Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Virginia Mahoney grew up in Tampa, FL, immersed in the subtropical landscape and weather. Her mother was a maker at home with cloth, thread, yarn, paint, shells. Following that example at an early age, Mahoney added various media to the list. Attending Queens University in NC, she spent an influential year in France and Spain, then graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Visual Art/Ceramics. After honing her skills as a Core Fellow at Penland School of Craft (NC), Virginia graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art (MI) with an MFA in Ceramics.
After Cranbrook, where she worked with ceramic sculpture and installations, Mahoney built a small catenary, wood-fired, salt kiln, embarking on the business of creating functional ceramics. This work evolved to hand-built ceramic/mixed media vessel forms, then wall works in cloth/mixed media and fragments of her own destroyed work. Themes of imposed expectations, and the limitations of standardization in certain aspects of our lives, were the focus of those series. One constant throughout has been a resistance to the rigidity of categories, a pushing back against set boundaries and parameters, in ideas, working methods, and material approaches.
Interview for Fountain Street Live (Instagram) with Steve Sangapore
Check out this interview with Boston Voyager (June, 2018)