Elizabeth Crisman’s interest in archeology and human history led her to volunteer at a Neolithic excavation, Kfar HaHoresh, in Israel during August 2010. Physical manifestations of Crisman’s excavation experience are brought to life in various works, each one probing differing archaic processes and modes of thought. Much of her work is comprised primarily of photographs and objects made from slip cast stoneware that reference human evolution.
The photographs and ceramic work in this exhibition consist of references to family history through the journal writings of her great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, who immigrated from England in the 1880’s. Timeline is a series of ceramic slabs with various journal entries transferred on to the surfaces of stoneware using stains. They are arranged in a similar pattern one would see of a timeline or illustration in a history book. The pages represent the family history in the making. 1953 is a photogram made into a positive. The words on both sides of the journal entries blended together and became unreadable. This is a comment on recorded history and/or history passed down from generation to generation and how it can become convoluted or distorted. Slip case e-readers or electronic devices, paired with handwritten journal entries in Thursday April 8th and Tuesday March 30th, are a playful way of comparing the past with the present as another way of looking at human evolution.
Elizabeth Crisman has exhibited nationally in group and solo exhibitions and received various fellowships and awards. She was an artist in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in France and a recipient of an Alumni Travel Grant from the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia, PA. She holds an MFA in Photography and Digital Imaging from Maryland Institute College of Art and a BFA in Ceramics from Virginia Commonwealth University. Ms. Crisman has also had the opportunity to be a juror for various organizations: CHAW Capital Hill Arts Workshops, Washington DC; Annual Prince George’s County Public School Juried Art Exhibition; Regional Scholastic Art Competition for High School Students in Fairfax, VA. Currently, Ms. Crisman is the Director at the Montpelier Arts Center located in Laurel, MD while continuing her studio practice.