“The joke is, as a woman you have to be over 80 before the art world really loves you,” says Shechet, a couple decades younger than that, sitting in the airy loft in Tribeca where she and her husband settled in the mid-1980s, when that lower Manhattan neighborhood was still marginal. As with many women artists of her generation, art-world recognition came a little later in life. In her first 15 years out of school, Shechet held art-academic jobs at both the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received her MFA in ceramics in 1978, and then Parsons School of Design while raising her children, born in 1986 and 1990.
“I was always making work in the studio while teaching and having babies, but I didn’t have time for studio visits and self-promotion during those years,” says Shechet, who moved her studio down to the basement of her Tribeca building as her family grew. As the demands of motherhood loosened over the last decade, she built a larger studio with a walk-in kiln at the family’s second home in Woodstock, New York, which has become her primary workspace four days a week. In ceramics, she has hit her stride, receiving critical acclaim for her breakthrough show at Elizabeth Harris in 2007 that has only grown with subsequent gallery shows, most recently at Sikkema Jenkins in 2013.