Corey (American b. Reston, VA 1990) received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. He has completed residencies at The Pittsburgh Glass Center (PA), Bruket (Bodø, NO), as well as a Core Fellowship at the Penland School of Crafts (NC). He currently resides in Los Angeles, California where he splits his time between Crafting the Future, production glass blowing, and his painting practice. Pemberton strives to bring together people of all backgrounds and identities, breaking down stereotypes and building bridges; not only through his work with the nonprofit Crafting The Future but with his personal artistic practice as well.
As a queer person of mixed race, I often feel “other.” I know nothing about my African roots and very little about my European roots. I am somewhat a-romantic and don't necessarily see myself continuing the tradition of a nuclear family. This introspection has led me to consider lineage and the idea of connectedness in my work as an artist.
My curiosity first manifested in the form of blown glass "baskets" which are based on the baskets of my presumed ancestors. The vessels are made in a European style but borrow forms and patterns from the sweetgrass weavers of South Africa. This sort of amalgamating of styles and cultures has persisted in my two-dimensional works. I use color and pattern as vehicles to describe situations where society has used a person's uniqueness against them; where people have been labeled or categorized based on physical characteristics in an effort to hold them back.
Most recently, I have been looking at my close friends and community members through this lens, and creating collages of them. What is it that makes one feel "at home?" Why would anyone ever want to make another person feel unwelcome? Can we, as a society, find a way to unite in our otherness, rather than deny people the right to feel included?