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Biography & Resume

Chris’s path has consistently gravitated towards and found redemption in “making,” whether in Architecture School at Tulane where his attraction for physical form was explored in the sanctioned realm of cardboard models, or in the sun drenched playground for architects in the Arizona desert known as Arcosanti, a place where the medium of silt, clay and concrete are the primary means of expression.  Playing in the dirt, he seemed to find his medium of choice and let his activities range from the scale of ceramic houses as demonstrated by Nader Khalili at CalEarth in southern California to the hand held clay creations afforded and indulged upon at Paolo Soleri’s ceramic studio on the edge of the Sonoran. He later found a nurturing environment for these tendencies while earning his MFA at RISD and achieved breakthroughs working with clay and earthen mixtures, leading to his current body of work.




Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.  Master of Fine Arts, Ceramics. 

Tulane School of Architecture, New Orleans, Louisiana.  Bachelor of Architecture, five year accredited program. 


Architecture Program in Greece

Sponsored by University of North Carolina & Tulane University. 


Architecture:  Southern France & Spain

Sponsored by Syracuse University. 


Urban Design/Seville:  The City and the Expo Internacional del ‘92

Sponsored by Universidad de Seville & Junta de la Andalucia. 


Architecture - Cornell University Summer Program in Architecture.

Selected Exhibitions


Homeward Bound, Juried Triennial

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia.


Virginia Earth: Ceramic Arts

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, Portsmouth, Virginia. 


The Vase and Beyond: The Sidney Swidler Collection of Ceramics

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California. 


In Between You and the Elements:  Works by Chris Gryder

Perspective Gallery, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia.


Architectonic Logic:  Silt-Cast Stoneware by Chris Gryder

Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia. 


Christopher Gryder, Current Work

Smoyer Gallery, Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia.


Gryder, Glover, Trinkle - Three Artists

Flood Fine Art Center, Asheville, North Carolina.


Perry and Marty Granoff, Providence, Rhode Island. 

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York. 

Crocker Museum of Art, Sacramento, California. 

Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. 

Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia.

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Selected Public/Semi-Public Commissions


Viginia Tech University - A series of three ceramic relief panel wall assemblages, each measuring approximately 12 ft x 7 ft x 2 in.  Created for one of the primary entry sequences for the Squires Student Center, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.


Florida State University - A series of three ceramic relief panel wall assemblages, the main piece measuring 48 ft x 10 ft x 2 in. Created for the triple story atrium of the Holly Academic Center, Florida State University-Panama City Campus. The commission was won as a result of a national competition.


Kaiser Permanente - A series of two ceramic relief panel wall assemblages, each measuring approximately 4 ft x 7 ft x 2 in.  Created for a lobby within a hospital in San Diego, California.


Pfizer Pharmaceuticals - A ceramic relief panel wall assemblage measuring 8 ft x 14 ft x 2 in. Created for the main lobby of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals research facility, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Other Professional Experience


Hollins University - Sculpting Matters: A Conversation in Form - I created and taught a course introducing fundamental concepts in sculpture such as material, process, methodology, 3D language, and aesthetics of the media.  We primarily explored materials and methods within the context of rapid development and transformation, including the importance of creating a dialogue between material and concept.  A variety of materials and techniques were emphasized, including paper, cardboard, metal, wood, plaster, and modeling clay.


Howard Ben-Tre - I worked as an apprentice/assistant to the renowned artist Howard Ben-Tre.  His primary medium is large scale cast glass and he has a strong focus on outdoor public art.  My tasks included grinding/carving glass, carving models, making sand molds, and casting glass.



Arcosanti/Paolo Soleri - I worked as an apprentice/assistant to the world renowned architect Paolo Soleri.  Soleri worked with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesan West in Scottsdale, Arizona, and soon thereafter rose to prominence as a leading architect and theorist, tackling the massive issues of intelligent urban design in light of a planet with finite resources.  He embarked on the herculean task of building a prototype city which would begin to test his urban design theories, referred to as ‘Arcology.’  Arcosanti is the name of this prototypical urban design project and it has been continually in the process of being built in the high Sonoran desert of Arizona since 1970.  It is here that I really began to ‘get my hands dirty,’ tying re-bar, pouring concrete, carving silt, and ultimately developing new and unique techniques for forming modest yet vital ceramic work.


Nader Kahlili - I worked as an apprentice/assistant to the world renowned architect Nader Kahlili.  Kahlili was well known within the sustainable architecture community for his inovative earthen construction techniques as displayed at his school and research project, CalEarth, in southern California.  I developed a construction workshop at Arcosanti in conjunction with Khalili, incorporating his unique ‘ceramic house’ building technique.  Essentially an adobe dome structure is fired as a kiln, creating a monolithic ceramic building.  We built two adobe dome stuructures, the largest with a diameter of 10 ft.  A stimulating combination of architecture and pottery. 



Stanley Tigerman - I worked as an entry level architect to the renowned architect Stanley Tigerman.  Tigerman was well known among architecture academics as an excellent teacher with a critical architecture practice based in Chicago.  I primarily worked on projects in the preliminary design phase, including a proposal for a technology museum bordering Lake Michigan and a design showroom for Kohler.

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