Harry Mestyanek has pursued pottery and the ceramic arts, mostly on his own, and away from any serious academic environment since the late 1980’s. His initial interest in the ceramic arts focused on creating simple, functional pottery and producing traditional vessels (bowls, urns, plates, and vases) but with contemporary glazing and firing complexions. Early work relied on processes developed through self-exploration, trial-and-error, and occasional enrollment in ceramic workshops.
Harry completed his Master of Fine Arts graduate degree from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington in May of 2020. Since beginning that program in the Fall of 2018, he has expanded his interests from traditional, wheel-thrown pottery to creating sculptural ceramic artworks with the aid of state-of-the-art digital technologies and tools. He is also developing methodologies involving plaster mold fabrication and porcelain slip casting, again with the aid of contemporary digital technology.
A native Southern Californian, Harry grew up, pursued a degree in landscape architecture (B.S., California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 1978), and raised his family there. His ceramic arts practice also began there alongside his 40-year career in landscape architecture. He founded his own landscape architecture and urban design firm in 1994 in San Diego, California. After its founding, IVY Landscape Architects quickly became a sought-after landscape design studio, successfully completing projects throughout the southwest region of the United States. Harry directed the design and operations activities at IVY for twenty-four years before moving to the Inland Northwest.
His art practice has been nurtured and expanded by his recent experiences and explorations at Washington State University. Harry became a member of Saranac Art Projects, a not-for-profit artist cooperative in May of 2020, where he serves as its public relations officer. Both his home, where he lives with his wife Colette, and his studio are in north Spokane, Washington near Whitworth University. In addition to his studio art practice, Harry is a special education educator at Prairie View Elementary School in Spokane, teaching developmentally delayed elementary school children.
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