September 18, 2023

Q&A with Nicole Seisler, Assistant Professor of Ceramics

Nicole Seisler, Assistant Professor of Ceramics, has exhibited widely and is the founder and director of the A-B Projects, a space for exhibitions and critical dialogue that expand and redefine the field of ceramics.

When and how did you develop an interest in your field?

I’ve had my hands in clay for more than 25 years, ever since I was an English-speaking teenager in Holland in a British neighbor’s studio. There and ever after, I’ve found that clay is a connector and a mutual companion; it touches as I touch, it listens as I listen, it presses back as I press into it. Clay is ubiquitous in the world. My practice and participation in the ceramics field—as a maker, an educator, and a curator—is deeply tied to how clay physically and metaphorically embodies my fundamental values of equality, reciprocity, and community.

What excites you most about joining the L&C community?

The L&C community feels disarmingly welcoming and supportive. I am just thrilled and honored to join a department led by dynamic, critically engaged, and open-minded artists and art historians. In this context, I have the privilege and opportunity to shape and expand the L&C ceramics program, to build infrastructure within the classroom, and to create bridges between the institution, the broader Portland community, and the international ceramics field. In my first few weeks—actually, ever since my campus visit in March—I’ve had regular conversations with faculty, staff, and students that are both generative and fun. These conversations clearly demonstrate that L&C is committed to collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, and that it’s a place where I can dream and enact big ideas.

What kind of hobbies or special activities do you enjoy outside of work?

During the pandemic I realized that if I hadn’t discovered clay early in life, I could have easily become a pasta chef. Which is to say, I’m a big fan of reading about, cooking, and eating delicious food. I particularly enjoy eating amazing food at restaurants to which I can walk. If my friends can walk there, too, that’s even better. Besides strolling to dinner, my absolute favorite place to walk (and to simply be) is Joshua Tree. Few days are better spent than a day of hanging out with lizards, embracing boulders, and listening to the rhythmic crunch of decomposed granite.