Oliva Gallery

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Accidental Furnace: Selected Ceramic Works of Corinne D. Peterson

  • Oliva Gallery 3816 West Armitage Avenue Chicago, IL, 60647 United States (map)

Opening Reception: Friday, March 31st, 2017. 5PM-10PM.

Gallery Hours: Saturday, February 4th 11AM-4PM.

3816 W. Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647. Logan Square neighborhood.


For me, artmaking is a force for developing connections between the past and present, between opposing forces of nature, between the intellect and subconscious and between me and my artistic materials.  I have stripped away much of the overt symbolism of my earlier art to work mainly with the forms of architecture and nature. In my newest work, I use openings to explore elusive inner life, its shifts and mysteries, as it relates to outer life. 

Working with nature and clay connects me to my early roots of growing up on a Minnesota farm. Cracks, fissures, scars and pools of glaze are all part of my personal artistic vocabulary. The colors I use come primarily from rocks, leaves, and other bits of nature I’ve collected and studied since childhood.  I use layers and layers of color and fill the cracks with dark tones for a sense of history. I intend for each work to expose the evidence of its own past, much as a person reveals an accumulation of his or her experiences.


Corinne D. Peterson grew up on a farm near Anoka, Minnesota, and attended North Park University in Chicago.  She earned a M.A. in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1980, and then developed a psychotherapy practice. While preparing to study Jungian analysis, her dreams about clay led her to take a clay class at Lillstreet Art Center. 

Captivated by the possibilities of artistic expression with clay, Peterson took more classes, developed her skills, and shifted her career focus to art.  She was awarded several residencies at the Ragdale Foundation and was in residence at Tegelgården, Sweden and Taiwan Normal University.  Her studio is at Lillstreet, where she produces her sculpture, works with interns and teaches classes.  Peterson also has presented her work in many panels,  lectures, seminars and workshops. 

Peterson’s sculptures are in numerous private and public collections, including Kirkland & Ellis, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Deloitte, Burrell Communications and Oakton College.  Her clay tile murals and mosaics can be seen at many Chicago area locations, including the CTA station at Roosevelt and State, Latin Middle School, Portage Park Senior Center and other Chicago Park District facilities. 

Peterson has exhibited throughout the country and in solo shows at The Cliff Dwellers in Chicago; Noyes Cultural Art Center and Dittmar Gallery at Northwestern University, Evanston; University of Notre Dame in Indiana and National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.  Recent group exhibits include CSI at Art Chicago and Bridgeport Art Center,  Antonovych, Niespodziewana, Peterson at Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and outdoor installations at Krasl Biennial Sculpture Invitational 2008-09Chattanooga River Walk 2009-10 and Form in Flora at Garfield Park Conservatory 2010.