Clay Art Center Welcomes 2023-2024 Artists In Residence

40 Beech Street, Port Chester, NY 10573


Media Contact:       Regina Farrell-Fagan, Exhibitions and Marketing Director                                                                                ,                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

For over 65 years, artists have been advancing their careers at Clay Art Center. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Clay Art Center’s nationally recognized artist-in-residence program. The Residency program, which commences each year in September, is uniquely designed for emerging artists who need time and space to develop their voices. Since its inception in 1998, over 50 young emerging artists have called Clay Art Center “home”. Many of the past residents have gone on to careers in the ceramics field as artists and educators, and many continue their relationship with Clay Art Center through exhibition, shop and educational opportunities.

Clay Art Center is excited to welcome the 2023 – 2024 residency class: Schuyler Forsythe, Jess Levin), Evelyn Mtika, and Stephanie Perez (Westchester Community Fellow). The residents work throughout the year on solo exhibitions which will be presented in the Clay Art Center gallery and online beginning in late June 2024. Resident Artists engage with the community throughout the year teaching adult, youth and community arts classes, and bring their expertise and creativity to the Clay Art Center community.

Resident Artist Bios

Schuyler Forsythe is a Hudson Valley native who received her BFA from SUNY New Paltz with a concentration in ceramics, and has worked as a studio assistant for artists throughout the country.

Her works have been exhibited in group shows in the Hudson Valley, as well as artist markets in NY and OR. Schuyler’s work has mostly been inspired by bi-coastal living and the vast American landscape, though with this most recent body of work the artist is exploring ancestral narratives through sculpture and ornamentation. Schuyler’s work pays homage to the lineage of craftspeople who have endured and persevered in order for her to be here today.

“In my current body of work I am examining the complex and fleeting qualities of a moment. These moments are exploring the intrinsic nature of the human experience, and how both our current surroundings and ancestral memory impact and question what it means to belong. Our histories continue to inform our present as our changing surroundings are a constant reflection of us. Through intuitive and explorative hand built sculptures, I am examining the inherent Intersection between self-identity and the natural world.”

Jess Levin earned a BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase, NY, concentrating in ceramics with hints of fabrics to show the balance between the soft and the fragile. They were most recently the 2022–23 Westchester Community Foundation Fellow at Clay Art Center. They use a bright, colorful, cartoonish sculpting style to bring to life a narrative of self-exploration and expression.

“The colorful yet quiet animal-human hybrids I create communicate a sense of serenity and relationship between fauna and human. Imagination is an essential part of any child, and playing pretend as a child is a gateway into self-exploration. With this in mind, I have started to take a more mythical approach with my practice by taking these horned animals and imagining them in a more whimsical way. 

These friendly creatures act as guardians for the larger and more animated personified animals that they surround. The guardian character I continue to reimagine in my work acts as a protector, or even a worshiped deity, and becomes a connection between the viewer and the piece that they can lean on for comfort. I am currently living through a transitional period between childhood and adulthood, and yearning to keep a childlike wonder alive in myself, and provoke it in others through my work.”

Evelyn Mtika has been working with clay for just shy of 3 years. Her work includes portraiture, figures, text, and is focused on exploring intertwined cultural connections and differences. She is interested in exploring how black femininity and culture is interwoven through hair, faces, and patterns. She pulls her inspiration from different aspects of her own background, having grown up within and between a Black and African diasporic household. She received her BFA from University of Hartford with a focus in ceramics and painting.

“My body of work is related to my understanding of how I navigate the world, holding myself to the close connections I make with my family and friends, and defining my experience of living within the Black and African diaspora and as a Woman. Through my work, I contemplate the nature of growing into my identity as well as the struggle of perceiving myself outside of internalized and negative stereotypes. My pottery is dedicated to pairing ornamental and painterly decorativeness with intense and powerful portraiture. I believe that the portraiture in my pieces, while changing in medium and style, all serve the same purpose; to remind me to always elevate the culture and heritage I grew up around and to respect the body I grew into.”

Stephanie Perez (Westchester Community Fellow) is an emerging ceramic artist and instructor with a BS in psychology and sociology from Fordham University. Drawing inspiration from her academic background, her artwork challenges established notions and invites contemplation about the interplay between familiarity and humanity.

While Stephanie’s sculptures often portray exaggerated features and proportions, they never lose their profound humanistic essence. Through manipulation of facial expressions, sometimes even through the absence of a face, she evokes a wide range of emotions in her artwork. Stephanie’s exploration extends to various glazing and finishing techniques, enabling her pieces to transcend boundaries, pushing the likeness to the human form. Stephanie strives to further push these boundaries of physical likeness, all while maintaining a strong sense of relatability to the human experience.

This fellowship was made possible by the Westchester Community Foundation, a division of The New York Community Trust. Westchester Community Foundation’s mission is to connect generous people to the causes they care about and invest in transformative ideas and organizations to improve lives and strengthen our community. WCF is a division of The New York Community Trust, one of the largest community foundations in the country, with assets of approximately $3 billion.

Clay Art Center’s Residency Program

For over 65 years, artists have been advancing their careers at Clay Art Center. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Clay Art Center’s nationally recognized artist-in-residence program, started in 1998 by Director Emeritus Reena Kashyap. Thanks to the incredible generosity of their donors, the past 25 years have seen over 50 young artists get the chance to launch their careers and find their voices.

Residents gain invaluable experience working in a community environment, teaching classes, sharing their technical knowledge and expertise, and managing many jobs around the studio. Each resident has a solo exhibition at the culmination of their residency. Through a competitive process, these artists come to Port Chester from across the country and are now thriving in their careers around the globe. Learn More.

Clay Art Center is a nationally recognized non-profit center for the advancement and practice of ceramic arts offering exhibitions, clay classes for adults and children, studio spaces for clay artists and outreach programs in the community.  It is located in the heart of Port Chester at 40 Beech Street, Port Chester, NY 10573. Join Clay Art Center for virtual & in-person classes or shop online at

About Clay Art Center

The Clay Art Center, founded in 1957 by Katherine Choy and Henry Okamoto and located in Port Chester, New York, is a nationally recognized non-profit center for the advancement of the ceramic arts. Its facilities are unique by providing artists with studio space, offering year-round clay classes and workshops in wheel throwing, pottery, sculpture and handbuilding for adults and children, thereby serving the Westchester and Connecticut communities. Its gallery is solely dedicated to exhibiting ceramics of emerging and established talents. Clay Art Center also offers outreach programs in the community to reach under served children and adults in Westchester County. Mon-Sat 10am – 4pm and by appt.