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Virginia Scotchie

2019 State Fellow

Virginia Scotchie

Recipient Information


Columbia, South Carolina



Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowship

Grant Amount


Artist Biography

Columbia, S.C., ceramic artist Virginia Scotchie (b. 1955, Portsmouth, Va.) has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. Among her solo- and two-person exhibitions are those at C.R.E.T.A. Ceramic Center in Rome, Italy; the Vallauris Institute of Art in France; the Tulsa (Okla.) Center for the Arts; the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, N.Y.; the Trinity Building in Charlotte, N.C.; and the Gertrude Herbert Art Institute in Augusta, Ga. She has had residencies in Italy, France, Wales, England, China, Taiwan, The Netherlands and Australia, where she received the Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award from the Shepparton Museum in Victoria. Scotchie received a BA in sociology and religion from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and an MFA from Alfred University in the state of New York. 

Artist Statement

Recent work has dealt with the relationships of whole forms to that of their compo- nents. The act of taking apart and putting back together has contributed to the accumulation of a personal library of fragmented images. My current interest is in the exploration of new forms derived from rearranging fragments of disparate dissected objects.

With this new body of work, I have continued my on-going visual investigation of man-made and natural objects. Usually these consist of small things; ordinary in many ways, but possessing a visual quirkiness that pulls me to them. In some cases, I am not familiar with the particular purpose, function or origin of the original object. Often this lack of information allows me to see the object in a clearer light.

In some of the pieces, I have "borrowed" fragments of personal objects that have been passed on to me from a family member. Usually these are things that have only sentimental value: An old pipe of my fathers, a funnel from my mother’s kitchen an old bulb from the family Christmas tree. A recent object that falls into this category is a handmade wooden tool that was fashioned by my Italian grandfather to plant his garden. Slender and pointed with a stump of a side handle this small tool fit the hand of my grandfather and served him well. For me it not only holds visual intrigue but also a connection to my memory of him and the things he loved.

The worn, crusty surfaces on many of the pieces are created to give a sense of how time acts to make and unmake a form. This process can be seen in both natural and manmade objects.

While drawn from specific sources of interpretation, the work in this exhibit is primarily abstract and formal. Form, surface and color take precedent over any perceived emotional content. While the work may trigger a visual memory of familiar objects, the viewer is encouraged to have a range of interpretations.

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