Ellen Kleckner

Cedar Rapids, IA


Ellen Kleckner (she/her) is an artist and educator living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her artistic practice weaves together community engagement, material investigation, and collaboration. She studied Ceramics at the Appalachian Center for Craft (BFA) and Ohio University (MFA). Ellen is the Executive Director of the Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, a non-profit community art center.

Ellen has exhibited nationally and internationally including shows at KVALITRA Gallery, Arrowmont School of Craft, Baltimore Jewelry Center, Gilded Pear Gallery, Mezinarodni Muzeum Keramiky, and Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. She has received numerous awards and grants to support her craft research, including support from the Iowa Arts Council and National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts.


Artist Statement

Through a convergence of materials, I seek to understand connections between place, materiality, idea, legacy, and community. My work utilizes the visual and mechanical vocabulary of makers and craftspeople, joining parts to create completed forms that provoke agencies of their utility, questioning which is recognizable. Systems of joinery serve as a means of exploring the binary of material/artist/concept.

My rockers are a direct labor of personal intention to create a lasting voice. They speak of generosity, receptivity, and comfort. Rhythms of making are echoed in the rocking forms: the turning of the wheel, the bending of wood, and motion of the surface. Once grounded, they now repeat their intentions, to comfort and contain, through their movement. By creating this new form, I am exploring the ideas of maternity and the collective care that is required to create something new, this draws the past into the present.

Ellen Kleckner, Juncture 225 (Roland), 2022, Ceramic and wood,
31.5" x 35" x 35"