Tony Merino received his MFA from the University of North Texas in 1992. Since then he has published and lectured internationally on contemporary ceramic art. Known for being erudite and irreverent, Merino's traditional ceramic forms can sometimes seem at odds with his writings. Merino's artwork reflects the quintessential American art movement of Jazz. For Merino, it is the imperfections that make something or someone beautiful. Mastery comes from talent honed, skill and practice mixed, so that the skill is engrained. Mastery is not domination of the medium but the opposite...letting go, allowing the process to create. At his best, a swipe of Merino's brush is like a breath of Louis Armstrong pushed through a trumpet: spontaneous, immediate and unbridled. The result is a shadow of the sublime.