Elizabeth Fortunato

Artist Statement

A sense of place has always been central to my work. Growing up in and often returning to the Pittsburgh area has shaped my career materially and conceptually. As “the rust belt” implies, Pittsburgh is now a city sprinkled with rusting bridges and dangerous underpasses, abandoned buildings, an aesthetic that is well utilized in my work. Finding glass at a young age lead me to a BFA from Kent State University and now my MFA, expanding on my casting and sculptural knowledge. In my current investigations with installation, I am interested in narrating or extending finite moments. The re-creation and adaptation of everyday objects presents a dichotomy of ephemeral materials, handmade yet untouchable. Being at once recognizable in form but enigmatic in materiality. Reflecting on familial photographs and objects in contrast to my internal faded memories, I create disjointed vignettes as incomplete but immersive spaces. I recreate and represent objects and settings, translating meaning and remembrance through material to make a peripheral memory solid. I appreciate casting as a process. Multi step material translation processes allow me time with the objects. I become familiar with the form, surface, tradition, and personal significance of found objects as I spend hours with them making molds, coating, layering, obscuring, extracting, and revealing a new (material) identity.

Artist Website

Elizabeth Fortunato
Master of Fine Arts
3D4M: ceramics + glass + sculpture


[blockquote author=”Associate Professor of 3D4M: ceramics + glass + sculpture, Amie McNeel” pull=”normal”]“We are captivated by studio practices that satisfy with performative immediacy, flashy fire, or spectacle. Equally integral to the discipline are sculptural methods that require a more distant vision, where the outcomes and rewards are on the other side of navigating a mountainous terrain of process, procedure, and material skill. Elizabeth is a steadfast practitioner and adventurer in this way of art making. Within every piece, there are treasures that accrue meaning along that dedicated path.”[/blockquote]

Amie McNeel (chair), Mark Zirpel, Jamie Walker, Claire Cowie, Adair Rounthwaite