Amanda Gentry (b.1973, Long Beach, California) is a Chicago-based sculptor working
in clay. Her work is the result of dedication to form, material, and process, driven by
a determination to reveal what is essential at the exclusion of the non-essential. She
is a DCASE grant recipient and exhibits work nationwide, recently exhibiting at the
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (San Angelo, Texas). Gentry received a BFA in Design
with a minor in Sculpture from Boston University.
Am I a sculptor because I geek out over negative space? over a surface that repeatedly
calls my fingers to touch it? Or am I a sculptor because it’s the only way I feel I can move
through this world? The sustainability of the pace at which we are moving as a people
is concerning. Working with clay slows the world down for me. It makes me feel human.
The very nature of clay resists being rushed. In the time that I have been working with
it my process has gotten longer, taking more and more time. Not just in the making.
But in the drying. In the firing. In the sanding down. In the firing again. In the sanding down
again. Still, at each stage of the process I hear myself sigh and say, “this is my favorite part.”
It’s no surprise then that the shapes I create are disarmingly simple. I find that in all things,
I want to bypass whatever is extraneous and get to the essence. If that could even be defined.
It seems to me the best place to start is with a circle. No beginning and no end.