Holly Hanessian is an educator, scholar and studio artist creating artworks that inhabit the overlapping worlds of craft, design and contemporary art through creating socially engaged and installation artwork. She has taught, lectured and exhibited projects internationally and in the United States investigating contemporary ideas on social policies including the environment, social injustices as well as the importance of our haptic senses.
Professionally, Hanessian is a Professor of Art at Florida State University where she is the area head of ceramics and Past President of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), a member of the international academy of ceramics a member of Socially Engaged Craft Collective, ArtAxis, and AccessCeramics.
My art projects comment on life in the 21st century through the lens of craft, design and contemporary art. I make artwork that embraces interpersonal relationships by creating socially engaged projects, an art form which involves people and communities collaboratively or through intentional social interactions.
I look at interrelated systems that connect to our humanity. The artworks range from processing our senses, the land / environment and our relationships to each other. These projects vary from our need for touch, how food insecurity is propagated by inequity in farming systems, our need for fresh water after hurricanes and how the pharmaceutical industry systemically has whetted our appetite for using prescription pills for any physical discomfort.
My material vehicle of choice continues to be centered around using ceramics and also explores the sensual qualities beyond sight, including smell, touch and the sensations of the skin.