Hiraeth Never Fades is a ceramic-based installation focused on my experience as a product of the closed domestic adoption industry in the United States. Using self-portrait busts, vessels, daisies, and stacked paper, I explore the unnerving struggle to find my family as an adult and the psychological aftershocks of a newly reclaimed original identity.
The installation examines the personal impact of accessing a hidden past, the struggle to reclaim original identity, and the journey to secure personal historicity as someone who started life as an orphan and was subsequently adopted. I was given the right to try to find my family after 30 years of legal restriction. In my thesis work I explore ideas of secretly wondering who my family was while being isolated from them; coming to terms with tragedy and loss upon reunion; and learning to connect with the remaining family I was so lucky to find.
Jeff Kuratnick is a Welch Fellow and 3rd year Ceramics M.F.A. candidate at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University. During his time at GSU, Kuratnick has also earned a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
His current studio practice examines the psychological aftershocks of accessing a government-sanctioned hidden past for adult adoptees that are part of the closed domestic adoption industry in the United States. An article about Kuratnick’s thesis work at GSU “Hiraeth Never Fades: Reclaiming My Identity through the Studio” was published in the March 2020 issue of Studio Potter, a journal centered in studio practice in the ceramics field since its inception in 1972.
Prior to his enrollment at GSU, Kuratnick was employed as a museum professional. Most recently, he served in the capacity of Researcher with The Marks Project: The Dictionary of American Studio Ceramics 1946 – Present, and as Education Director and Ceramics Area Head at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls, Montana.
Bachelor of Arts, Art Education Certification (K–12), Ceramics Concentration, Shippensburg University, PA (2009)
Coursework in Art Education, Keystone College, La Plume, PA (2006)