Connecting art to tradition is how you move forward, a conversation with Mary Anne Davis

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Maryanne2 I met Mary Anne Davis through her blog, way back in 2005, when we were both just starting to find ways to make our blogs represent our art on a global scale. We've had a few opportunities to meet up in person as well, including the panel discussion, Millionaire or Artist? How About both? which we shared with Amrita Chandra and Hugh MacLeod this year at SXSW.

One thing I've always liked about Mary Anne's work is the way she ties her functional art to broader concepts— Mary Anne has a relentless curiosity which she applies to art history, social movements, ecology, globalism and localism, and experimentation with new ideas about art and commerce. She finds simple ways to bring complex ideas into the meaning of her art and her practice of art.

Making fine porcelain dinnerware is the bones of my studio practice. Making dinner expresses my inner thinking. Talking over food is where art occurs. Co-creating a beautiful world where people get along, cook, eat and talk is my idea of great art. Shopping at the farmers market and cooking for friends and family thrills me no end. Serving up delicious food on my own dishes moves a meal into an integrated expression of living at the highest level. That is the ultimate. — Mary Anne Davis

In this episode, we'll discuss her art formal education experience, her ideas about art history and practice as an extended conversation held between all working artists, and her studio and business model.


Mary Anne Davis has a BFA in ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and an MFA in sculpture from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She has exhibited her ceramic work at the Smithsonian Craft Show, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, CraftBoston and at the American Craft Council show in Baltimore. Exhibitions and projects include events at Gallery Idee in Tokyo, The Asia Society in New York, The London Biennial. In 2003, Davis was invited to create 200 bowls to be part of a conference called Food and Power at the Copia Institute in Napa California. An original ritual performance called the Mala Meal Project, was presented at Art Omi in 2002. The Mala Meal Project opened the Earth and Religion Conference at Bard College, Rhinebeck, New York in 2005 and served as a vehicle for multi-faith bonding at the conference Digital Earth at UC Berkeley in 2007.

The production work of davistudio has been sold at the Whitney Museum Store, The Guggenheim Museum Store, and the Museum of Art and Design Store in NYC. Work is currently in New York at John Derian and Avventura. Clients nationwide have included Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Gump's in San Francisco, The Gutherie Theatre in Minneapolis and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago among others.

The Food network uses davistudio fine porcelain regularly on Everyday Itatlian with Giadda deLaurentis and 30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray. Davistudio exhibited at the New York International Gift Fair for 5 years (1998 - 2003). Her work has been published in numerous magazines including Elle Decor, the New York Times, O Magazine, Real Simple, Modern Bride, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, In Style, etc.

Learn More about Mary Anne Davis

  1. Visit Davistudio fine procelain
  2. Visit Mary Anne Davis' blog
  3. Follow Mary Anne on Twitter or Facebook
  4. Purchase Mary Anne Davis Art
  5. Davistudio philosophy

Further Resources:

  1. Listen to SxSWi panel, Millionaire or Artist? How About both?

Show Highlights: Excerpts From the Conversation

Once the transcription is completed I'll include some of the best portions here.

« Master art business basics so you can focus on the fun of art, a conversation with Howard Mann | Main | Start your band now, learn to play later, a punk rock conversation with Johnny B. Truant »

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Statement + Bio | Curriculum Vitae | Bibliography

I'm best known as an artist and designer. Relaxing makes me tense, so I tend to put in a lot of hours on diverse projects.

On the way to a successful art career I've been a poet and writer, a tech geek, a print and web designer, illustrator, industrial designer, musician, teacher, actor, set designer and even a paid guru once.

It's all the same thing in the end— I wake up most days thinking about how I want to change, fix or improve some aspect of the world. And after a couple cups of coffee I get started on it.

My specialty is impossibility remediation: if it can't be done, I'm on it.

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