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Making art is a freeing and a letting go. In the process, I encounter fear after fear and each time, in order to progress, I must deal with the fear and step beyond it much like Mother Goose's cow jumping over the moon.”
-Lisa Naples

Born in Bucks County, Naples received a B.A. in English Literature from Rutgers University. She completed graduate and post-graduate studies in Ceramics at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of the Arts. Naples went on to attain an M.F.A., with a concentration in Ceramics, from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada. Naples’ decision to focus on ceramics during her tenure as a graduate student has markedly shaped her professional career.

For the past thirty years, Naples has worked with clay, her preferred medium, on an almost quotidian basis. During the last two decades, she has made frequent use of red earthenware, also known as terra cotta, which she admires for its “forgiving nature and rich, earthly beauty.” Naples is most well-known for her functional pottery, including bowls, mugs, teapots, and vases, that is designed to be dishwasher safe and suitable for everyday use. Each piece is finished with a studio-mixed glaze and is hand-decorated. Many of these works are inspired by the pottery of pre-historic Crete, Mesopotamia, and Cyprus, as well as by the pottery of a Native American tribe known as Mimbres.

In recent years, Naples has expanded her artistic repertoire by undertaking a series of figurative and narrative sculptures. Crows are a frequent motif in these works, where they function as messengers. Some of the themes Naples broaches in these sculptures include motherhood, self-understanding, and rebirth. Much of Naples' figurative work is occasioned by images from her dreams and her unconscious, as well as by objects she encounters at flea markets and antique stores.

Naples has exhibited her art extensively, most notably at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, the National Museum of Ceramics in Baltimore, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Her work was featured in a four-person exhibition of narrative sculpture entitled Contemporary Folklore at the Michener Art Museum in 2010.

Education & Community

Education and Training
B.A. in English Literature, Douglass College of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 1982
Graduate Study in Ceramics, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 1983-1984
Post-Graduate Study in Ceramics, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, 1984-1986
M.F.A. with a Concentration in Ceramics, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, NS, Canada, 1986-1988

Teachers and Influences
The two teachers who have most influenced Naples' artistic development are William Daley, whom she met during her post-graduate studies at the University of the Arts, and Ka Kwong Hui, whose acquaintance she made as an undergraduate at the Douglass College of Rutgers University.

Connection to Bucks County
In addition to being a longtime resident of Doylestown, PA, Naples founded the Elephant’s Eye Bucks County Artists Studio Tour in 2008. This annual tour offers the public a unique chance to enter into artists’ private homes and studios, which are normally closed to visitors during the year. Additionally, the tour encourages community members to interact with nationally and internationally acclaimed artists in an informal environment, enabling collectors to develop relationships with artists. Approximately twelve artists participate in the tour each year.

Colleagues and Affiliations
Her colleagues include potters Julia Galloway, Michael Simon, Ron Meyers, Ellen Shankin, Linda Christianson, Joan Bruneau, and Mathew Metz, and sculptors Lisa Clague, Arthur Gonzales, Debra Fritts, and Jack Thompson.


