Artist Interview: Peggy Sivert

Artist: Peggy Sivert
Discipline: Sculpture
State: California


What is your current state of mind?

What is your greatest fear?
environmental degradation

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Good Boy! Great!

When and where were you happiest?
My family moved to a ranch home in Southern CA and got horses (and other animals) on our property. I was 7 years old. I loved those early years being free to roam the open space on horseback with dogs along side.

Which talent would you most like to have? Why?
I’d like to be a great writer. Running a non profit art organization requires constant communications; from grant writing to catalog essays and curator’s statements. I highly respect this talent and hope to have a great writer on our staff someday. I know that everything that happens in the arts must be well documented in writing. Id also love to have the discipline to write a book.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Raise my Self Esteem. Im working on loving myself and others

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Founding a relevant, non profit art organization and gallery space in Los Angeles.

If you have a “greatest regret”… How has that changed you?
My regret is that I put too much focus on my work and not enough on my family, my self and nature. Being off balance causes disease and that changes everything. I have changed my priorities to include a balance in my life now and I feel much happier.

What is your motto?


Did you have a mentor? How was that?
I have had many mentors over the years. I went to college, but didnt start to learn until I began teaching ceramics and established a peer group. Technical mentoring was most important. I had one mentor who introduced me to many others. His name is Patrick Crabb and we still communicate. My other mentor is my husband Ben Zask. He helps me figure out technical aspects of putting together elements of sculpture and also inspires me.

What makes you uniquely you as an artist and person?
I have always had a strong sense of being an integral part of nature. This sense guides my life and art.

What 5 words would you use to describe your artwork?
authentic, melancholy, elegant, gestural, textural

What is your dream project?
To exhibit an installation including the diverse elements that have led to the development of my art; from painting to found objects to architectural forms, video and finally a very large herd of horses. It will all tie together.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I asked artist / mentor Matthew Thomas what I should do with my horse sculpture? He told me to make a herd. Ive been working on it ever since.

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and Why?
Wolf. I just love them for stature, beauty, culture.

Describe your favorite color to somebody who is blind.
It is very warm and bright, it makes you happy and awake. It is life giving and you can see and feel it even if you are blind.

What was your most memorable a-ha! art moment?
My state of mind is the most important part of my success as an artist. I must fully believe in myself and my art.

Tell us about your current body of work?
I am designing horse forms with welded steel in order to control structural, to show movement and to increase scale. These structures will be combined with found materials, ceramic and digital elements. I am starting with small maquettes and working to life sized forms.


How has your style and practice changed over the years?
I started as a painter in college and have always loved to paint. I got a job teaching ceramics and 3D design, which threw me into the world of clay and sculpture. This influenced my focus and my paintings continued to become more dimensional until I now focus primarily on sculpture. The horse as a subject worked its way into my practice and while I rejected it for many years, the subject persisted until I now fully embrace it as an integral part of my identity.

Where do you see yourself going from here forward in your artistic explorations?
I want to complete a body of work using steel construction and horse subject matter which will be the focal point of a large installation. The horses will be active and expressive of what is my interpretation of the world. I will always seek abstraction and simplification of form to the point of non objective art; this will always be my long term objective, but I want to come to it in a way that evolves naturally as I work. I will incorporate multi media as I move forward.

Bio / Statement:

Art is intertwined with my life. Throughout childhood, I created poems and plays, during high school I discovered sketching and ceramics and in college I studied Art, becoming an art teacher and currently a gallery director. Respect for nature has always been integral in my life. Everything that has been important to me in life has become a part of my art.

Horses were the focus of my youth. These magnificent animals were a force connecting me with nature and great responsibility. These animals imparted a lasting influence on my art, aesthetically, spiritually and conceptually. They have become a dominant subject matter in my work today.

As I matured, my art became centered on ceramic’s history and technique, integrating the Tea Ceremony and Zen philosophy into my teaching.

Today, these major transformative periods of my life have merged. Horses of my youth and Clay relate in their lasting connection to humanity and the use of found objects demonstrate my environmental concerns.

Peggy Sivert Zask

BA CSU Long Beach: Drawing/Painting, Art Education
BA CSU Dominguez Hills: Humanities
Art/Ceramics Instructor: Mira Costa High School, Manhattan Beach, CA 1994-2013
Director / Founder: South Bay Contemporary Museum of Art, Torrance, CA, and 1990 – 1997
Director: Zask Gallery, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, 2006 – present
Founder /Director: South Bay Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA, 2013 – present


 Image Specs:


Title: Protect
Dimensions: 5.5″x6.5″x3.5″
Medium: ceramic, found objects
Year: 2017


Title: Burden
Dimensions: 15″x12″x7″
Medium: Porcelain
Year: 2010


Title: Broken
Dimensions: 36″x50″x48″
Medium: Ceramic, Wood, Stone
Year: 2014