Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA. If you enjoyed this post, then give me a “like” on my Facebook page. There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.
The “Ceramic Centric” exhibit took place from April 12 through May 24, 2019, in the galleries of the Foundry Art Centre, St Charles, Missouri.
The Call for Entry
It must be a human instinct to create with mud. Ancient civilizations around the globe seemed to reach the same conclusion about this resource at various times in history. If you take earth, wet it, shape it, and fire it, something useful, beautiful, and elemental is formed. From this invention, mud bricks, drinking vessels, and sculptures were created. With Ceramic Centric, we seek to celebrate how current artists translate this ancient medium. The artwork in this exhibition will be comprised primarily of clay. As creating with this medium is not limited to the three dimensional, wall hanging ceramic works are encouraged.
The Ceramic Art Pieces
This post, Part 1 of four, reports on vessels in the exhibit. Part 2 will be about wall art; Part 3 will be about figurative sculptures, and Part 4 will be about abstract sculptures.
Phillip had this statement: “Through the making of craft objects I examine new modernism. The term new modernism refers to our culture’s collective interest in re-adopting modernist design principles. I suspect the resurgence of these principles and interests in simplicity and clarity, and order is due to our unprecedented appetite for media consumption and the acceptance of the over stimulated lifestyles. My work responds as a calm counterbalance to the new reality. The formal language I use supports the notion of clarity, where emphasis is placed on refinement and order. Embellishments in form are minimized, and surfaces favor and reflect the making process over ornament or decoration. I seek balance between precision and elements of disorder to create tension that excites an otherwise minimal object. I apply these ideas to both ceramic pottery and sculptural objects made from clay, wood, pigmented concrete, metal, and other media commonly used in the built environment around us.” For more of his works visit his web site.
Shoshanna’s statement reads: “My current body of work is based on ancient African tools. While I’m not creating these tools, I take their shapes and make them into three dimensional forms. Spades, hoes, digging sticks, knives and mirrors all become vessels. They’re finished mostly with sand, clay and minerals giving them a patina of time. I chose African tools, because I feel deeply affected by the continuing poaching and devastation of the African elephant population. Half the proceeds from the sale of these pieces will go to elephant conservation groups.” For more of her works visit her web site.
Sara’s statement reads: “After completing 26 years of teaching in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, serving as both a literacy professor and chair of the department, I was named professor emeritus in 2016. In my retirement I have discovered a new passion for ceramics, enjoying both wheel throwing and hand-building. My work is playful and whimsical, focusing on the form rather than the function of an object. Currently, I’m fascinated by the addition of metal in my work, combining clay and metal to express my inner spirited and spunky idiosychrasies.” For more of her works visit her Instagram page.
Anthony’s statement reads: “This new series is influenced by industrial oil cans and containers from around the 1950’s. The work is a reflection back to my earliest years of working in my grandfather’s workshops. The stark, heavy shapes and deep colors are complete opposite from a porcelain work I have created for the past seven years. The use of other materials is an extension of multiple materials I have worked with throughout my life. I search for decals and images of labels that would be considered unbecoming in today’s world.” For more of his works visit his Facebook page.
Laura’s statement reads: “My work is about exploring and capturing humans in various forms and conditions. I have an active curiosity that leads me into a lot of experimentation and I really try to follow my gut intuition. The question I ask myself most often is, what of?… Being well versed in painting and ceramics lets me use both media as tools to better express myself. I hope people enjoy the work as much as I have fun making it.” For more of her work visit her web site.
This is Ryan’s statement from the Craft Alliance site: “I have always been captivated by the creation process. For me, it is a place of refuge and self-expression. There is nothing like putting my thoughts and emotions into physical form, and my material of choice is clay because it allows me an endless versatility. The heart of my work has always been centered on the human condition and, more specifically, my own condition. The creation process is a form of therapy. Through this process of making and self -discovery, I try to connect with the frustration, amusement, disgust, happiness, and pain that I feel internally and that is present in our society. My work draws heavily from the California Funk art movement, and that humor has carried over into my functional work. My pieces tend to have a whimsical playfulness to their form and function. ” Visit his web site for more works.
Rachel’s statement reads: “My work explores the wistfulness of personal connections to historical domestic objects. I seek symbiosis in the relationship of surfaces to forms and address the hierarchy of importance between the form itself and the image or decoration on the form. My work reflects my concern in the everyday. Objects both functional and decorative, phrases, sounds, and textile patterns each factor into the banality and routines of daily life. I seek to compare past and present means oft he production of goods and labor. Much of my interest in cataloging and historical artifacts stems from many of the collections belonging to my grandmother, which I describe as “I don’t hoard, I collect”. In this series of ceramic whiskey jugs, I juxtapose the familiar form of the whiskey jug with surface design inspired by vintage textile prints from family quilts. Layering of hand-painted patterns with commercial decals contributes to the conversation of industry, gender, and labor.” For more of her works visit her web site.
Hannah’s statement reads: “My work is focusing on taking societal insecurities – the obscure, perceived ugliness, chaos – and transforming them into harmonized concepts through design and emotional substance. By means of found objects combined with traditional media, I strive to create works that are unconventional and that are tied to said insecurities’ perhaps giving the viewer an unexpected and deep response. I place much importance on visual elements, and find it necessary for my work to have interactive component either in movement, or function, and be physical and emotional.” For more of her works visit her Instagram page.