Candice B. Groot
Personal Collection
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Kind of Mystery

A detail shot of a ceramic sculpture.

"Most of the work contains some kind of mystery that brings me to view it over and over again. They always appear fresh to me, and I see something different each time."

Candice B. Groot  /  CIR 2014

For the love of 3d art

Affinity for Sculpture

Candice B. Groot was far more than just a collector or philanthropist; she was an artist in her own right, with a particular affinity for sculpture. Specializing in ceramics, her own artwork explored different mediums and metaphors. She created art at a young age and received her B.A. in Studio Art and Art Education from Gustavus Adolphus College to which she’d later teach and inspire future artists.   

Candice B Groot's Loft in Chicago

Forms and Function

Candice was not confined by traditional techniques or aesthetics. Her work in ceramics often revealed an innate understanding of form and balance, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved both structurally and expressively. Her eye and exploration of different mediums, forms, and functions inspired her work and the work of others. Paying homage to mediums that celebrated the tactile, unconventional materials, and installations, across different disciplines, eventually became the backbone behind the creation of the Virginia A. Groot Foundation.

The Smithsonian: Celebrating the Life and Contributions of Candice B. Groot

Adding to her many accolades, Candice B. Groot was also honored by the Smithsonian Institution through a recorded oral history of her life and collection. This interview has been preserved as part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, an initiative started in 1958 to document the history of visual arts in the United States. Her insightful conversation is now a part of the Smithsonian’s permanent museum archives, serving as a lasting testament to her contributions to the arts.
An artist creating a sculpture.
Sculpture from Candice B Groot's Collection
Sculpture from Candice B Groot's Collection
Sculpture from Candice B Groot's Collection
A hand-sized sculpture of an abstract cat.
A small ceramic sculpture of an alleyway garbage bin.
Mini ceramic pieces of eggs and bacon on two plates.
A close-up of an art piece with a combination lock.
A sculpture that lights up from within.

I remember...

The atmosphere in Candice's home transcended visual beauty—it was as if the air itself was imbued with an uplifting spirituality. Nestled in a cozy corner near the living room window, an inviting armchair beckoned as if it were placed there just for you, just for this moment. Candice had a way of making you feel that every piece of art around you was a window to another realm, a seat for the soul to rest and ponder.

The enigma that pervades every art piece serves as an unspoken dialogue between the artist and the viewer, inviting endless interpretations and emotional responses.

Candice B Groot's Loft in Chicago
Candice B Groot's Loft in Chicago

Eye of a Collector

Outside of her own art, Candice inspired creators around her, and her students. Helping to realize their vision before they could themselves, many artists were inspired by Candice’s encouragement to push artistic boundaries. This deep-rooted connection to the artistic process made her an integral part of a community of creators.

Decorative Circle
Sculpture from Candice B Groot's Collection

More Than a Collector

Through her foundation and collection, she became a pivotal influence in contemporary ceramics. Yet, she operated discreetly, never desiring the spotlight. Her true joy stemmed from the achievements of the artists whose talents she cherished, collected, and nurtured. ‘Most of the work contains some kind of mystery that brings me to view it over and over again. They always appear fresh to me, and I see something different each time,’ she once shared in an interview with the American Craft Council.

Candice had a revered eye for art. Whenever she paused to examine a piece, others would gravitate towards her, drawn to whatever masterpiece had captivated her discerning gaze. Art was not a passive experience but an interactive dialogue, not just between the artist and the audience but also among the artists themselves. Through her foundation, she cultivated networks and collaborations, giving artists not just the means but also the community to elevate their work. Her collection and studio were part of that ardent connection to art.

Artwork shown from the Candace B. Groot's Loft