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Natalia Arbelaez is a Colombian American artist, born and raised in Miami, Florida to immigrant parents. She received her B.F.A. from Florida International University and her M.F.A. from The Ohio State University, where she received an Enrichment Fellowship. She completed a yearlong residency at the Clay Art Center; Port Chester, New York as a Barbara Rittenberg Fellow and was awarded the 2016 Inaugural Artaxis Fellowship that funded a residency to the Watershed in Newcastle, Maine. Her work has been exhibited nationally, in museums, galleries, and included in various collections such as the Everson Museum and The Frederik Meijer Gardens. She has been recognized by the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts as a 2018 Emerging Artist in the field. Natalia is currently a resident artist at the Harvard Ceramics Program, Office of the Arts at Harvard University where she is researching pre-Columbian art and histories.


I was born in Miami, Florida but shortly after my birth I immigrated to my mother’s country of Colombia, Medellin. I would return to the states at the age of four and assimilate quickly learning English and forgetting Spanish within a month. Throughout my life, I have always questioned my identity and have felt a sense of loss.

With creating work, I could fill that loss and I have been able to reconnect with my heritage. My work serves as a bridge to research my history and culture while aiming to preserve. I look to the history of Latin American and the Amerindian people; I work with how these identities are lost through conquest, migration, and time, gained through family, culture, exploration, and passed down through tradition and genetic memory. I use these influences to contribute to a contemporary dialogue while simultaneously continuing the work of my ancestors. There has been so much loss and stigma of these communities that it is important to me that my work celebrates and honors them.

The body plays an essential role in my work as it has a memory to it and memory extends itself to my ideas of the body. In my process of referencing the body, I have forgone the use of an actual and specific body. Because of this, I can use the memory of my own body, the body of my family, and ancestors to extend my memories to places beyond the body. In creating more of an essence of the body and not a likeness I am able to visit such personal and painful narratives that I find hard to confront. 

Natalia Arbelaez


2015                      Master of Fine Arts Candidate, Ceramics The Ohio State University

2011                      Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, Florida International University


2018-pres Ceramic Instructor, Sculpture and Historical Ceramics, Harvard University, Ceramics Program, Allston, MA

2017-pres            Adjunct Professor, Ceramic Sculpture and Ceramics II, The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY

2017-pres             Ceramics & 3D Technology Instructor, Putnam Arts Council, Mahopac, NY

2016-pres            Ceramics Instructor, Figure, Sculpture, Wheel, The Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY

2015-16                3D Technician/ Tech Mentor, COSI Center of Science and Industry, Columbus, OH

2013-15                Teacher of Record, Introduction to Low Fire, and High Fire The Ohio State University


2018 Visiting Artist, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Artist Talk and Installation, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, MA

Visiting Artist, Otterbein University, Westerville, OH

2017 Artist Talk, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition, Grand Rapids, MI

2016                    Visiting Artist, Ohio University Chillicothe, Chillicothe, OH

2015                     Artist Talk Studio Assistants, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN

2013                     Artist Talk Natalia Arbelaez, The Ohio State University Columbus, OH

2010                    Student Artist Critiques & Artist Talk, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, with Director and Chief Curator, Bonnie Clearwater and Associate                                         Curator, Ruba Katrib MOCA Miami invited artist Miami, FL 


 2018 NCECA Emerging Artist Award, Pittsburg, PA

2016-2017          Barbara Rittenberg Fellowship, Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY

 2016                    Artaxis Fellowship, Funded residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME

                             Jurors Award, Peter Beasecker, Archie Bray Beyond the Brickyard, Helena, MT

2013-15                Graduate Teaching Assistantship, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

2015                     Studio Assistantship, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN.

2012-2013            Graduate Enrichment Fellowship Award, The Ohio State University

2009-11                Scholarship, College of Architecture + The Arts, Visual Arts Scholarship in the Department of Art & Art History, Florida International University


2018 Esteka Magazine, Natalia Arbelaez Descubriéndose, Santiago, Chile by Amanda Barr

The Washington Post, The American Character, Washington, DC by Mark Jenkins

Hudson Valley Magazine, Celebrating Local Art with 15 of the Valley’s top Artists, Fishkill, NY

2017 Hi Fructose, Natalia Arbelaez’s Ceramic Figures, by Andy Smith

Upper Playground, by Ariadna Zierold     

2016                      Westchester Magazine, Two Tone, Westchester, NY Authored article

                     Expatlit Journal, The Art Issue 03 Miami, FL

                     Great Falls Tribune, Montana Newspaper, Archie Bray Juried exhibit goes Beyond the Brickyard, Authored article, Great Falls, MT   

2015                      WOSU TV, Broad & High, Phase Shift, Columbus, OH

2014                      The Lantern, OSU Newspaper, Columbus, OH Authored article: Similar hands yield varied structures in ceramics exhibit ‘Concurrent’

