Sean Gray

Artist Statement

I am an artist. In my art, I am free to make what I want. I was born with autism, a communication disorder. For years I was unable to understand what people were saying to me, and people could not understand what I was saying to them. It was frustrating. Sounds were very loud and painful to me, and I was unable to shut out the noise around me. It was all very distracting and chaotic. I was angry a lot of the time and did things to try to control the world around me. The things I did were mostly destructive. Through my art this has changed.

 I started taking art classes in at the Indianapolis Art Center when I was eight years old. First, I attended the summer mixed media art camps. Then I took drawing for a couple of years with the artist Troy Judd. I also attended high school at Westfield Washington, where I graduated from in 2004. One of the few classes I was able to take with the other students in my school was sculpture. In this class I found that I liked working with my hands. I especially like working with clay. This led me to begin working with the potter Rick Greiner at the Indianapolis Art Center in the Ceramics Department. In the beginning. I created hand-built masks and sculptures. More recently, I have been focused on wheel-throwing - creating plates, bowls, ikebanas (an Asian style of flower vase), mirrors and large wall sculptures. In 2005 I was awarded Best in the Beginners’ Division of the Indianapolis Art Center’s Student Show. In 2007, Community Hospital North contacted me to install my first permanent sculpture installation at their new facility. I now have a regular list of clients, and my work is displayed in both hospital and corporate settings, as well as in private homes.

When I was a child, my family could always tell where I’d been around the house; when I came across any piece of paper – a piece of artwork, a bill, a letter – I would always tear the corner of it. This became a family joke my mom nicknamed “the mark of Sean”!  As a professional potter, I like to hand dip my pottery in glazes, rather than using tongs to completely submerge my pots. Glaze does not get on them where my hand is while I dip them, leaving a distinct hand impression on each piece. This is now the signature of my pottery – the distinct “Mark of Sean” I leave on each piece.

Creating art gives me a sense of purpose and control over my life. I now have a business - Sean Ware – that lets me create works of art that others can enjoy.

Watch Sean's Video Here