Graduate Student Alex Bailey Awarded $25,000 Commission

“It is important to me that people are able to engage with the work firsthand and experience it as a community.”–Alex Bailey

Photo Credit: LaVerne Jones

Alex Bailey, a graduate student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will complete her Master of Fine Arts in ceramics this May. Before completion of her degree, she was offered a two-month residency at the Caetani Cultural Centre in Vernon, British Columbia. Scaling up in size and significance, she was also recently commissioned by the University of Southern Indiana (USI) for $25,000 to create a large-scale installation which she will begin production of this summer.

Bailey tends to work in mediums like ceramics and textiles, focusing her work on trauma and the different ways in which trauma manifests. “I use porcelain because it is very tactile and reminds me of the skin and body. I use a variety of textiles because they provide the same kind of ideas,” she said. During her residency, Bailey plans to work on small scale sculptures that people can hold and experience together. “It is important to me that people are able to engage with the work firsthand and experience it as a community,” she said. In doing so, she hopes that people can begin to develop conversations around trauma.

Upon returning from her residency, Bailey will initiate her work on a $25,000 commission for the USI Foundation. Bailey, a 2014 graduate of USI, will create a commemorative outdoor sculpture to honor fifty years of the USIF’s service. “The sculpture will be made of clay and will be located outside of the The McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries near a body of water called Reflection Lake.” The installation will consist of 5 columns, ranging from 9-12 feet in height, each representing a decade of service of the USIF. “The premise of the structure is to enhance ideas of community and support and foster empathy and fellowship towards each other.”

Bailey will begin working on her clay columns in July, and they will be fully installed by early November with an unveiling ceremony to follow. To see more of her work, you can visit her website and to follow her in the steps of creation on both of these projects, you can follow her on instagram.

Cover Photo: Claire Krienitz

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