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Spencer Ebbinga

My intent is to tell stories, interpret realities, challenge notions and beliefs, extol beauty, and invite the world to perceive itself differently. I provide visual experiences that urge us to explore creative options, and invite us to confront that which may be uncomfortable, or even painful. By asking the viewer to look introspectively, I attempt to invoke new understanding, and perhaps instill a proclivity for positive change.

Themes in my work are informed by experiences I consider personally transformative. My interest in using personal narratives is to explore the far-reaching effects this has on behavior, relationships, life choices and decisions. The artworks I produce are distinct expressions of the human condition; they illuminate and offer diverse perspectives on sociological, philosophic, and theological reasoning.

My compositions employ allegory and metaphor as a device for story telling. Using architectural forms to represent people is more interesting to me than figurative representation where the meaning is potentially more direct and static. The forms I utilize are open for wide interpretation and broad associations. My intent is not necessarily didactic although as with most stories a moral conviction or lesson may be inferred.

The materials I choose are often directly related to an experience as their textures, color, or smell are strongly imprinted within my memory. Clay allows me to easily sculpt forms and manipulate surfaces, and the porosity and absorbent qualities of ceramic lends itself to the various finish processes I utilize be it patina, paint, wax, or glaze.

Spencer Ebbinga is an Associate Professor of art at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.