Travis Winters constructs characters, often humorous, each focused on its own individual narrative. These stories are based on mundane day-to-day life, past struggles, and real people. Throughout our lives we encounter many “characters” and create our own stories. Some of these people and stories become part of our personal identity as we pass them on to those around us. Winters feels compelled to narrate these stories derived from human nature, universal experiences, and his own personal understanding of the world around him. Drawing from these observations, he manifests prevalent themes about life within our contemporary society. By creating comical figures, he is initiating a non-threatening conversation about a variety of topics prevalent within our culture. Captivating the imagination of the viewer through open-ended stories, Winters invites the fabrication of personal narratives and encourages an intimate connection with the characters. This dialogue between viewer and figure encourages various interpretations, all while relating the narrative back to themes of everyday existence and experiences. He models his figures with exaggerated folds and wrinkles in order to create a visceral encounter with each narrative. Through sculpting in this stylized yet realistic way, the viewer gets hooked in as their curiosity leads them to closely examine each character.
Winters is a ceramic artist and Programs Manager at Touchstone Center for Crafts in southwestern Pennsylvania. Originally from Corning NY, he found his fascination for working in clay at community college and later went on to receive his BA from Buffalo State College and his MFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Winters exhibits work nationally and has shown at Baltimore Clayworks in Baltimore, MD, The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA, The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA, The Baton Rouge Gallery in Baton Rouge, LA, and the AMOCA Museum in Pomona, CA. He was the Lormina Salter Fellowship Artist at Baltimore Clayworks, long term Resident at Odyssey Clayworks in Asheville, NC, a Kiln God Summer Resident at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in New Castle ME, and a Short-Term Resident Artist at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT.
View images from Travis Winters' 2021 BoxHeart Exhibition, So There I Was.