Trent Burkett

Trent Burkett is an artist working across disciplines from mixed media sculpture, functional ceramics, and public art. He is the former Full Professor of Ceramics and Sculpture and Chair of the Department of Visual Art at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Burkett started teaching at Pacific in 2000 and resigned from the academic setting in 2014 to focus on his professional art practice and continue to teach privately through his business, City Art Plant Studio located in Arroyo Grande, CA.
Burkett was born in San Bernardino, CA in 1970 and spent the majority of his formative years in Sacramento, CA. He completed his MFA in Ceramics at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and his MA and BA at Sacramento State University, CA.
The method for conceptualizing and making work occurs through a process of searching for natural and man-made/ altered material, acquiring and relocating it, and repurposing the chosen material into art objects. The character traits of a material are the primary factor in determining the meaning, which may include substance, location, prior use history, and inherent cultural associations. Among these traits, location holds a special interest insofar as a given material can speak to its place of origin. Every material originates in the form of raw matter, and it is this property that the work reflects. Some materials are exhibited “as is” with a minimum degree of alteration. Others are minimally worked in such as way as to refine certain aspects while leaving others alone. Narrative is constructed in the work through this process of searching, assessing, and projecting the forces that made each material.

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