The Curator’s Wall is reserved for imagination and the creative process. Deborah Rael-Buckley has responded to this challenge by creating an installation based on the dimensions of this wall, keeping in mind the impact on the viewer.
In 2010 Rael-Buckley stated, “As a child I loved playing with clay and all things muddy, waiting for it to rain so I could dam up the flowing water in the gutters and sail leaves… waiting for the thin leftover silt at the bottom of the gutter to dry and curl up at the edges. I would try and lift the thin clay chips up carefully so as not to break them and try to save the largest pieces I could and balance them on each other higher and higher until the weight of them forced the whole thing to crumble. Those are my first memories of working in clay. Now I am 57 years old and I am a sculptor.”
As stated on Rael-Buckley's web site, the artist " . . . was born in New Mexico in 1953, but she did not begin taking courses in art history at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque until 1987. She transferred to the University of Illinois -Chicago, where she was awarded the McNee Foundation Award, and took a degree with honors in the history of art and architecture in 1994, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. After a move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin she began taking several introductory courses in studio arts and uncovered a profound interest in ceramics and sculpture: she transferred to the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In 1996 she took a three month course of study abroad in Cortona, Italy, concentrating on bronze casting and ceramic sculpture. In 2000 she was awarded her MFA by UW-M, along the way being awarded the Layton Special Achievement Award, the Advanced Opportunity Program Fellowship and the Layton Graduate Fellowship.
From 1998 until 2001 Rael-Buckley taught ceramics and ceramics history at the Peck School for the Arts at UW-M. Rael-Buckley has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in Brussels, Belgium where she lived and worked for two years. While in Brussels she exhibited at Galerie 94 and had her work published in Ceramica 02: A Guide to Belgian Ceramics (Editions Armature Uitvegerij, 2002). Other publications include numerous articles in Ceramics Monthly, Santa Fean Magazine, American Art Collector, Tempo Magazine, Hispanic Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine and Ceramics Art and Perception. She returned to New Mexico in 2003 after being away for nearly 13 years. She participated in her first Contemporary Hispanic Market in 2005, where she was awarded Best of Show and Best of Ceramics for her sculpture entitled Visitation. The State of New Mexico purchased that piece, which is now permanently installed at the Tony Anaya Building in Santa Fe. Her piece entitled Rosas sin Espinas was chosen to be exhibited with Originals, 2007, an exhibition at the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, NM, sponsored by New Mexico Women in the Arts. Recently Rael-Buckley received a purchase award grant from the Peter and Madeline Martin Foundation.
Rael-Buckley's works are in national and international collections, including the State of New Mexico, the Sara and David Lieberman Collection of Contemporary Ceramics and the Sandy and Diane Besser Collection of Contemporary American Ceramics. Her work can also be seen in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Illinois, the State of New Mexico, Santa Fe, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Museum, Albuquerque. Rael-Buckley lives and works in Taos, NM, where she has her studio. Her work can be seen at Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and privately in her studio.