In 2017, Whitney invited a group of Tulsa based clay artists to join her at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts for a summer residency. She has known these artists through teaching at The University of Tulsa and interacting within the larger Tulsa art community. They are a diverse group from sculptors to potters that care about clay in their lives and community, and they have all witnessed the recent and ongoing transformation in the Tulsa art community through the revitalization of the downtown and arts district.
In order to share ideas and efforts, the group was paired with additional artists who live in other cities that are on the verge of (or have experienced) this same kind of revitalization in their communities. All involved were passionate about their studio work, each other, their art community. This residency allowed them to spend time with other clay artists that share the same enthusiasm and experiences from different places in the US.
“As clay artists, we are actively looking for ways to make a difference in our thriving art community, through teaching, making, and exhibiting our own work and participating in dialogue that might lead to new community clay opportunities.”
The large "mandalas" now featured in multiple exhibitions represent many of the new ideas that evolved in Whitney's work as a result of the amazing experience at Watershed.
The mandala is a symbol of wholeness that is found in cultures around the world. The symbolic diagrams reflect the symmetry of natural forms, the cycle of life and the circle of community. From ancient Hindu mandalas to Native American sand paintings, Celtic knot work and Christian rose windows, they promote spiritual health and wellbeing.
Whitney Forsyth’s mandalas represent her life journey, telling a story of where she has been and where she is going.