Major Exhibitions
Mentors/Past and Present, University of the Arts and National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), Philadelphia, PA, 2010
1895 Years of Pottery, exhibition of Senior Potters’ work during NCECA, Philadelphia, PA, 2010
Constructed: A Handbuilt Review, Mudfire Clayworks and Gallery, Decatur, GA, 2010
Contemporary Folklore, four person show of narrative sculpture, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA, 2010
American Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1999-2001, 2010
Yunomi Exhibition, AKAR, Iowa City, IA, 2006-2009
Art of the State, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA, 2009
Handbuilt, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA, 2008
NCECA Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, Cera(mix) Pittsburgh: Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, La Mesa: Santa Fe Clay, 2008
One and Only: Gifts Made by Hand, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, 2007
Philadelphia Craft Show, Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, 1993, 1998, 2006, 2007
Inspired Utility: Exceptional Ceramic Vessels, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA, 2006
CraftsBoston, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA, 2006
The Power of Pottery, NCECA, Baltimore, MD, 2005
The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2004
Surfaces AKAR, Iowa City, IA, 2003
Functional Pottery Invitational, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM, 2003
Women in Clay: Pots for Daily Use
, Odyssey Gallery, Asheville, NC, 2003
, Mixed Media Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2002
American Pottery Festival, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, Minesota, 1999-2001
The 19th, 20th, 21st, and 25th Annual Invitational Ceramic Shows, Old Church Cultural Center School of Art, Demarest, NJ, 1993-1995, 1999
Spring Garden Show, Chester Springs Studio Gallery, Chester Springs, PA, 1999
Crafts at the Castle, Family Services of Greater Boston, Boston, MA, 1997-1998
Functional Work: American Potters, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Arvada, CO, 1997
Smithsonian Craft Show, Women’s Committee of the Smithsonian Institution, National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., 1995-1997
American Craft Council Show, Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD, 1994-1996
Annual Cup Invitational, Artworks Gallery, Seattle, WA, 1993-1994
Invitational Holiday Show, Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI, 1993-1994
Soup Tureens 1993, Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 1993
Fleisher Challenge Exhibition, solo exhibition, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA, 1993
The Domestic Object: Articles for Everyday Living, The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA, 1993
Clay: 1993 National Survey, William Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA, 1993
Regional Juried Show, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA, 1992
Luckenbach Mill Gallery, Bethlehem, PA, 1991
The Dining Experience, A Craft Expression, National Museum of Ceramics, Baltimore, MD, 1991
1st Regional Juried Exhibition, Northfield Gallery, Northfield, IL, 1991
New Visions: Forms with Function, Haviland-Strickland Gallery, University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA, 1990
Whimsey, Port of History Museum, Philadelphia, PA, 1989

Awards & Appointments

Best Gallery Artist, Best of Philly, Philadelphia Magazine, 2010
NCECA Residency Award, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 2005
Juror’s Award, Tempe Tea Party, Tempe Arts Center, Tempe, Arizona, 1993
Amaco Clay Co. Award, The First Annual Strictly Functional Pottery National, Market House Craft Center, Lancaster, PA, 1993
Best Individual Work Award, Studio Days, Chester Springs Studio Gallery, Chester Springs, PA, 1992
Award of Excellence, Teapots: Pour and Proud of It, Northfield Gallery, Northfield, IL, 1992
Exhibition Award from Great Lakes Show, Lill St. Gallery, Chicago, IL, 1992
Honorable Mention: Function, American Clay Artists, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 1990

Teaching and Professional Appointments
Workshop Instructor, Core Clay, Cincinnati, OH, 2010
Workshop Instructor, Shakerag Workshops, Sewanee, TN, 2010
Juror, Pennsylvania State Festival of the Arts, 2010
Founder, Elephant’s Eye Studio Tour, Bucks County, PA, 2008
Workshop Instructor, Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC, 2008
Workshop Instructor, Middletown Arts Center, Middletown, OH, 2007
Workshop Instructor, Arrowmont School of Art and Craft, Gatlinburg, TN, 2003, 2006
Conference Presenter, Arrowmont School of Art and Craft, Gatlinburg, TN, 2000
Artist In Residence, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 2005
Workshop Instructor, Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts, Asheville, NC, 2005
Workshop Instructor, Kent State University, Kent, OH, 2005
Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2004
Workshop Instructor, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2004
Workshop Instructor, Lee Art Center, Arlington, VA, 2003
Workshop Instructor, Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MA, 2002
Workshop Instructor, 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, 2001
Juror for McNight Artists Fellowships and Residencies, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN, 2001
Workshop Presenter, Montgomery County Community College, Montgomery County, PA, 2001
Workshop Presenter, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN, 2000
Workshop Instructor, Pine Ridge Pottery, Alexandria, VA, 1998
Part-time faculty, ceramics teaching position, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, 1990-1992

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