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Iren Tete (she/her) is a visual artist working primarily in clay. Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, she is currently based in San Diego, CA where she is assistant professor at San Diego State University.


Tete has exhibited solo exhibitions at the Sarasota Art Center (Sarasota, FL), Galleri Urbane (Dallas, TX), Gallery 371 (Calgary, Canada), and The Lee Dam Art Center for Fine Art (Marysville, KS), among others. Her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including shows in Italy, Latvia, Germany, Nebraska, Texas, New York and Florida. Tete has completed residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts (Helena, MT), the Hambidge Center (Rabun Gap, GA), Zentrum fur Keramik (Berlin, Germany), Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN), University of Cincinnati DAAP (Cincinnati, OH), among others.

Tete is represented by Galleri Urbane.


I embrace the lyrical atmosphere governed by magic and surprise and create sculptures that address the mystery that gaps in logic offer. They are, what I call, logical tangles.

I am drawn to forms, materials, and thoughts that are suggestive and exist somewhere between reality, dream, and possibility.  My ceramic lattice forms are simultaneously trellises, ladders, windows, and the modular breeze blocks in Barragán’s buildings. Ultimately they are the structure of a thought.

My work is a reflection of time – both real and imagined. In the silver leaf covered ceramic pieces, the sculptures reflect not only the viewer but also themselves and the space. The reflection is always changing, and light becomes both an active participant and creator of space. The silver leaf that coats the ceramic underneath exists in an “almost” space. It is almost mirror and almost fog.

Almost is full of promise. Almost has potential.

Almost is a moment that has infinite possibilities.

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