Gretchen Ewert lives outside of Taos, N.M. in Arroyo Hondo. She grew up in the adjoining county in Mora and then left there to go east to study ceramics and printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Massachusetts College of Art. After graduation, Gretchen was an associate professor at the Art Institute of Boston, and an instructor in Intaglio at the Experimental Etching Studio of Boston, which she co-founded.
Her ceramic vessels include her personal vision of many animals of the world. There's an entire ceramic history of vessels of animals. Actually there's a whole history of different cultures using animals to decorate their vessels; everything from Greek to Thracian to Mesoamerican to the African world. Everybody has somehow included animals in their artwork because they are believed to hold magical powers and have an application to their cultural language.
Gretchen Ewert's ceramic sculptures, painted in oil and acrylics and then rubbed off with newsprint, have a clean, simple look to them, reminiscent of her years as a printmaker. Her clay pieces recall primitive religious artifacts and are often festooned with animal figures.
Ewert's works in ceramic incorporate a whole constellation of personal experiences and references of the mythological, literary, and visual sort; a "library" assimilated through extensive travel and study in Australia, India, and primarily, West Africa. Her work has been described as "metaphysical containers for magic, or for dreams that explore the universal connections between humankind and nature".
Born into a family of both scientists and artists, Gretchen Ewert has been a pioneer artist in bridging the scientific and rational world with the transcendental and non-rational ways of seeing that together comprise the human experience. The meaning of Ewert's work implies that the outer world which we experience is closely aligned with our inner lives. Her art is dedicated to exploring our understanding of human consciousness, the nature of reality, the full capacity of the human spirit and the profound social transformations which are occurring in our society.