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Bonita Day
photo of Bonita

Bonita Day
Statement of artistic intent

I am fascinated by microscopic images and the idea that we could reductively separate one tiny living thing from another in order to see it as a unique entity. I feel that is analogous to the way the material world works, in that we, as individuals or personalities are separated from one another only by material, space and time. My work refers to images from microbiology because of their fundamental beauty and simplicity but also because they imply human observation and manipulation. I am inspired by the simple beauty of dividing cell forms, diatoms and replicating chromosomes and use them in my work to refer to the defining quality of life forms: they grow and are in a state of self perpetuation, insisting to live and grow, whether or not one knows their reasons for being.

I work primarily with clay and use soft slab techniques, draping the clay over supports such as stuffed soft forms in order to create life-like organic forms in the round. The clay is used at its most plastic state in order to imitate bio-organic qualities such as turgid cell forms and tissue like textures. The clay parts are formed separately, fired with low-temperature glazes for brightness and low shrinkage. They are then combined at the end of the firing process with the other ceramic elements or with any mixed media components. I combine references to the human made such as industrial pipe and hybridization with biological forms that are an expression of intangible, animate forces. Through this duality, I hope to create a metaphor for the connection between the physical and the intangible.

Bonita Day completed her undergraduate work at Louisiana State University, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1992. Bonita received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Tulane University in 1999. (Louisiana, USA) After completion of her graduate work, Bonita was served as Curator and Director of the Carroll Gallery of the Newcomb Art Department, serving in that capacity until 2002. She has been an active member of many Arts Organizations, most notable are her service as the Chair of the Visual Arts Committee and Executive Committee Member of the Board of Directors for the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans and her service to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as a Member of the Board of Directors. In 2008 she created and co-chaired the regional NOLA Fired Up ceramics art conference which brought together over 250 artists for lectures, exhibitions and an outdoor fired installation art exhibition event. In 2004 Bonita was a guest presenter at the e.hormone scientific conference. In addition to pursuing her art career, Bonita has also pursued her interest in science and microbiology as she has worked in the Tulane University School of Medicine for the past four years, assisting in research in a microbiology laboratory. There she has gained hands on microbiology experience including tissue collection, growing viruses and cells in culture and capturing images on the microscope.
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