April 13, 2020 — Juan Barroso, ('20, M.F.A. candidate, Studio Art: Ceramics) was named in the May 2020 issue of Ceramics Monthly as an emerging artist. With more than 300 submissions to the annual Emerging Artist competition from artists around the world, 20 artists were chosen for their skillful use of a variety of techniques to convey a range of conceptual explorations. Several artists used historical and familial connections to different cultures and shared personal experiences, memories and dreams.
An example of Barroso's work "is Honoring Our Janitors, a coil-built mop bucket, which was made to honor the labor of janitors in schools — labor that often goes unnoticed or unappreciated. In high school, I noticed many students would ignore the janitors, walking past them as if they were invisible ghosts. My mother used to clean houses, driving around with a bright pink vinyl sign that said, “Lucy’s House Cleaning Services.” I observed a lack of respect for the janitor, and so in high school, I was embarrassed of that sign. Years later, while working the closing shift at Michael’s, I was mopping the restrooms as clean as my mom would have left them. I realized yet again the dignity with which she worked to provide food and a decent education for me. I coil built this mop bucket while remembering my job, remembering my mother’s house-cleaning job, and placing the easily overlooked image of a janitor on a small corner of the bucket." Read the article.
Image 1: Juan de Jesus Barroso, photo by Chris Meerdo. Image 2: Juan Barroso’s Honoring Our Janitors, 23 in. (58 cm) in height, low-fire clay, stippled underglaze illustration, fired to cone 5 in oxidation, 2020.