Our final founder, yours truly, Steven G Cheek.
Steven Cheek was born in a small community on the outskirts of Portland, OR. The son of a preacher, his family moved a great deal during his childhood, with stops in Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana and Maine. His experience during a weeklong high school retreat at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine taught him that he could, in fact, be an working artist. Steven returned to Indiana and received his BFA in ceramics from the University of Evansville studying with Les Miley and his MFA in ceramics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He was an artist in residence at Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts, and has taught ceramics and foundations studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Georgia State University, and the University of Louisville. In 2010, Steven moved to Louisville to be with his now wife, Jennifer Brian, executive bourbon steward, event planner and co owner of Make and Muddle. Jennifer is also a prized member of the SXPF team. Steven is currently the artist in residence at the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts.
Steven’s work is wheel thrown and hand carved porcelain vessels that combine an interest in traditional utilitarianism as well as social and political commentary. He tackles contemporary issues of war, man’s inhumanity to man and environmental destruction. Steven explores the combination of the classical vessel and translucent celadons juxtapose with stark imagery appropriated from our cultural landscape. His signature “Killing Fields” skulls create an attraction/repulsion by challenging the viewer’s perception of beauty and create a visual dialogue with the viewer about the indelible marks that we leave behind. The use of low relief carving creates both a visual and tactile conversation between the maker and the user. Even in his vessels that showcase leaves or other natural elements, he wants to subtly elude to the impermanence of nature and our world. Through the beauty of the autumn leaves we must prepare for the coming winter and hope for the reawakening of spring.