Rachel Shirey


Rachel Shirey is an artist from Butler County who works in both functional and nonfunctional ceramics using a variety of throwing and hand building techniques to accomplish her vision. Rachel’s sculptural work focuses on both realistic and abstract interpretations of the human figure, often working with themes of mental and physical stress, the constant change that persists throughout life, and traumatic experiences. Her functional work often illustrates a dream-like journey and takes influence from the simplistic nature of ancient Japanese Zen Buddhism ink drawings.

Her work is featured on the 2019 and 2018 editions of the Edinboro University Ceramics Department posters and on the Edinboro University and Edinboro Art Department Instagram accounts. In 2018, Rachel’s work was chosen for a selected group exhibition in Edinboro University’s Bruce Gallery, a ceramics student exhibition at the Commonwealth House at Edinboro University, and in a group student exhibition at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in conjunction with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. In 2017, she won three first place awards for her pieces displayed in The Big Butler Fair and showed her work in a group exhibition at the Butler Arts Center.

Prior to her employment at Sweetwater as the Ceramics Technician and Lead Ceramics Instructor, Rachel worked as a Figure Model for the Art Department at Edinboro University. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Edinboro University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts with a concentration in Ceramics and minors in Art History and Business Administration. Rachel plans to attend graduate school while working in order to gain a Masters of Education with a PA Art Education certification.

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