2010                      The Beacon, FIU Newspaper, Miami Fl. Authored article: The Finished Trick


2018 Gallery 224, Raise a glass a contemporary response to Harvard Art Museums Animal Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World, Allston, MA

Sherrie Gallery, Nostalgia, Columbus, OH Ori Gallery, Inheritance, Portland, OR

Lacoste Gallery, A Cultural Narrative, Concord, MA

District Clay, US emerging voices, Washington, DC Werkartz, CLAY-DO, Chinatown, LA

Arts Westchester, Triennial, White Plains, NY

Contemporary Craft, Visual Voices Truth Narratives, Pittsburg, PA

NCECA Emerging Artist Exhibition Cross Currents, Pittsburg PA

LAS (Latin American Status) Presented by NCECA organized by Natalia Arbelaez, Pittsburg Cultural Trust, PA

2017                      Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition, Grand Rapids, MI

                              American Museum of Ceramic Art AMOCA, We the People: Serving Notice, Pomona, CA

                              Clay Art Center, Stories of my Histories, Solo Exhibition, Port Chester, NY

2016                      The Art Center Western Colorado, Contemporary Clay Biennial, Grand Junction, CO

                              Art Boca Raton, Irreversible Projects, Booth 317, Boca Raton, FL

                              The Archie Bray Foundation, Beyond the Brickyard, Helena, MT

                              Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, De La Naturaleza, Columbus, OH

                              Fort Hayes Shot Tower Gallery, Landmark, CAW Showcase, Columbus, OH

2015                      400 West Rich, Promenade Gallery, Artist Showcase, Columbus, OH  

                              The Ohio Crafts Museum, Fresh Perspective, Columbus, OH

                              Brandt-Roberts Galleries, Convergence, Columbus, OH

                              Urban Arts Space, Phase Shift, OSU MFA Thesis Exhibition, Columbus, OH  

2014                      EASE Gallery, Concurrent, Group Exhibition, Columbus, OH,

                             Pearl Conard Gallery, Coeval, OSU Ceramics Group Exhibition, Mansfield, OH

2013                     Swing Space Gallery, Recent Arrivals, Columbus, OH

2012                     Hopkins Hall Galley, Ohio State University, Line of Best Fit, Columbus, OH

                             The Shot Tower Gallery, Fort Heyes Metropolitan Education Center, From Here and There, Columbus, OH.      

2011                     Triana Space, Basel Showcase, Miami, FL  

                             De la Cruz Collection, Inflatable Sculpture Collaborative, Miami, FL,

                             Christopher Miro Gallery, Domesticity, Miami, FL

                             Frost Art Museum, FIU BFA show, Miami, FL,

2010                    Space 104, Miami Design District, Installation Art Exhibit, Miami, FL

                            MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL, Student Artist Critiques with Director and Chief Curator, Bonnie Clearwater and Associate Curator,                                   Ruba Katrib MOCA Miami invited artist, Miami, FL

                            ArteAmericas, The Art Fair Of The Americas invited artist, Miami Convention Center, Miami Beach, FL     

                            LYC&W Arts, Tendencies, A Group Show, Miami, FL                                                                                

2009                    Florida International University W9, FIU Spring Show, Miami, FL

                            Tower Theater, CCV Borscht Film Festival Gallery Showcase, Miami, FL


2018-2019 Office for the Arts at Harvard, Harvard University, Artist-in-Residence, Allston, MA

RBeck and Harris Collaborative, Summer Collaboration Project, Reinbeck, NY

2016-2017           Clay Art Center, Artist-in-Residence Fellow, Port Chester, NY

2016                    Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME

2015                    400 West Rich Artist Center, Artist-in-Residence, Columbus, OH

2015, 14, 13        Belden Brick Company, Summer Artist-in-Residence, Sugarcreek, Ohio


Ceramics: Wheel throwing, hand building, mold making, press molding, slip casting, clay and glaze formulation, slip and glaze decorating techniques, printmaking techniques using ceramic materials, electric kiln firing, gas oxidation and reduction kiln firing, ceramic restoration and repair, armature construction, kiln maintenance, studio maintenance, and safety

Mold Making: RAM process dye making, hydrocal, plaster, silicone and urethane rubber Casting Wax, paper, urethane liquid plastic, glass casting, hot casting, kiln casting, sand-casting

Glass: Fusing, slumping, kiln casting, hot casting, sand-casting, Fusing decals in glass or ceramics

Woodshop: Stationary power tools, hand power tools, manual tools, shop maintenance and safety

Software: Mac and PC platforms, Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Cura, Poser, Repetier, Meshmixer, Skanect, Blender, GeoMagic, Arduino

Photo: Black and white photography, Color, dark room processing, digital photography

Sculpture: 3D printing and scanning, CNC machining, bronze & aluminum casting, Mig, Tig and Acetylene welding, Kinetic sculpture with and without Arduino boards