018 - “Clay as a Lover” - C3Initiative - Portland, Oregon May 4, 2018 - “Hyun Gi” - S1 - Portland, Oregon
May 4-5, 2018 - “Cvllejerx Ropa Vieja” - S1 - Portland, Oregon
Jan 17, 2018 - “Strewn” - Open Signal - Portland, Oregon
Sep 15 - Oct 6, 2018 - Group Exhibition: “View From Here” - C3Initiative - Portland, Oregon
Aug 3 - 24, 2018 - Group Exhibition: “Focus, Flow, Ground” - Project Object - Portland, Oregon
May 4 - 20, 2018 - Group Exhibition: “I’m Glad I Came” - ANX Gallery - Portland, Oregon
Feb 2, 2018 - March 22, 2018 - Group Exhibition: "Elements of Reclamation" - Ori Gallery - Portland, Oregon
Oct 3, 2017 - Jan 6, 2018 - Solo Exhibition: "Radical Emergence: Dissected & Articulated" - Chehalem Cultural Center - Newberg, Oregon
Aug 6 - 27, 2017 - Group Exhibition: "LA Artcore 3rd Annual Art Competition & Exhibition" - Jurors: Jacki Apple, Tulsa Kinney & Peter Shire - LA Artcore - Los Angeles, California.
June 9 - July 2, 2017 - Group Exhibition: "Fabriqué" - ANX Gallery - Portland, Oregon
May 20 - July 24, 2017 - Group Exhibition: “4th Annual Living Mark Exhibition” - Verum Ultimum Gallery - Portland, Oregon
May 4 - 31, 2017 - Solo Exhibition: “Black: Dissected & Articulated” - UNA Gallery - Portland, Oregon
March 3 - 31, 2017 - Group Exhibition: The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) 51st Annual Conference : Future Flux - "Radius" - Rising Room Gallery - Portland, Oregon
Feb 2 - 28, 2017 - Group Exhibition: "RESIST" - UNA Gallery - Portland, Oregon
Sep 2 - Oct 2, 2016 - Group Exhibition: "Emerging Artists" - Columbia Center for the Arts - Hood River, Oregon
April 2013 - Group Exhibition: "Curated Unknowns 2": Art Center Sarasota - Sarasota, Florida
March 2013 - Group Exhibition: "Capture: International Video Art Exhibit" - St. Augustine, Florida
May 2018 - Ford Family Foundation Golden Spot Award
Aug 2017 - Honorable Mention - "LA Artcore 3rd Annual Art Competition & Exhibition" - LA Artcore - Los Angeles, California.
Sep 2016 - Best 3D Work - “Emerging Artists Exhibition -Columbia Center for the Arts” - Hood River, Oregon
2012 William R Kenan Jr. Art Scholarship
2011 Evelyn R. Waterhouse Memorial Art Scholarship
May 8 - 23 2018 - Artist in Residence: Caldera - Sisters, Oregon
Jan - April 2014 - Artist in Residence: Driving Creek Railway & Potteries - Coromandel, New Zealand
Affiliations & Memberships
Board Member: The Contemporary Art Council at the Portland Art Museum, Joined 2018
Member: The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Joined 2017