About the Artist
Betsy’s recent body of work combines the pliability and strength of ceramics with the delicate structure of lace. The combined use of ceramic and lace began as an experiment of trying to figure out how to convey a sense of temporality and a sense of ethereality embodied in strong form. The patterns themselves shape space in a graceful but orderly way, and when they are supporting either themselves or another object, the weight they carry is emphasized.
In a lace pattern, the negative space is intrinsic to its structure, carrying its pattern and a signified vulnerability. Lace does not fully protect nor does it fully expose. In contrast, the ceramic forms Betsy creates allude to motifs of strength, architecture or infrastructure. Treating the surfaces of the ceramic forms with lace patterns creates a new context for them and subverts their original function in the world. The ceramic lace conveys both strength and fragility, beauty and fallibility. This dichotomy, brought forth by surface texture and form, is further accentuated when put in relationship to construction materials, such as rebar and wood.
Betsy has a permanent public sculpture in Tokyo, Japan and new public works on display at the Hallberg Center for the Arts in Wyoming, Minnesota and at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony, Minnesota. She has exhibited her work both regionally and nationally. Alwin is a 2017 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.