Artist and Aspen local of more than 20 years Michael Wisner (michaelwisnerpottery.org) takes full advantage of the outdoor-enthusiast lifestyle in the Roaring Fork Valley. Not only does he look to nature for personal inspiration to meditate and find inner peace but also to inform his artistic expression through pottery.
“I look at the creative process as a collaboration between nature and the artist, where each has a voice in the process,” Wisner explains. “Art is a celebration of our contact with the natural world. Beautiful places inspire us and become a mirror that reflects inside and helps to stir creativity to the surface.” One of his many environmental inspirations, the regal Rocky Mountains serve as a muse and constant reminder of the magnitude of nature’s influence over humankind.
Wisner’s early training took place in Mata Ortiz, a Mexican village within the state of Chihuahua renowned
for its encouragement and celebration of the arts. He studied alongside Juan Quezada, a ceramic artist drawing inspiration from the techniques and processes of the Paquime Indians. “I worked for years under Quezada’s tutelage while simultaneously working as a resident artist at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, where I was exposed to many contemporary ideas,” says Wisner. Continuously evolving his artistic style, his preferred medium is clay, which he sources exclusively from the mountains.
With representation in galleries as near as the Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt and as far as Joelle C. Gallery in Lahaina, Hawaii, and Beaux Arts Bath in England, Wisner’s artistic style pays homage on a global scale to the traditional techniques of previous civilizations. “Contemporary artists offer not only their work but their artistic evolution,” says local gallery owner Ann Korologos, a longtime collector of Wisner’s artistic portfolio. Wisner’s intent focus on seeking personal peace and evoking similar feelings within his audiences is a mainstay in the Aspen artistic community.