Deborah Rael-Buckley is pleased to present her large-scale, narrative ceramic sculpture. Her work, largely a blend of figurative and natural imagery, is a balanced combination of architecturally informed shapes, layered archetypal imagery, and detailed graphic surfaces rich in color and texture. Her work seeks to
tell a story of contained memory through a series of figure
and chair based forms layered with what she terms "the taxonomy of memory": the layering of personal, cultural, historical and biological imagery. Her works shows many influences fueled by research in gothic stained glass, the architecture of Antoni Gaudi, Renaissance painting, and the art and architecture of ancient Mexico, but her style is a hybrid made of extrapolated references brought together in unique, exciting ceramic and bronze sculptures.
Rael-Buckley was born in New Mexico in 1953, but she did not begin taking courses in art history at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque until 1987. She transferred to the University of Illinois -Chicago (UIC), where she was awarded the McNee Foundation Award, and took a degree with honors in the history of art and architecture in 1994, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.
After a move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin she began taking several introductory courses in studio arts and uncovered a profound interest in ceramics and sculpture: she transferred to the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UW-M). In 1996 she took a three month course of study abroad in Cortona, Italy, concentrating on bronze casting and ceramic sculpture. In 2000 she was awarded her MFA by UW-M, along the way being awarded the Layton Special Achievement Award, the Advanced Opportunity Program Fellowship and the Layton Graduate Fellowship.
From 1998 until 2001 Rael-Buckley taught ceramics and ceramics history at the Peck School for the Arts at UW-M. Rael-Buckley has exhibited nationally and internationally most recently in Brussels, Belgium where she lived and worked for two years. While in Brussels she exhibited at Galerie 94 riand had her work published in Ceramica 02: A Guide to Belgian Ceramics (Editions Armature Uitvegerij, 2002). Other publications include numerous articles in Ceramics Monthly, Santa Fean Magazine, American Art Collector, Tempo Magazine, and HIspanic Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine and Ceramics Art and Perception.
She returned to New Mexico in 2003 after being away for nearly 13 years. She participated in her first Contemporary Hispanic Market in 2005, where she was awarded Best of Show and Best of Ceramics for her sculpture entitled "Visitation".The State of New Mexico purchased that piece, which is now permanently installed at the Toney Anaya Building in Santa Fe. Her piece entitled "Rosas sin Espinas" was chosen to be exhibited with "Originals, 2007"; an exhibition at the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, NM, sponsored by New Mexico Women in the Arts. Recently she received a purchase award grant from the Peter and Madeline Martin Foundation.
Her works are in national and international collections, including the State of New Mexico, the Sara and David Lieberman collection of contemporary ceramics and the Sandy and Diane Besser collection of contemporary American ceramics. Her work can also be seen in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Illinois, the State on New Mexico, Santa Fe, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Museum, Albuquerque. Rael-Buckley lives and works in Taos, NM where she has her studio. Her work can be seen at Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and privately in her studio.