Ash Street Project

Ash Street Project, the vision of artists Thomas Orr and Joanna Bloom, encompasses art studios, visiting artists, gallery space, community programs and a clay-based emerging artist mentorship program.  Our site also hosts an on-line gallery shop.

Current Mentees

Current Mentees   |   Past Mentees  

2017 - 2018

CHLOE KESTEN

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chloe Kesten fell in love with the ceramic arts at an early age. She attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where she discovered her passion for sculpting the human form. Chloe further developed her study of the figure while attending Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. Though she had always been interested in figurative sculpture, her time in Florence allowed her to focus not only on the accessibility and familiarity of the human form and condition, but on its complexities as well. This has led her to work primarily with the figure in order to discover and explore those complexities.

Chloe remained in Portland after graduating from Lewis and Clark with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art in 2015. She has since continued her studio practice with a small community of other artists. Chloe is exploring the expression of identity as a fluid concept, one packed with ambiguity and flexibility, through the human and animal form during her mentorship at Ash Street Project.

 

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LORREN LOWREY

In 2015, Lorren Ashley Lowrey graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a BA in studio art. Initially, her interest was in oil painting, but in time her focus switched from two dimensional canvas art to the world of three-dimensional ceramic sculpture. After graduating, she was accepted into an advanced workshop with Beth Cavener at her studio in Montana where she learned techniques in building large scale sculptures on armatures. The next two years were spent developing her portfolio in local evening classes, where her work transitioned into small-scale anthropomorphic figures in porcelain.

In 2017, Lorren took a leap of faith and moved to Portland, Oregon to join the Emerging Artist Mentorship Program at Ash Street Project where she plans to focus on a cohesive body of work exploring anthropomorphic figures. She hopes to gain a clearer understanding of what drives her to create and where her work fits into the larger art community.

 

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GRETCHEN VAUDT

Gretchen Vaudt was born and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She made her first pinch pot in kindergarten, a few sculptures in middle school and attempted wheel throwing in junior high. While experimenting with various art mediums offered at school, she fell in love with photography and later attended the state-funded Minnesota Center for Arts Education to study media arts.  Upon graduation, she pursued her foundation studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design before moving to Portland in 1998. Clay came back into her life when photography went digital and lost its appeal, and on a whim, she enrolled in a ceramics class at Portland Community College in 2007. Vaudt enjoys the process of working with her hands and making objects out of clay.

Elements important to Gretchen’s making are family history, memory, home, loss, grieving, healing and reconnecting.  During the mentorship she plans to explore how scale and repetition effect these elements.  She also is looking to gain the skills, knowledge and inspiration to maintain a daily studio practice

 

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