Ellie Richards is an artist living and working in Penland, North Carolina, she is the wood studio coordinator at Penland School of Crafts. Her work, both furniture and sculpture, are exhibited widely including recent juried exhibitions at the Mint Museum, the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, SOFA Chicago, and the Society of Contemporary Craft. Following an MFA from Arizona State University, Ellie was a resident artist at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Peters Valley School of Craft, the Appalachian Center for Craft, and the Vermont Studio Center. Often her practice is supported by arts related grants, this year she will be traveling to West Africa to study Ghanaian woodworking techniques with support from the research grant provided by the World Wood Organization.
Work and play are generally perceived as opposites, my position as an artist is to showcase this relationship as congruous. A similar mental state can be assumed when both activities occur and, at times, I have found them to be inseparable in my own art practice. Given this often synchronous relationship I see an opportunity to pose questions using formal relationships found in material culture through the production of sculpture and furniture.
[photography by Mercedes Jelinek, Betsy DeWitt, Ben Corda, and Ellie Richards]