Year Graduated: 2018
Brooke Maag (Novacek) was born in Omaha, Nebraska on February 27th, 1995. Maag’s parents Keri and Terry Novacek, encouraged art from an early age. In high school, Maag got the privilege of taking many art classes. The program at Millard West High school offered advanced classes in painting, drawing, and ceramics. Maag took every art class offered, but decided to push art aside to pursue another passion in college.
Starting college as a special education major, Maag found herself missing the art world and switched her major to Art Education. Through taking classes at the art building on the University of South Dakota campus, Maag discovered a love for working with clay. This became such a passion; she decided to switch her major again, but to fine art with an emphasis in ceramics.
Through the program at USD, Maag has gained a great understanding of the material. The ceramics program has a wood kiln as well as a salt kiln. The atmospheric firings are the center of the program and offer great opportunities to immerse oneself in this particular medium. Visiting artists at the university have also contributed to her pieces. A quote from Chuck Hindes remains the center of her work; “Irregularity is beauty.”
This group of ceramic work is functional featuring wheel thrown and hand built variations. Much of the focus is put on the utilitarian value, as well as possessing a visually interesting design. Functional work creates a dialogue with the viewer and how viewer can use the piece in everyday life giving it precious value. Through atmospheric firing and the overall making process, textures are created, causing the piece to engage the sense of touch. The atmosphere in the wood kiln and salt kiln emphasizes the texture put on the outside of the piece through melted wood ash and volatilized salt.