Guest Lecture: Paul Andrew Wandless

2011 Visual Culture Lecture Series: Paul Andrew Wandless
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Visual Lecture Series
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Location: Mont 70 Montague Hall (MonH)

Paul Andrew Wandless is an artist, educator and author whose work is distinguished by its combination of clay and printmaking. Wandless will be in residence at UMD November 29-30, 2011 as the first guest of the Glenn C. Nelson Memorial Lecture Series. Glenn Nelson was the founder of the UMD ceramics program in the 1960s and the original source of the ceramics collection at the Tweed Museum of Art.

Wandless creates large ceramic tiles with narrative imagery as well as three-dimensional sculptural figures that reveal additional surfaces with applied images. The story lines that underlie his use of imagery are based on both personal experience and myth.

For extra credit, please post your reflection on this lecture to this entry!


“My accumulated observations and personalized philosophies manifest themselves as narratives, anecdotes, myths and characters… Some clay prints are one-of-a-kind pieces, whereas others belong to suites. All tell stories and share insights with the viewer. Working sculpturally, the figure serves as a point of departure and is used as canvas for images, symbols and text. Working this way allows me to apply a metaphorical face to personal concerns, beliefs, fears, ideologies and philosophies.” -Paul Andrew Wandless

A passionate advocate for the hybrid print-clay medium, Paul Andrew Wandless is the author of Image Transfer On Clay (Lark Books, 2006). He has traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada conducting workshops about clay-print techniques, which include screening, stenciling, mono-printing, cutting linoleum blocks, solar plating, and applying decals.

As an independent curator, Wandless gravitates toward artists who also combine print and ceramic processes and uses on-line presentations to increase their visibility. In 1999 and 2006 he co-founded the website, and the on-line magazine

A significant group of clay-print artists, including Wandless, are represented by the Charlie Cummings Gallery of Gainesville, Florida. UMD Art + Design Department Head and ceramics professor James Klueg also produces sculptural ceramics with narrative imagery. Klueg’s work has been exhibited with Wandless’ and other members of the clay-print group.
Paul Andrew Wandless: Clay + Print is featured at the Tweed Museum of Art, November 8, 2011- January 9, 2012


6 thoughts on “Guest Lecture: Paul Andrew Wandless

  1. Paul Andrew Wandless
    Creates works focused on print on ceramic pieces. Wandless is inspired by looking at other mediums and materials to create his own ideas. Family, relationships and experiences steer his work. When he makes pieces of work he tries to be spontaneous by stacking, re-arranging, and multiple colors and fires.
    My favorite aspect of his work is the use of many different materials. Besides using unique pens, pastels, and paints designed for ceramic firing. He used things such as hammer nails, oil paints, acrylic paints, and mixing clay types.
    The mixed media style can be seen throughout his works, but the most obvious works are the heads. They are usually 2-3 ft tall and made primarily of clay. He uses embossing techniques on the surface of the face that he describes as his own language of hieroglyphics. They are painted with various mediums and are embellished with mixed media materials such as hammer nails.


  2. I think Wandless’ work is very interesting! It was cool to hear how his professors in school became such important mentors and eventually, close friends. I found it interesting on how he also decided to take all the creative writing classes so he could write reviews of other art, but he chooses to review other forms of art because he can’t figure out how to make those. I don’t recall the name of the piece that I really liked, but it was one of his big head series. It was the one with the narrative of the boxing gloves and sewing needles, telling the narrative of how sometimes you encounter things in your life, but you come out for the better. I could also see how his race has been important in his life and it is important that he tries to incorporate it in his work. I could see that influence in a lot of his pieces.


  3. Paul’s life seems pretty laid back as lives go. I can tell that his wife and son are a big deal to him, because for one they were on the first picture for his slide show, and he also incorporates them into his work. His artwork is not vernacular and has a lot of his life, culture, and his thoughts and feelings in them.
    I thought his thought process for his ideas were unique, even though when initially looking at his pieces, I couldn’t figure them out right away. But once he explained what the different symbols, colors, and shapes meant, I saw him reflected in the pieces.
    Paul definitely was up to experimenting with different mediums and printing, which I thought was cool. Even though I don’t like that type of art, I can tell he really likes what he does.


  4. Sarah Kocian
    Paul Wandless Response
    I thought that Paul’s work was very visually interesting and his use of making work directly derived from his personal story. His view on the way that he makes work was inspired by Jim Levy and he wanted to “make work about himself/self discovery through the lense of his life.” All of his work creates a narrative and tells a story about some sort of personal experience. I thought that his explanation of why he used personal stories was good, he used personal stories in the work because it was then easier for him to talk about his work and explain his choices every step of the way. The work that was most interesting to me was the clay heads that were embossed with his own “heiroglyphics” which were small stories in themselves. It made the image a whole new level of interest, and wanting you to get closer and “read” the images.


  5. I found the guest lecture to be pretty interesting. I was really impressed by the evolution of his art, personally. He talked a lot about how the “craft” aspect of the art is being more and more neglected, seemingly, and I happen to agree with him. What I found most interesting and what really hit it home for me was that at the end of the lecture he started talking about how he was using paper art to increase the quality of his molds for his clay sculptures.

    He also seemed to really have a deep reason for doing most of his art, which I found really interesting. Personally, I’ve mostly liked art because I like the visual aspect and not always payed attention to what an artist is trying to stay. Because I’m a marketing major and a very rationally-minded person, I’ve enjoyed practical application of art and aesthetics in general as opposed to the message behind an abstract painting.

    He showed a ton of art, which was pretty cool, though!


  6. I found Paul’s lecture to be very inspiring. When you listen to what drives him to make what he does, he speaks very highly about his friends and family, and how other various relationships influence his work and the kind of work that he makes. It’s not only a sculpture for Paul, but more like a personal narrative story. A lot of his pieces have deep meaning, and when you get closer to them you can see or read something that you may not recognize. This makes you think more about the intent behind the sculpture, or the story. He seemed very down to earth and comfortable talking about his pieces because they were mainly about his journeys through life. Overall, very cool guy with good meaning behind his work.


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