Winston Taylor

Winston Taylor

2011 Award Recipient | POTTERY, Russellville

Winston Taylor of Russellville was named the 2011 Arkansas Living Treasure for his work as a clay potter.

Born and raised in Little Rock, Taylor and his family moved to Russellville in 1990, where he works as a pottery instructor at the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center. Taylor organized the center’s first pottery program and assembled a working studio at the center, which makes use of donated pottery wheels and kilns.

Taylor studied ceramics at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) while participating in a work-study program led by artist Warren Kessler. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art (with an emphasis in ceramics) from UALR, Taylor worked as a studio assistant to the late Rosemary Fisher at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, where he also taught beginning and adult pottery classes.

Taylor said he never imagined he would be making his living as an artist. In high school, he was interested in cars and said he thought he would be a mechanic or race car driver. He never took an art course until he was out of high school.

Taylor, who owned a body shop in Little Rock for nine years, said his work is heavily influenced by his mechanical background. He describes his pottery pieces as “geometrical, mechanical looking and industrial, very minimal.”

In addition to teaching pottery classes, he frequently gives pottery demonstrations to area high schools. In 1993, with the help of an Arkansas Arts Council grant, he initiated a nine-lesson art class series for fourth graders in six Russellville elementary schools.

He also donates work to his church, First United Methodist in Russellville, including an eight-foot round relief sculpture of Christ teaching at Galilee that resides in the sanctuary. To create this sculpture, he used 1,200 pounds of clay and worked on it for two days a week for four months.

Taylor’s work can currently be seen at the Boswell-Mourot Fine Art in Little Rock, Boswell-Mourot Fine Art in Miami, Gallery Central in Hot Springs and The Frame Shop Gallery in Russellville. 

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