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The Scene: MaPó Kinnord

The Scene: MaPó Kinnord

Ceramist, educator

The Scene: MaPó Kinnord

Ceramist, educator
Winter 2024 issue of American Craft magazine
MaPó Kinnord works on a new sculpture in her studio. Photo by Cedric Angeles.

MaPó Kinnord works on a new sculpture in her studio. Photo by Cedric Angeles.

Kinnord with her 1998 shrine sculpture Stupa, which was included in the 2021 exhibition Outside In, Improvisations of Space, stoneware and mixed media, 30 x 20 x 30 in. Photo by Cedric Angeles.

Kinnord with her 1998 shrine sculpture Stupa, which was included in the 2021 exhibition Outside In, Improvisations of Space, stoneware and mixed media, 30 x 20 x 30 in. Photo by Cedric Angeles.

mkinnordart.com | @nolamapo

Chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Xavier University of Louisiana, Kinnord has shared her love of clay as an artist and teacher for over 40 years. She grew up in Cleveland and worked as a production potter and sculptor in Massachusetts and California before moving to New Orleans in 1994. She relocated to the city because it offered everything she was looking for. “I wanted a place that was warm, a place near water, a culturally rich city with a large Black population that had a major airport. I wanted a place where I could afford to live. New Orleans checked all of those boxes and then some,” Kinnord says. “Art is a little bit different in New Orleans than it is in New York. In New Orleans, it’s a way of life. It’s so much a part of the culture. It’s because we have an art community, not an art world. In fact, we don’t care what the art world thinks. New Orleans is probably the second most provincial city in the country, after New York. As far as we are concerned, we are the center of the universe. Some of the celebrities like to come to New Orleans. They don’t get treated like celebrities. You almost have to prove yourself to the community.”

 

ARTISTS KINNORD ADMIRES: Designer Norma Hedrick, who helped establish the Fashion & Textiles department at the Material Institute; master blacksmith Darryl Reeves, whose highly respected work is “really, really New Orleans”; wood sculptor Larry Nevil, “one of our elders”; visual artist and activist Brandan “BMike” Odums of Studio Be; sculptor Jennifer Odem; Sheleen Jones, an incredible artist “in terms of commemorative bronzes”; visual artist Louise Mouton Johnson; wood and mixed-media sculptor John Barnes; visual artist Rontherin Ratliff; and “legendary artist and educator” John T. Scott, who died in 2007.

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This article was made possible with support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

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