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 “Interconnected” exhibit took place from February 21 through March 15, 2019 in the Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery on the Meramec Campus oft he St Louis Community College.
On the left is the entrance to the building housing the gallery
This is the hallway leading to the Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery. The entrance is at the very far end of this photo.
The Call for Entry
The exhibit was subtitled: An Invitational Exhibition of Compound Ceramic Forms. There was no call for entry, as this was an invitational exhibit. On the exhibit postcard there was the following statement: “Many contemporary ceramic artists use modules or components to make a larger statement about containers or ideas related to containment. Join us for this invitational exhibit featuring the work of 17 national artists who work with these ideas.”
The Ceramic Art Pieces
This post shows the wall pieces from the exhibit. The post part 1 is about the teapots, and the post part 3 is about sculptural pieces.
About these pieces she states: ” Living in South Florida most of my life….surrounded by water. Ironically, I do not like the sun, I do not go the beach, I do not swim. This body of work is defined by a fascination with a world under the sea, specifically by our endangered Coral Reefs. Found around coastlines in the tropics, the Coral Reefs provide homes for about a third of all fish species on Earth.” Theses colorful tiles are 11X11 inches in size. Check out her very different looking works on her web site.
I couldn’t find a dedicated web site for Ben. On an online gallery site he states ” I am interested in the functional format as a realm of exploration, but I strive for my pieces to transcend their utilitarian boundaries and function as sculptural elements. I use the ideals of the vessel to clarify design and explore form as it relates to space. To me working in clay is more about composition, proportion and surface than it is about efficiency of use. My hope is to make pieces that are able to communicate feelings and ideas without recalling specific objects. I intend for these compositions to be mysterious and open-ended enough to evoke multiple interpretations. ” The pieces in the exhibit are about a foot tall, very noticable, very different.
On her web site Melody states: ” The materials I use are predominately ceramic based with the additions of wood, paper, Plexiglas and fibers. Most of my making process is informed by the techniques and vocabulary of ceramic processes which I have used for many years. My intense attraction to the natural world makes me very concerned about ecology. I increasingly make work that reflects those concerns while celebrating the awe and wonderment I find in nature’s beauty. Like many contemporary artists I source images that only exist because of 20th century technology. These are the micro/macro type images that have increased our scientific understanding of nature and for me have increased my amazement with the logic underlying the natural world and my awareness of the fragility and the interconnections of it all.” Whenever I see Melody’s work on exhibits I always see forms and assemblies that are fresh and unexpected visual treats.
On her web site Susan states: “The opulent style of my work initially stemmed from my interest in 18th century European porcelains. I began translating the painted surface of these vessels into layers of encrusted form and color.
Various industrial objects and new discoveries in my environment inspire me, as I question how our creations and technology mold our perceptions. I am influenced by the surrounding colors and textures and how combinations fall into the patterns that occur in nature.”
On his Artaxis page he states: “During the past thirty-eight years, my ceramic sculptures and sculptural teapots have explored the complex environmental, political and economic impacts of contemporary human civilization upon the ecological and spiritual condition of our planet, and the quality of life of individual human beings. I present these concerns — about which I am passionate (some might say obsessive) — by visually manipulating and juxtaposing various objects, images and symbols to create narrative sculptural works which stimulate the viewer to examine their own innermost feelings. In the past few years, I have begun working with sculpture on a scale larger than my trademark miniature works, and exploring a wide range of clays and ceramic techniques that are new to me.”
While I didn’t find a dedicated web site for Richard, his works, and political activism through ceramic art has been well documented (here is a good article).