Fired up for new exhibit
Writer: Linda Stephenson
February 14, 2007
Filed under Uncategorized
Ceramics come to life at the upcoming “Fresh Clay” exhibit at the Atkinson.
The exhibit comprises work produced by nine artists in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Mont.
Atkinson Gallery Director Dane Goodman said: “The artists in this exhibition were selected as residents for one full year, which is an honor, given the heavy competition for one of these year-round studios.”
Professor Christopher Bates, head of City College’s ceramics program and curator of “Fresh Clay,” did a residency at the Bray last year and worked alongside the exhibitors. Goodman credits Bates with providing the “concept and energy that made this exhibition a reality.”
The Bray is a public, non-profit educational institution founded in 1951 by brickmaker Archie Bray.
The exhibit represents a huge cooperative effort by the Atkinson and the Bray, both of which educate, promote and support contemporary ceramic artists. Current works stretch previous boundaries of ceramic art.
The show features the work of nine artists, each with a unique approach. Among the work on display are creations by Melissa Mencini from Cleveland.
Mencini makes art that demands a visceral response. “Trephine for Parasitic Twins” is frankly frightening. This tall ceramic sculpture references a historical surgical device that might have been used on nonanaesthetized patients.
Deborah Schwartzkopf from Seattle, exhibits “Cups.” Inspired by the seamsters’ craft, she treats the clay like fabric, transferring patterned planes using the technique of cutting, folding, and stacking to create colorful porcelain pots.
With “Puddle,” a largish object in watery colors and fluid aspect, the artist evokes something between dream and memory. Created by Jesse Pots, from Camp Hill, Pa., the piece embodies imagined landscape.
Tara Wilson, from Cyde, Ohio, uses atmospheric firing processes on her pots to impress Earth’s geologic record on fresh clay. Her simple yet beautifully sculpted “Orange Basket” might suggest a human figure.
A related workshop is offered by artists Wilson and Schwartzkopf from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Feb. 24 and 25, in the Humanities 107 ceramics facility.
Cost for the two-day workshop is $70 for Ventura County Potters Guild members and $90 for the public. Contact Christopher Bates, (805) 965-0581 ext. 2410, for more information.