Viola Frey (1933 - 2004) was born in 1933 in Lodi, California, and died in Oakland, California, in 2004. In 1965 Frey began teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts and touched many peoples' lives through her instruction, dedication and her brilliant artwork. She is well known for her large, colorfully glazed ceramic sculptures of men and women, which expanded the traditional boundaries of ceramic sculpture. Frey was one of a number of California artists working in clay in the 1950s and 60s who turned away from that medium's conventions to produce works with robust sculptural qualities associated with Abstract Expressionist painting, Pop art and what would come to be known as California Funk.
Viola received her BFA in 1956 from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California and did graduate studies at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. She has had nearly 50 solo exhibitions and her work can be found in some of the most prestigious contemporary art collections in the USA and abroad. Her sculptures and paintings can be found in such museums as American Craft Museum, NY, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.