September 2, 2015 through October 15, 2015 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases
Featured Artists: Barbara Brown, Nancy Bulkley, Jeanine Center, Kim Scott, Caron Valentine-Marsh, Oni Werth, Lineke Zuiderweg, and Mieke Zuiderweg
When people think of ceramics, they tend to visualize the smoothly wheel-thrown shapes of vases, mugs, and plates. Ceramics built by slab, coils, or pinching tend to be off their radar, yet so many of the items that surround us in this world are made by these techniques. The eight Midwestern artists participating in this exhibition share a common bond of manipulating clay through similar processes, but their results could not be more different.
When looking at a ceramic object, we tend to get lost in the piece’s beauty, not its process. This exhibit hopes to capture the public’s interest in what’s behind the art façade. By showcasing a large variety of work and how it’s made, the medium’s mysterious nature will come to light:
• Bowls and figures by Nancy Bulkley are the perfect example of unknown process; the work is made by “pinching”, an incredibly ancient technique that still holds true to modern forms. The viewer can revel in the small imperfections of this process, literally seeing the hand of man upon its surface.
• Sophisticated pieces can spring from slowly building forms, as seen in Barbara Brown’s tall vases and 2 D sculptures featuring birds and natural elements.
• Slab building can yield results that both celebrate the form of the slab (Lineke Zuiderweg’s fairytale figures and Mieke Zuiderweg’s architectural forms) and intense texture as seen in Kim Scott’s “tree trunk vessels.”
• Caron Valentine-Marsh delves further into using slabs with a refined hand not often seen in clay - her “Nicho” constructions have both incredible form and function.
• Still further from the “traditional” vase, Jeanine Center creates clay jewelry that celebrates both detail and natural texture as well as her plates, while
• Oni Werth takes mixed media to a higher level with his driftwood and ceramic compositions.
We hope this show will not only open a new world of ceramics to people, but create enough intrigue that they want to try it for themselves. Handbuilding has an accessibility not found in any other art form, and should be tried by all!