Jacob Monroe is a BFA candidate at the University of Montana School of Art. Growing up in Idaho, Monroe has experienced frequent domestic migrations throughout his life and takes influence from western urban culture. Coming from a music background, he took quickly to the repetitive practice in clay, and apprenticed in a production pottery studio before attending art school in Missoula, MT. Since, Monroe has completed residencies at The Shaw International Centre Contemporary Ceramics, and the Lake Missoula Tea Company. He has exhibited work at the Archie Bray Foundation, the Clay Studio of Missoula, and the Radius Gallery.
My studies of utilitarian ceramics have introduced me to connections with local communities. These connections give my ceramics a life outside of my own control. The surface illustrations are a macro-view of place, while the life of the pots with their owners become apart of the micro-view of place and gives them a glimpse of the unseen. Pots have purpose and belonging to their owners: they decorate our homes, set the conversation over tea, and carry the identity of their maker. Functional ceramics often inspire a conversation with the user, then surface embellishes content within that conversation.
The Montana Urban Series is inspired by travel in the Western United States, and the vast distances between our cities. We find ourselves gassing up, buying food, or being snowed-into small towns. These circumstantial experiences expose us to small urban districts which can tell us how its residents have spent their lives and careers throughout the years. The amenities, shops, restaurants, museums, and architecture are stories to be read about the town. My illustrations capture these contemporary Montana landscapes, beatifying the pots with glaze application.