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Frank Boyden

American, b. 1942

Birth of a Bird

Earthenware and porcelain
19.25 x 10.625 x 10.625 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Frank Boyden’s studio overlooks the ocean from a nature preserve in Oregon, and his work displays the influence of those surroundings. Like many ceramic artists who were first painters, Boyden’s wares soon became canvases for his drawings. At first the drawings were just marks in the clay, but very quickly he became fascinated with the possibilities that carving combined with glazing and firing could bring to the finished piece—which is the case with Birth of a Bird. The artist enlivens his pots with drawings of animals he observes, prompting viewers to follow the animals’ movements around the vessel.

Born, raised, and still living and working in Oregon, Frank Boyden found his life and work intimately bound with the landscape and wildlife of his coastal world. He received his BA at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He then studied painting and art history at Yale, earning both a BFA and an MFA in 1968. Following graduation, he became head of the art history department at the University of New Mexico, where he shared studio space with ceramic artists. Encouraged by them, Boyden tried his hand at clay and found he enjoyed it. He is also a noted bronze sculptor and printmaker, working in aquatints, dry points, etchings, and lithographs.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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