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Bernadette Esperanza Torres
Kansas City, Missouri
As a storyteller I communicate with my hands translating stories into clay. My sculptures are autobiographical narratives with animal imagery, such as Java Sparrow Finch birds as symbols of humanity, facets of myself or of others. My birds are both cheerleaders and naysayers to me. My sculptures serve as spirit guides that manifest intentions, relieve anxieties, and whisper secrets.
As a daughter of a florist, flowers are intrinsic to my sculptures they create a dialogue internal to my work. Flowers are always present and dying at monumental life changing ceremonies. Currently I am working on a Blooming series of soft slab hand built female nude figures with ceramic flowers and another series called Fragrance of Memory.
My technique of throwing on the wheel and hand building allows a personal connection with my clay and forms. This intimacy is imperative for me to process my emotions and stories into clay and create meaning with images, which empowers me in all aspects of my life. The manipulating of my clay not only creates sculptures, but also builds me as an artist, an educator, and a woman.
About the Artist:
Bernadette Esperanza Torres has earned a BFA from KCAI and a MFA from the University of Miami. She is a Charlotte Street Foundation/KCAC 2008 Creative Capital 2009 Inspirational Grant recipient. Her ceramic sculptures have been published in the September 2015 issue of Ceramics Monthly, page #41 article/ From Idea to Finished Form contest-winners-2015, 500 Figures in Clay Vol.#2, 2014, and Ceramic Sculpture, Making Faces, 2014 She is exhibiting at #BlueGallery in Kansas City, Missouri and at The JRB Art Gallery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Bernadette has exhibited at The University of Houston Clear Lake Gallery in Houston TX. Bernadette was reviewed by Glasstire on line on August 13th as top 5 exhibits to see in Houston Texas the week of August 13th 2015.
Bernadette is one of twelve ceramic artists to collect in KC Studio magazine Gallery of KC Ceramics, feature in March/April 2016 issue. Bernadette has taught ceramics, drawing and sculpture at MCC- Penn Valley Metropolitan Community College- Kansas City since 2003. Bernadette’s ceramics are in many private collections in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma City and New York and in the permanent (NMOCA) collection at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park Kansas.