“To have the freedom and time to experience waterways with an open schedule was invaluable to my soul. This allowed me to reach a deep peace which in turn allowed me to connect to family and friends in my personal life with a deep sense of gratitude and authenticity.”
Corey Jefferson’s interest in clay began at the age of ten when he attended summer camp. For him, “clay is earth that can be made into pieces that express an inner voice.” That inner voice is where Jefferson finds inspiration for his work. For his renewal, he traveled to different regions of the United States to visit and explore waterways, including lakes, rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean. His aim was to collect objects from these waterways for his artwork, currently modeled after the shape of boats.
Jefferson finds he’s best engaged with the community through experiences on the water: for example, boating, kayaking, and fishing. He says of his fellowship, “through the experiences on the water, I felt a renewed sense of inspiration because of the water culture of boating and fishing and the visual impact of maritime life. I was able to incorporate images, color, and feelings into a new body of work inspired by maritime culture.”
Jefferson’s Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship was something he felt able to fully explore and then share with his community. As a community focused person, Jefferson noted how the experience of his renewal connected him more deeply to the Indianapolis arts community and even allowed him to branch out further, to a gallery in Chicago where he was able to show and sell a few of the ceramic sculptures he created during the process. He is excited to continue connecting with water, community, and building on the body of work he began during his fellowship.
The renewal experience also gave Jefferson the time to research new techniques of building and glaze calculation. This is knowledge he has been able to translate into his classroom experience, sharing the benefit of his renewal with his students. Ultimately, for Jefferson the experience was about the water.