Devyn Leonor Briggs
Mediums: Painter · Ceramics
Devyn Leonor Briggs was raised in Bethlehem, PA. A graduate of Freedom High School, Devyn went on to study fine art at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), a nationally ranked art college in Baltimore, MD. There she studied drawing, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, and ceramics, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Ceramics in May 2013. She went on to study business in MICA’s masters degree program in the Business of Art and Design, and is currently Assistant to the Curator at the Petrucci Family Foundation of African American Art. Devyn’s work has always been inspired by her mixed Colombian, Jamaican, and African American heritage. Through painting, ceramics, and textiles, Devyn expresses her love of color and pattern and the unique fusion of traditional and contemporary art forms that result from her upbringing and her training.Artist Statement
The art I make is simply my means of reciprocating the joy and beauty I am continually blessed to experience. It is birthed from the desire to both show gratitude and share those things in my life that fascinate me, amaze me, comfort me, and sustain me. It’s a celebration of a faith, a heritage, a people, and a home from which I have grown and continue to draw nourishment. Through the colors of my culture, the textures of our homes, and the stories of my faith, I create work with a personal vocabulary that describes my personal experience. I work with both paint and clay, allowing the artistic and material histories of Latin American and African cultures to inspire the language with which I speak. My contemplations and explorations remain the same whether I am working in paint or ceramic. My strategies are consistent. I find those things in the world that excite me and resonate in me and use that inspiration to create beautiful objects with which I can give thanks and glory to God.
My paintings are often narrative or allegorical, reflecting on subjects of faith, culture, community, and family. Built up with layers of acrylic paint, the pieces are vibrant in color and texture, yet they maintain a sense of serenity with a hint of the sacred. Much like the stained glass in a church, they invite contemplation and spiritual reflection. The ceramic work is a fusion of traditional materials and contemporary exploration. The vessels function in the same way the figures do in the paintings. They are the metaphor for humanity, the body and the spirit. Naked or adorned, broken or whole, empty or full—these vessels explore humanity’s beauty and imperfection, its fragility and strength, its humility and its pride. They reveal the will and hand of the maker in the same way that creation reveals the will and hand of the Creator.