MAD will be open on Mon, May 6.

Artists Talk: What the Funk?!


Tue, Mar 21 / 6:15 pm

To mark the opening of Funk You Too! Humor and Irreverence in Ceramic Sculpture, the exhibition’s curator, Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, will be in conversation with exhibiting artists Alake Shilling, Natalia Arbelaez, Sharif Farrag, and Salvador Jiménez-Flores. Together, they will discuss irreverent approaches to serious subject matter, the important role of the cute, cheeky, and subversive in contemporary ceramics, and clay's rise to sculptural stardom.

Doors open at 6 pm. The talk will begin promptly at 6:15 pm. 


Natalia Arbelaez is a Colombian American artist, born and raised in Miami, Florida to immigrant parents. She received her B.F.A. from Florida International University and her M.F.A. from The Ohio State University. Her work has been exhibited internationally, in museums, galleries, and included in various collections, such as the Everson Museum, MAD Museum, Fuller craft Museum, AMOCA Museum, and ICA Miami. She was a 2019 resident artist at the Ceramics Program at Harvard University where she researched pre-Columbian art and histories. Natalia was a 2020 artist in residence at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City where she researched the work of historical and influential women ceramicists of color and continued this research as a 2021 Visiting Artist at AMOCA in Pomona, CA. 

Sharif Farrag merges classic ceramics styles with his own improvisational building techniques, representing his hybrid identities through clay. He received a BFA from the University of Southern California in 2018 and is currently an MFA candidate in ceramics at University of California Los Angeles. In 2019 he was awarded a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and he was a 2021 United States Artists grant recipient. His sculptures are included in the collections of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York and the Rubell Museum, Miami. He lives and works in Los Angeles. 

Salvador Jiménez-Flores is an interdisciplinary artist born in México. Jiménez-Flores has presented his work at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Museum of Art and Design amongst others. He served as Artist-In-Residence for the city of Boston, Harvard Ceramics Program, Office of the Arts at Harvard University, and Kohler Arts Industry. Jiménez-Flores is a recipient of Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grants and The New England Foundation for the Arts, Threewalls’ RaD Lab+Outside the Walls Fellowship Grant, and he is a 2021 United States Artist Fellow. He is an Assistant Professor in ceramics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Alake Shilling has created a visual lexicon of soothing and comforting cute animals and plush creatures that embody the human condition. Shilling attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, followed by Los Angeles City College. She has had solo presentations at 356 Mission, CA, and Maitland Foley, CA. She has been included in group shows at the Hammer Museum, CA, The Rubell Museum, FL, Jeffrey Deitch, NY, Karma International, CA, and Steve Turner, CA.

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy is a Los Angeles-based independent curator and writer of contemporary art and craft with a particular interest in ceramics. She has curated and juried exhibitions across the country, including at the Crocker Art Museum, CA, Mindy Solomon Gallery, FL, Center for Craft, NC, the Honolulu Downtown Art Center, HI, Collar Works, NY, Jane Hartsook Gallery, NY, and at the Museum of Arts and Design, where she most recently served as Assistant Curator and oversaw the Museum’s Burke Prize. Vizcarrondo-Laboy has written for multiple exhibition catalogues, including MAD's Jewelry Stories and Western Carolina University's Contemporary Clay 2021, and publications such as Cultured, American Craftmagazine, and the Journal of Modern Craft. She is the creator and co-host of the Clay in Color podcast. Vizcarrondo-Laboy holds a BA in Art History from the University of Florida and an MA from the Bard Graduate Center, New York, in Decorative Arts, Design History, & Material Culture. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico.


Image: Salvador Jiménez-Flores, The Fire Next Time (from the “Monuments and Memorials” series), 2022

Please review our health and safety protocols before you arrive. MAD strongly recommends all visitors six months and older are vaccinated against Covid-19 and visitors ages two and up wear face coverings, even if vaccinated. Thank you for your cooperation.

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