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Biography for Ani Kasten, Ceramic Artist, b. 1976, Nantucket, Massachusetts from anikasten.com
Ani Kasten was born on November 28th, 1976 on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, U.S.A.. Her father, Samuel Kasten, b. 1949 in Des Moines, Iowa, is a textile artist and has produced fine, hand-woven fabrics, rugs, and carpets for his company, Sam Kasten Handweaver, since 1984. Her mother, Jane Kasten, b. 1948 in Lake Mills, Iowa, is an avid gardener, homemaker, and a chef. The Kasten family left Nantucket in 1984 and settled in Housatonic, Massachusetts, where Ani and her sister Emily spent their remaining childhood, attending a Waldorf Elementary school. Ani Kasten later graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, in Interlochen Michigan, and then completed her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of Michigan.
After college, in the spring of 2000, Kasten began an apprenticeship with British ceramist Rupert Spira, where she gained a solid foundation in the production of functional studio ceramics under Spira’s strict instruction. After a year in England, Kasten traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal in 2001, where she spent four years as head of a project for developing a stoneware ceramic production facility for artisan potters in the village of Thimi, Nepal. Her training in England and her experiences in Nepal were a formative influence on Kasten’s ceramic sculpture and vessels, which draw on minimalist British studio ceramics, as well as weathered, hand-made antiquities made by indigenous peoples throughout Asia. Kasten greatly benefitted from sharing techniques and materials with artisans from far-flung cultures, and this has given rise to a unique artistic vocabulary that informs her own ceramic work.
After leaving Nepal in 2005, Kasten established her first studio in the United States, in Oakland, California, where the fresh natural beauty of the California coastline in conjunction with extreme urban deterioration began to influence the aesthetic of her ceramics. At this time, Kasten’s focus shifted from functional studio ceramics to sculptural ceramics. Kasten left Oakland in 2007 and became an Artist in Residence at Red Dirt Studio in Mt. Rainier, MD, where she worked closely with ceramic artist Margaret Boozer. Here, she further developed her distinct combination of sculpture and vessel work, showing her ceramics nationally at galleries and fine craft shows. In 2009, Kasten set up her own studio nearby Red Dirt Studio, in the Gateway Arts District of Prince Georges County, Maryland. In 2012, she purchased a historic storefront building in the center Mount Rainier, MD, where she is one of the pioneer artists, along with Margaret Boozer, J.J. McCracken and others, helping to shape the thriving arts community of the Gateway Arts District, located on the Prince Georges County, Maryland border of Washington, D.C.. Kasten spent a year renovating the old shoe repair shop to house her studio as well as workspace for other artists, and set up her home in the apartment over the studio. She continues to exhibit her work nationally and internationally in galleries and fine craft exhibitions. She also creates custom work for designers and collectors on commission from her studio.
2014 Smithsonian Craft Show, Exhibitor’s Choice Gold Award, Washington, D.C.
2010 Montgomery County Individual Artist Grant, Merit Award, Takoma Park, MD
Smithsonian Craft Show, Exhibitor's Choice Silver Award, Washington, D.C.
2009 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Best in Contemporary Clay, Philadelphia, PA
Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington D.C., Exhibitor’s Choice Award, Washington, D.C.
American Craft Council Show, Award of Excellence in Ceramics, Baltimore, MD
Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant, Merit Award
2004–2006 Ramsay Merriam Grant, Ramsay Merriam Fund, Washington, D.C.
2002–2006 Ramsay Merriam Grant for the Preservation of Indigenous Craft Traditions,
Ramsay Merriam Fund, Washington, D.C.
2014 Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
2013 Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
2010 Sana’a Collection, United States Embassy, Sana’a, Yemen
2015 Visual Arts Center— TCC, ‘From the Ground Up; Ceramics Invitational’, Portsmouth, VA
VACI, ‘From Clay to Table’, Chautauqua, NY
St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, St. Croix, MN
Lacoste Gallery, 'Basic Black; Group Exhibition for NCECA', Concord Art Association, Concord MA
AKAR, ‘Yunomi Invitational’, Iowa City, IA
2014 Heath LA, 'In the Rough', Solo Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA
MT Burton Gallery, ‘Nurtured Nature’, Long Beach Island, NJ (August)
Blue Spiral Gallery, ‘Incisive (re)Mark, Abstract Thought’, Asheville, NC (June)
St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour; St. Croix, MN (May) Smithsonian Craft Show; Washington, D.C.
