Ben Skiba "Knuckle Cracks and Toe Taps" Opens March 1, 2017

Can't wait for the opening of Ben Skiba's show, Knuckle Cracks and Toe Taps, that I had the opportunity to organize and curate over the last several months! It opens March 1, 2017 at Rainmaker Gallery in Portland, OR.



"Rainmaker Artist Resident, Hannah Newman, presents the work of Portland artist Ben Skiba in her latest curatorial project. Skiba’s show, "Knuckle Cracks and Toe Taps," is in conjunction with the 2017 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference in Portland on March 22–25. Skiba’s work is inspired by small moments and unconscious gestures and he creates sculptural assemblies, drawings, and installations that feature colorful compositions and intuitive constructions. Incorporating a wide variety of materials including ceramic, tape, paint, and cardboard, Skiba’s work uses familiar objects to create unfamiliar pairings. 


Shifting between two and three dimensions, Skiba’s work moves playfully between the floor and the wall, challenging material traditions. Sculptures rooted in ceramics transform into drawings, before reasserting their physical presence as clay, while two-dimensional works seem to pulsate off the wall. Using perspective and scale shifts, the work presented in "Knuckle Cracks and Toe Taps" offers both monumental and minute moments for consideration.


Representing a new generation coming to the forefront of the ceramics community, Skiba’s work features a lively sense of materials and a dedicated joy in making.


Ben Skiba received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2015, concentrating in painting, ceramics, and printmaking. Upon graduating he moved to Portland, Oregon to take part in the Emerging Artist Mentorship Program at Ash Street Project where he is now studio assistant to the program. In addition to exhibiting extensively, Skiba has participated in several artist residencies."

Rainmaker Gallery at Rainmaker Artist Residency

2337 NW York St. #201, Portland, OR

Opening reception: Wednesday March 1, 2017, 6–8pm

NCECA Conference reception: Thursday, March 23, 2017. 5–8pm

Gallery hours: March 21–25, 12–4pm and by appointment at