Tip Toland’s sculptures are fragile creatures depicting stages of life and stages of mind. The innocence expressions convey a sense of vulnerability and reflect deeply felt inner states of mind. The hyper realism of Toland’s figures comes from her attention to detail and insight to humor and pathos of self and society. Her works range from the real to the surreal while giving a voice to inner psychological and spiritual states being mirrored back to the viewer. Her ceramic sculptures reflect the profound, inevitable solitude asking the viewer to reflect on universal truths about humanity.
Tip Toland teaches hands-on sculpting workshops focused on composing facial expressions in clay and building small proportionate figures. She guides class participants through construction of the life size solid clay head, built on an armature. Topics include concepts such as asymmetry, layering expressions and subtle nuance, which can suggest so much with so little. The goal is to give voice to inner psychological states, or bring them to life, projecting aspects of humanity which create a felt response in the viewer. Tip notes, "The expression on a face can speak volumes. So much is possible with the face and how it supports the gesture and directs a narrative."
Tip Toland was born outside of Philadelphia and now lives in Vaughn, Washington. She received her MFA from Montana State University in 1981.
In 1986 She received a visual arts Fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She was awarded first-place in 2005 for the Virginia Groot Foundation Grant, an Artist Trust/Washington States Arts Commission Fellowship in 2007, a Jean Griffith Fellowship Artist Award in 2009 and a US Artist Windgate fellowship Award in 2014.
Tip is a full-time studio artist and a part-time instructor in the Seattle area. In addition, she conducts workshops across the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Her work is represented through the Traver Gallery in Seattle.
Tip Toland’s work is included in prominent private and public collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Yellowstone Art Museum, Montana; Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT; Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin, The St Petersburg Museum of Art, FLorida and many private collections worldwide. Toland recently had a retrospective at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Washington; and in 2014 had a one woman show through the Apex Gallery at The Portland Art Museum, Oregon.