Ceramic artist Courtney Mattison is a sculptor with a background in marine conservation science and policy. Her sculptural works parallel the beauty and fragility of coral reefs. These hand-built pieces are both intricate and large-scale, encouraging viewers to think critically about the threats facing our reefs and oceans. She very purposefully works in ceramic, as calcium carbonate is both an ingredient of ceramic glaze and a compound used by corals and mollusks. Her color palette of glazes are specifically developed to reflect the tones and textures of healthy marine communities.
Born in 1985 and raised in San Francisco, Mattison received an interdisciplinary B.A. in marine ecology and ceramic sculpture from Skidmore College in 2008 and a M.A. in environmental studies from Brown University with thesis credits at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. Mattison has been commissioned to create work for permanent collections including those of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies, Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance ship and private patrons. Her work has been exhibited at prominent venues including the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the American Museum of Ceramic Art, the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2020, the United Nations Postal Administration included Mattison’s work on a postage stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. She lives and works in Los Angeles.