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Claire Joyce

Claire Joyce was born in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1978. While attending the Kansas City Art Institute she spent one semester studying in Brighton, England at Brighton University. After graduating with a BFA in Printmaking in 2000 she traveled the country in a pink van campaigning for co-president of the United States under the Domesticratic Party. She later worked as a lithography print assistant, a costume design instructor, and the assistant art director at Paul Mesner Puppets. In 2003, she traveled to China for three months before being accepted to the University of Georgia, Athens. At UGA Claire was an assistant painting instructor on two trips to Ghana. She earned an MFA in Painting with distinctions in 2006. Claire has written online columns for both ReadyMade Magazine and CRAFT, and has built and designed costumes and puppets for the stage as well as maintained a studio life working in two dimensions. In addition to participating in residencies within the United States, Belgium and China, her work has been shown both nationally and internationally. For five years she taught drawing at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, CA. After two cross-country moves she and her family landed in Tempe, AZ where she works in a small home studio and runs the business Tiny Two Hour Portraits ( and collaborates with Kate Legere on Make Away Studio (


Artist Statement

After a middleclass childhood spent beading, sewing, knotting, drawing, cross-stitching, and paper snowflake snipping, I have developed a vested interest in the use of craft materials. Personal associations with craft begin at an early age when we are first handed a bottle of Elmer's glue. Our craft materials, as our motor skills and social awareness, are later pushed towards more refined exercises. While most people were raised making crafts, once grown they only seem to dabble during holidays or on special occasions. Artist Mike Kelley, himself interested in craft associations, said, "In my working-class background, the most invisible things were crafts." It is the invisibility of craft materials that make them such strong social signifiers-they have, until recently, rarely been examined for ethnographic significance, but the overwhelming presence of craft materials and activities in America make them ripe with associative meaning.

Using materials capable of referencing broad life experiences-from childhood naivety or activities of giggling sorority girls to domestic practices of adulthood-my work is created with the identifiable patterns, surfaces, and textures of craft works. To counteract and confuse the reading of craft media, I use these materials in exaggerated self-portraits that humorously meld my common life experience with art historical references. This amalgam of narrative art historical imagery, utterly mundane contemporary objects, and staged scenes from my own life are carefully rendered using only craft store glitter and glue (no other pigment or paint). Multiple images of myself within these works allows me to play a variety of roles common to the contemporary female expressed through the lens of art historical subjects. My intention in juxtaposing fantastical art postures with mundane feminine roles and craft materials with refined obsession of art making, is to investigate the wit and grace which is capable of rising from the banal and ordinary.

Description of Work for She Tempe

The work contributed for She Tempe is all made on 4' X 6' wooden panels and created using only glitter and Elmer's glue, no other pigment or paint (unfortunately the sparkle and texture do not translate in reproduction). The images are multiple self-portraits which insert me into reimagined art historical pieces. The postures and poses remain the same, but the actions and settings are specific to different moments in my own life. This places my mundane domestic actions into an art historical context formerly painted by men of women.