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Tony Natsoulas        Statement                Messenger
Ceramic Sculpture by Tony Natsoulas
Each summer as a child (in the 1960's and 1970's), our family went to New York City to visit our relatives. One of the great accidental benefits of this, was being exposed to the incredible art galleries and museums of the big apple. I can remember the impact on me while viewing the Pop art that was being shown at the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Guggenheim Museum. Claes Oldenburg, and George Segal’s work stand out in my mind as the most inspirational. In grade school we had field trips to our local Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, where I would see David Gilhooly’s ceramic work for the first time. I never forgot the piece that struck a chord in me, wetting my appetite for art and all of its endless possibilities. The sculpture was of a ceramic casserole dish with a frog goddess of fertility on it. Lots of breasts adorned the piece. After that, I wanted to learn more about art so I started dabbling in clay at the age of 11 in summer school and have not put it down since. In 1977, I started making large ceramic sculptures in high school. My teacher was impressed with the work I was doing and recommended that I take concurrent classes at the local college, which was the University of California at Davis. At that time, a man was teaching there who would change my life and give me the incentive to pursue my art as a career. His name was Robert Arneson. After taking two classes with Bob in high school and having my eyes opened to art, I graduated from Davis High School and went to Sacramento State University where I took ceramic classes from Robert Brady. In 1979, I transferred back to University of California at Davis and got my Bachelor of Arts from there in 1982. I was so very fortunate to have been able to study and take classes from the cream of the crop of fine artists, such as Roy de Forrest, Wayne Thiebaud, and Manuel Neri and other prestigious artists.
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