Lacoste Gallery, ‘Compositions: Form and Surface’; Solo Exhibition; Concord MA
AKAR Yunomi Invitational, Iowa City, IA
2013 Northern Clay Center, American Pottery Festival, Minneapolis, MN
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show; Philadelphia PA
AKAR, Yunomi Invitational, Iowa City, IA
St. Croix Pottery Tour, St. Croix, MN
Snyderman Works Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA
American Craft Council Craft Show, Baltimore, MD
2012 Washington Craft Show, Washington, D.C. (November)
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA
Hickock Cole Art Night, Hickock Cole Architecture, Washington, D.C.
Lacoste Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Concord, MA
Tomio Koyama Gallery, ‘Function/Dysfunction', Kyoto, JAPAN
The Clay Studio, Solo Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA
Blue Spiral Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Asheville, NC
2011 Heath Ceramics L.A., 'Rough Hewn', Solo Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA
Snyderman-Works Gallery, 'Three Shades of White', Philadelphia, PA
￼ Crimson Laurel Gallery, 'Containment', Bakersville, NC
Lacoste Gallery, SOFA New York, New York, NY,
Lacoste Gallery, 'The Elusive Tea Bowl', Concord, MA
Lacoste Gallery, New Work, Concord, MA
Blue Spiral Gallery, 'Emerging Clay', Asheville, NC
2010 Philadelphia Museum Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA
Lacoste Gallery, SOFA Chicago, Chicago, IL
Lacoste Gallery, Art in the Berkshires, Stockbridge, MA
Gallery 555, Group Exhibition, Washington D.C.
The Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C.
Lacoste Gallery Solo at SOFA, New York, NY
Lacoste Gallery, 'Fault Lines', Solo Exhibition, Concord, MA
Wood Turning Center, 'Magical Realism/ Material Illusions', Phildelphia, PA
2009 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA
Lacoste Gallery, SOFA Chicago, Chicago, IL
Baltimore Clayworks, 'More than Skin Deep', Group Exhibition, Baltimore, MD
Kobo At Higo, Exhibition with Lilith Rockett, Seattle, WA
Gallery Up, Tea Bowl Invitational, Rock Hill, SC
The Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C.
Lacoste Gallery, SOFA New York, New York, NY
The Katzen Center at American University Museum, Tabletop Sculpture, Washington, D.C.
American Craft Council Baltimore Show, Baltimore, MD
2008 Vessel, 'Imprint', Berkeley, CA
Diane Birdsall Gallery, 'Winter Landscape', Solo Exhibition, Old Lyme, CT
Project 4 Gallery and Hickok Cole Architects, Art Night, Washington, D.C.
Lacoste Gallery, 'Vessel and Sculpture', Concord, MA
Kobo At Higo, Solo Exhibition, Seattle, WA
'Coincide: Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture @Artomatic', Washington, D.C.
Project 4 Gallery at the Herman Miller National Design Center,
Art + Space, Washington, D.C.,
Project 4 Gallery, 2, Washington, D.C.
Red Dirt Studio at NCECA, 'The Myth of Permanence', Pittsburgh, PA
2002 Ceramics Apprenticeship with Santa Kumar Prajapati, Master Potter, Thimi Ceramics, Thimi, NEPAL
2001 Ceramics Apprenticeship with Rupert Spira, Master Potter, Church Farm Pottery, Shropshire, ENGLAND
2000 B.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Public and Private Collections
2014 Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin
2013 Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
Sanaa Collection, United State Embassy, Yemen Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
David and Clemmer Montague, Washington, D.C.
Albert and Tina LeCoff, Philadelphia, PA
Steven Keeble and Karen Depew; Asheville, NC
Leonard and Susan Nimoy, Los Angeles, CA
2012 Ceramics Monthly, ‘Review of “Ani Kasten: Offerings” at the Clay Studio’, September 2012
Ceramics Monthly, ‘Thimi, Nepal: Village Traditions in Flux’, May 2012
2011 Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity, Edited by Deepak Shimkhada, Marg Publications, 2011
Ceramics: Art and Perception, ‘Review of Ani Kasten: Fault Lines at Lacoste Gallery’, Fall 2011
Home and Design, ‘Urban Chic’, Spring 2011
2009 Home Fort Lauderdale, ‘The Maximalist and the Minimalist”, September 2009
Home and Design, ‘An Artist’s Enclave’, May/June 2009
Metropolitan Home, ‘A Fresh Start’, January 2009
2008 Ceramic Review, ‘New Territories’, May/June 2008
2007 House and Garden, U.K., ‘People– Lifestyle’, October 2007
Architectural Digest, ‘Designer’s Own Homes: Suzanne Lovell’, September 2007
Shelter, ‘Connoisseur’s Delight’, May–June 2007
2005 Architectural Digest, ‘The Craftsman’s Eye’, November 2005
Martha Stewart Living, ‘A Well-Crafted Gathering’, September 2005