Artist Links
Betsy Birkner

Artist’s Website betsybirkner.com/

Betsy Birkner

“Until our true values can emerge from behind the curtain, the ceramic armor serves as a façade of adorned fragility.”

Trained as a painter and ultimately establishing a successful career as a graphic designer, Betsy Birkner has turned to ceramics in recent years to address social stereotypes of feminine beauty. Through her work, she exploits elements of fashion as vehicle for self-expression and concealment. Her creations are the embodiment of protection and power as evidenced in a series of fantastical coats of armor inspired by deities, royalty, and pop culture icons.

In response the greater external social dialogue and her own internal struggle, Birkner says, “We armor ourselves against the onslaught of family, media, and cultural messages, protecting the vulnerability of the ideal self. Until our true values can emerge from behind the curtain, the ceramic armor serves as a façade of adorned fragility.”

Betsy Birkner earned a BFA in painting from Winthrop University and served as a photographer and illustrator in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of Botany and the North Carolina Botanical Garden. She has led workshops in color theory, photography, illustration, and ceramics. She has exhibited her work throughout the southeast and most recently received a Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts and Science Council.

Artist Information

Residency Type Windgate Alumni Artist-in-Residence

Currently Based Charlotte, NC

Hometown Charlotte, NC

Medium Ceramics

Residency Dates Apr 14 2014 — Mar 25 2015