Meet the Artist: Faye Gant

Faye Gant grew up in a religious household where their father was the minister of the church. They now spend their free time working with ceramics which they define as “politically involved art that speaks truth to power and mainstream thoughts.” This is a stark contrast to how they were raised, but the church, America today, and how they grew up is a huge influence on their art. 

Gant includes much of their life in their work, including LGBTQ+ themes and how they are demonstrated in the church and world. Their work is designed to “ruffle some feathers” as they state, “the church is in need of another reformation. It has to grow and what I have to say resonates with others like me in the community.” 

Gant’s most recent project focused on the stolen narrative of those in the LGBTQ+ community and how they have been suppressed in the past by the church.

 There is a huge change coming, according to Gant, and they want to support people like them through it because they “want to keep speaking to this topic that I have focused on and see what it turns into.”

Ceramics is a versatile medium, so they see themselves merging into other themes, but at the moment their inspiration is Orthodox and Catholic icons. Gant explains that “early Christian iconography was originally created to show people what is being taught from the Bible. I use it in my ceramic art and edit them to illustrate a message I want to get across about our world today.” While Gant sees themselves working with more functional pieces (i.e., dinnerware, flasks, etc.), they do not want to completely abandon the religious aspects in symbolism. 

Gant asks their audience to be open-minded, saying, “The greatest thing any reader or person can do for artists and everyone is to open their mind. To not be so close-minded when you’re presented with information that challenges your beliefs. It is not a good or healthy thing for your first reaction to clam up.” 

Most people are not open to criticism and Gant has received a lot of backlash due to its controversial art themes. They hope their art is a conversation starter where people are introduced to something new and intriguing.

On a personal level, Gant explains that their art “helps release pent-up emotions and physical energy because ceramics are pretty physically involved, and it is a therapeutic experience all around.” This therapeutic aspect has also made them better students academically. They are very interested in the business side of things after selling their work for the first time at the pottery festival in downtown Sylva. 

As they continue on their pursuit of justice, they have a couple of new directions in mind. Something that entices them is Hell, more specifically the idea of it and how much damage it can do. They will use the sources “Heaven & Hell” by Bart Ehrman and “That All Shall Be Saved” by David Hart to introduce the idea that “hell doesn’t actually exist even according to Christian theology.” 

Another idea that they are interested in is “how the violent colonization of the Americas and much of the world is part of Christian history.” They will use “American Holocaust” by David Stannard and “Unsettling Truths” by Mark Charles. 

As you can tell, they don’t plan on shifting towards any easy topics any time soon and they will continue to keep religion and the real America in the spotlight.

For all of those interested in themes of social justice and church reformation, check out their social media: hereticalcraft