Thaddeus Erdahl was born and raised in La Porte City, Iowa. He has exhibited his sculpture and presented workshops regionally and nationally throughout the United States. His art and background in education started at the University of Northern Iowa where he received his BA in Art Education and a BFA in Ceramics. Upon graduation, he substitute taught in the public school system, instructed ceramics courses at a local art center and served as an interim art educator. Thaddeus actively practiced and taught a variety of art media including ceramics, drawing, assemblage, sculpture, painting, and graphic design. Thaddeus received his MFA in Ceramics from the University of Florida where he was a University of Florida Alumni Fellowship recipient during his three years of graduate study, from 2006-2009. In the summer of 2008, he attended Think Tank III, a national arts in higher education symposium, as a Graduate Fellowship Recipient. In 2009 he was selected as one of four Artists-in-Residents at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinlburg TN for an 11 month residency program. At the end of his tenure as an Artist-in-Resident, he was offered the position of Program Manager at Arrowmont, where he worked for 6 more months. Thaddeus recently moved to Princeton NJ to pursue his studio art career. He is currently the Visiting Artist at Princeton Day School, working in the Ceramics Studio.
"Our personal identities are a kaleidoscope of first person narratives influenced by the experiences and interactions with the world around us. As humans we are compelled to tell stories that illustrate analogies; blending together archetypes, shared experiences, and personal mythology. Who we are is an ongoing process of reinterpretations, observations, and personal connections.
Ceramic sculpture and portraiture, in particular, are forms of a visual narration that I use to satisfy my urge for documenting what I see in human nature. Evocative of well-loved toys and obsolete artifacts, I use the implied history of these objects to encourage the viewer to disconnect from the present situation and conjure their own individual narratives from my sculptures.
One of the most attractive qualities of human behavior, a coveted characteristic belonging to successful communicators in any field, is a sense of humor. Humor is the great lubricator that ultimately allows us all to move on, let go, and laugh at ourselves. I use humor as a veneer to cover certain autobiographical components of my life. Some things in life are so serious, you have to laugh at them. Working with concepts that are personal and sometimes narcissistic perceptions of the gloomy side of life, humor is my buffer. Dry or irreverent, it is humor that mystifies those tragedies. Sometimes in my work it confronts the viewer, creating an uncomfortable situation that simultaneously conceals and lays bare, guides and misdirects their sense of social standards and manners. I seek to convey not just the outward appearance of people, but also the intimate concept of self." ...