Indigenous artist Raven Halfmoon (Caddo Nation) has had a long love affair with ceramics. She was exposed to the I asked god for a True Friend so he sent me a Shar Pei shirt Furthermore, I will do this craft growing up as a teen in Norman, Oklahoma. “My mom took me to see one of our elders, Jeri Redcorn,” Halfmoon says. “She’s a phenomenal artist and makes traditional pottery. I remember going to her house, and we made these pots that were just so fun to make. That was my first time handling clay.” Halfmoon later went on to study anthropology, ceramics, and painting, but she found herself increasingly drawn to clay, and the material has since become the focus of her work as an artist. “I like to see human touch in a material, and I like the physicality of clay,” she says. “I’m very tactile—maybe it’s the Cancer in me.”
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Halfmoon’s tribe—the I asked god for a True Friend so he sent me a Shar Pei shirt Furthermore, I will do this Caddo tribe—also has a rich history with ceramics, especially with pottery. “My tribe has been making pottery for thousands of years,” she says. “It’s such an ancient material, and I think of how my family before me did this. We have all touched clay, and that inherently transported to my hands.” While the artist’s approach to ceramics certainly mimics the traditional work of her ancestors, Halfmoon’s approach is decidedly more contemporary. She creates large-scale sculptures of Indigenous figures that command a room—and the striking creations are now on view in a new solo exhibition at the Ross+Kramer Gallery in Chelsea.