Kira Enriquez, a 32-year-old native of Mexico and ceramics professor at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, bases her artwork on emotion.
Her pieces are on display until Nov. 5 in the Townsend Library. The works are passion driven and given titles such as “Frustration,” “Harmony” and “Nautilus.”
Enriquez has been making ceramics since she was a young girl.
“I have been interested in art since I can remember. I would always draw and make figures with what I could find such as dirt, dough or oil-based clay, using almost anything that I was allowed to safely use,” she said.
Enriquez isn’t your average ceramicist. Many art lovers, professors and students are captivated by the uniqueness of her craftsmanship.
Sophomore art major Kate Winchell said, “The work of Kira Enriquez inspires me. It is so simple yet so moving.The way she works with the clay seems free flowing, and although fired and made into a sculpture, each piece seems to have its own movement and flow,” she said.
Enriquez designs her work by taking pre-made pieces of pots and then welds, cuts and forms them while they’re still wet clay to create a new form.
Chairman and Professor of the art department Hershall Seals said, “Her craftsmanship is exquisite – especially how the fragments are joined so perfectly.”
The pieces are inspired by basic humanity. She connects her work with the notion of the functional vessel, a life-affirming symbol, an idea deeply rooted in the history of ceramics and aspects of the human body.
Enriquez said, “The purpose of my art is to create an awareness of the importance of the ceramic object in our lives and how that object has contributed and remains relevant to the richness of human experience and development.”
Her work has been selected for Texas National five consecutive years, Texas Craft 2010, and many other museums and art galleries in Nacogdoches, Dallas, Houston and Chihuahua, Mexico.
For future pieces she is trying to integrate different elements.
“I am exploring how to incorporate metal and clay into my work. I am constantly finding ways to learn how to use new materials, especially metal, which I really enjoy working with,” she said. “I want to take this to the next level and see where this takes me.”
Enriquez truly enjoys pursing her passion for art through teaching.
She said, “Thanks to my wonderful family, mother, husband and the support from my mentor, Piero Fenci, I am able to live and pursue my dreams of making, teaching and living art every day.”