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Toe River Arts | Clay

Noah Styles


“Garrison Keillor said that anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car. The same goes for being an artist: having the right kind of mallet and marble won’t make you Michelangelo. In fact, Michelangelo created David from a piece of marble that had been twice discarded by other sculptors. This is one of the reasons why I like to incorporate found objects into my work. For me, being an artist is about being able to see something beautiful in imperfect, broken and battered things. Clay is my favorite medium because of its suppleness, strength, and willingness to be transformed in both form and texture. I don’t usually think about the finished product while I sculpt, but rather how the transformation of discarded objects and clay makes me feel.  

Most locals know me for my nonprofit organization Shortbus Studio, an art and outdoor adventure program for folks with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. After running the program for twelve years, I am now concentrating on my own artwork. I consider myself a work in progress and just like my artwork, I am constantly experiencing transformation. I am overjoyed to be part of a vibrant arts community in the mountains of North Carolina, and I hope to contribute to the amazing pool of talent by making meaningful art that is accessible to everyone.”
– Noah Valentine Styles