To recognize their achievements, each member of the Women of Influence Class of 2019 receives a custom, specially commissioned work of art by local artist Tiffany Clark. Titled “Pull” and made from wheel-thrown white clay, each vase stands approximately 10 inches tall. With an organically pulled rim, each piece is slightly unique, with different markings on each piece that utilize the textures and water-in-motion look that clay can achieve.
“Each vessel symbolizes the continuous growth and strength that swells within each Woman of Influence,” Clark explained. “The creation process is similar to these fine ladies, constantly spinning, moving, and pulling upwards to their purpose and supporting others.”
Clark’s most current project is co-owner and lead artist of The Mural Machine. As a Dayton resident, she uses her artwork to beautify and connect with the community, creating lasting change on the walls of the city, most notably: “Love You,” a suicide awareness mural; Nordale Park Recovery Garden; and the Cornerstone Recovery Clinic.
“My motto is, ‘Paint the world you wish to see,’” she said. Clark continually creates gallery work in a multitude of mediums including her unique collage style, ceramics, sculpture, and oils.
An outspoken advocate on addiction recovery, many of her large-scale public murals have been created to bring awareness to, and attempt to heal, her city’s opioid epidemic. Clark’s 2018 TEDxDayton talk, “Art is My Addiction,” has been viewed nearly 1,000 times on YouTube. She is a graduate of Antioch College, has taught at Stivers School for the Arts, and currently teaches and mentors teenagers at Decoy Art Center.
This year’s Women of Influence award is finished in a sodium-fire process – one of the earliest forms of firing pottery – creating a raw, slightly unpredictable look with a frequently orange glaze.
“I chose this finish not just because of its history or beauty, but because it signifies what wonderful things have been created by women out of merely mud and salt,” Clark said. “Each of the Women of Influence, and YWCA, have worked to create a better world for my daughters, myself, and all of us. In my personal work, I try to uplift our neighborhoods. It is up to each of us to continue to use our gifts to highlight strong women and ‘pull’ up our peers and neighbors.
Learn more about Clark’s work at bit.ly/muralmachinedyt.