Priscilla Hoback: Living Clay

Priscilla Hoback: Living Clay October 27 – 28 From a hand full of clay on carefully acquired grounds, to meticulously painted, fired and mounted murals, Priscilla Hoback’s artwork is utterly personal, yet utterly universal.

-George Rodrique, Artist of the Blue Dog Series

On October 28 and 29, 2000, Galisteo artist Priscilla Hoback will be at Gallery Shoal Creek to unveil her newest clay murals and to promote her recently released book, Living Clay. The two-day event celebrates Ms. Hoback’s twenty-year affiliation with the gallery and the evolution of an artist who has devoted her career to the medium of clay. Living Clay, an intriguing chronicle of Hoback’s experiences, techniques and philosophies, features a wealth of stories told in the first-person about growing up and working as an artist in Santa Fe and the small community of Galisteo. The book’s forward is written by GSC’s owner Judith Taylor.

Excerpt from the Forward: Priscilla Hoback’s work, like her persona, defies stereotypical artistry. Whether etched in clay or inked on paper, her bold imagery seamlessly blends the old and the new, the archaic with the modern. The clay murals are evocative of man’s earliest artistic expression. Inspired by the timeless glyphs scattered throughout northern New Mexico, Hoback uses a powerful, engaging, and yet thoroughly modern sense of narrative expression channeled through an ancient medium. Uniting imagery and medium, Hoback provides a highly tactile, sculptural dimension. As viewers, we find ourselves irresistibly drawn to the textured surfaces, wanting immediately to recreate the artist’s own movements, to touch the stone’to absorb both process and dialogue. It is at this point that we realize the artist has masterfully meshed the ancient and the modern. But, unlike the ancients, her work encompasses a pure narrative that engages our curiosity. Is it a dance, we ask? A struggle, or perhaps both? Always maintaining a sense of realistic representation, Hoback playfully uses movement and perspective to create her own unique story.

As Living Clay reveals, Priscilla Hoback is a woman of great independence, a modern woman; yet, one who is relentlessly drawn to the sanctity and rituals of tradition. From building her own kilns and quarrying her own clay to tireless observation of the animals she so aptly portrays, she has immersed herself in the evolution of her art. Watching Priscilla move from one series to another over the last ten years, I am awed by the depth of her personal creativity. External experiences provide inspiration, but it is her inner desire to push herself artistically and to draw from the earthy medium whose language she so fluently speaks that fuels her creative expression. Her murals are constantly evolving as she -pursues clay into new dimensions’. I have come to expect and relish Priscilla’s magical hints of surprise. Perhaps it is the touch-in her life-of the mythical Mercury, ever the trickster, that captivates our attention and keeps us anxiously awaiting the new.