Seattle-based ceramic artist George Rodriguez was born and grew up in El Paso, Texas. He received a 2006 BFA in Ceramics from the University of Texas, El Paso, moving afterwards to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, where he received an MFA in Ceramics in 2009. Rodriguez’s Mexican heritage has influenced much of his work, while a 2010 Bonderman Travel Fellowship from U.W. allowed him to travel to 26 countries over 8 months and experience many other cultures and civilizations.
We are proud to have ceramic works by Rodriguez in both buildings. In the Allen Center, four of his amusing monkeys (clockwise from upper left, Lesul, Louie, Barbary, and LongTail) adorn the seating area at the top of the stairs outside of the Gates Commons. The Singh Gallery in the Gates Center houses the spectacular 12-piece "Zodiac Series - alebrijes" — Rodriguez’s reinterpretation of the Chinese Zodiac animals, using familiar animals from South and Central America. "Alebrijes" refers to a type of traditional Mexican folk art — typically imaginary animals painted with bright colors. A common feature of Rodriguez's works is the use of small molded ceramic flowers or other simple shapes to adorn his figures, creating texture, depth, and complexity on the surface, and giving each piece its own personality.
George Rodriguez received the 2019 Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), the 2016 Museum of Northwest Art’s Luminaries’ Patti Warashina Award for Emerging Artists, and a 2015 Fellowship from Artist Trust. He has had recent shows at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (2018), the Museum of Northwest Artists (2019), and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.
George Rodriguez: Guardian, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
George Rodriguez: Sanctuary, Ceramics Monthly
There and back again – a sculptor’s trip around the world, Seattle Times
George Rodriguez, Craft in America
George Rodrigeuz, A Life in Art, YouTube video