|Like all Wisconsin residents, R. Justin Stewart was born a football fan. At only 5’9”, his career as an NFL cornerback was unlikely, yet it was his participation on the high school football team that ironically led him to the arts. In order to fulfill the required fine arts credit, Justin enrolled in ‘Ceramics I’, expecting an easy A because the class was taught by his football coach. After a short time working with clay he fell in love with the material. He focused on wheel throwing, making large Raku vessels which he sold at various craft fairs.
After high school he headed for warmer weather and attended the Kansas City Art Institute where he studied with Cary Esser and George Timok, as well as visiting artist, Jon Byrd. His sophomore year was spent learning the technical aspects of clay and glaze. Throughout this time, he came to understand that his passion and talent for clay was not limited to the wheel, but rather encompassed all forms of the creative process. Despite this love of making, the transition from pots to sculptural clay objects was difficult, but opened Justin to new possibilities. As his sculpture progressed, he began to incorporate other materials leading to his current mixed media work. Justin graduated in 2003 from the Ceramics department of the Kansas City Art Institute. He continues to live in Kansas City where he has a private studio.
By using yarn, clay, fabric, paint, I strive to create forms that fit into the realm of the child; the curious, the wonderful, the weird, the “misunderstood.” These sculptures, when viewed with a childlike eye, take the viewer to another world where objects like these can and do exist.