Ayumi Horie is a studio potter in Portland, Maine, who has worked on various socially engaged projects. In 2015, she was recently awarded a Distinguished Fellow grant from United States Artists. Her latest project is The Democratic Cup, a collaboration with Nick Moen, started in the spring of 2016. They have assembled illustrators and potters to create cups that speak to progressive values and catalyze civil conversations about politics. She also runs Pots In Action, a curatorial project on Instagram that features international ceramics and guest hosts from all over the world. In 2015, she completed a collaborative place-making project, Portland Brick, that repaired city sidewalks with bricks made from local clay stamped with past, contemporary, and future memories of Portland, Maine. In 2011, she was the first recipient of Ceramics Monthly’s Ceramic Artist of the Year award. Ayumi travels nationally and internationally to give lectures and workshops on social media and ceramics and has organized multiple online fundraisers including Obamaware in 2008 and Handmade For Japan in 2011, which has raised over $100,000 for disaster relief. Ayumi is currently on the board of the American Craft Council and her work is in various collections throughout the United States, including the Museum of Art and Design in New York City.
My work attempts to deepen connections between people and their communities, serving both a physical purpose and as a vehicle to open the softer side of a person. I work to explore individual vulnerability by drawing images that evoke an emotional response and also explore how public art invites a community to deepen their link to one another and to their sense of home.
My work has multiple directions- functional ceramics, video, social media and social practice. My primary work for the last twenty years has been that of a studio potter. I use imperfections in form as evidence of human vulnerability to link the user to the maker. I am interested in the anti-masterpiece and the anti-monumental, because I think one kind of meaningful connection to an object, and by extension another person, takes place through daily interaction in intimate domestic spaces.
My projects reflect my interest in relational aesthetics. Much of my work is given as gifts, and the social exchange aspect of my practice overlaps with my explorations in community projects that have participatory elements, storytelling components, and even fundraising goals supporting social change.