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Artist’s Biography For:
Robin Reichelt, aka R-tista Loca

The true story of an Art History major gone bad…

R-tista Loca

In the beginning, I had good intentions and clear goals. I had my sights set on the doctoral program at Penn State, specializing in medieval art and architecture. Then something happened; I took a ceramics course. More than fun, it became an obsession, with no chance for rehabilitation. All thoughts of a PhD abandoned, I found myself with an MFA from Tyler School of Art.

Why did I stray? What is so seductive about clay? For me, it is the physicality and immediacy, the inherent contradiction of working with clay in its different forms. Wet clay is extremely impressionable, malleable. It will assume almost any shape and can reveal your desires. Only during the firing process does clay develop a will of its own, a will to which all clay artists must bow. The heat of the kiln takes our passion, our ideas, our vision, and reshapes it all. Sometimes the result raises us to a new level of creativity, and other times it’s a catapult into the abyss. I am in awe of this process whether the end result is a humble piece of tableware or a reference to man’s first building material. Both are civilizing. Each time I come back to the studio I experience a sense of wonder & renewal. Each piece of clay is a new beginning. Each firing is a tempering. Each trip through this cycle brings contentment - at least, for me.

Work by R-tista Loca has been exhibited in the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY; the Carborundum Crafts Museum, Niagara Falls, NY; NCECA Conference, Philadelphia, PA; Xerox Center, Rochester, NY; Campbell Museum, Camden, NJ. Permanent Collections: State University of New York at Brockport; Bill Stewart collection.

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