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Morean Center for Clay kicks off artist-in-residency exhibition series in St. Petersburg

It begins with South Korean artist Yeonsoo Kim, who uses Onggi, or traditional Korean coil and paddle techniques. The clay center has been open since May 23.

Housed in a historic train station in the Warehouse Arts District, the Morean Center for Clay is home to artist studios, classes, kilns and an artist-in-residency program that includes six ceramic artists from around the country and the world.

The artists-in-residence spend a year creating together in a shared studio space. They take and give workshops and build a body of work.

The 2019-20 season is coming to an end. Each artist will receive a one-week solo exit exhibition over June and July to showcase what they’ve been working on during the residency.

Artist Yeonsoo Kim is the first artist to showcase his work, now through June 9.

Kim, who hails from Haenam, South Korea, will show his intricately detailed pieces. He uses a traditional Korean coil and paddle technique called Onggi.

An intricately designed piece by Yeonsoo Kim, from his exit exhibition at the Morean Center for Clay. It will remain on display through June 9, 2020. [ BETH REYNOLDS | Courtesy of Beth Reynolds ]

In a news release from the Morean Center for Clay, Kim explained that some of his work is wheel-thrown and glaze-fired in a gas kiln with a reduction atmosphere. He said this allows for “the asymmetry of human touch conferred in the making and chance in the coloration, both of which help to distinguish handmade from mass-produced pots.”

He achieved his Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics and glass from Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia in Athens.

Kim has held apprenticeships with Onggi masters in Jeolla-do and Gyeongsang-do in Korea. He’s participated in several artist residency programs, including the Baltimore Clayworks, the Korea Ceramic Foundation, Montana State University, and the Innon art center. Kim has exhibited nationally and internationally and recently had a solo exhibition at the Glass Gallery.

“Residency programs are crucial to being able to actualize my goals as a professional artist," Kim said in the release. "For this reason, I believed the residency at Morean Center for Clay would bring the greatest amount of influence and connection to my practice.”

Yeonsoo Kim's exit exhibition at the Morean Center for Clay. [ BETH REYNOLDS | Courtesy of Beth Reynolds ]

He went on to say that the program gave him the opportunity to explore the personal themes he was developing before he came to study in the United States.

“This program, with its rich and diverse creative environment, expanded my perspective and material view as a maker. I believe true learning is not just the exchange of skill and technique, but also the development of understanding and friendship between makers and artists.”


Yeonsoo Kim’s exhibition is up through June 9. Guests who visit are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday. 420 22nd St. S. (727) 821-7162.