2018 “Shapes of Influence” exhibit at Springfield Art Association; Post #1: Ceramic wall pieces.

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 Venue



The 2018 Shapes of Influence biennial, nationally juried ceramic art exhibit took place in the gallery of the Springfield Art Association in Springfield, Illinois from August 3 through September 1, 2018.











These pictures show you the reception area which is normally used as the administrative office, library, and informal party room. The picture on the right is showing the gallery space from the opening night.


The Call for Entry

2018 Shapes of Influence is a biennial exhibition of the best in contemporary ceramics. Open to all artists working with ceramics as the primary medium. This year the work will be selected by Simon Levin.

The Ceramic Art Pieces

This post will be showing you the ceramic wall pieces in the exhibit.

“Wall Abstraction #3” by Matthew Patton, Seattle, WA
“Wall Abstraction #4” by Matthew Patton, Seattle, WA

On his web site Matthew writes:  It was always only incidental that my plates were food friendly.  I only made them to have a surface to glaze, and I think people bought them as much to look at, as to eat off.  The flat clay slabs now lack all reference to food serving surfaces, and I find a new freedom in leaving those functional associations out of my work. ”  These wall abstractions could have been food plates; incredible glazing composition now makes these works of art.




“Dyptych” by Kaitlyn Getz, Carbondale, CO

On her gallery site Kaitlyn states: “My work is a continual exploration of mark-making. The archival nature of ceramic invites my mark-making to become a more permanent voice in inciting visual narrative. The weight that a ceramic object bares also plays into the metaphorical weight of the moments of pause, excitement, and recognition of human life that inspire me to be a maker. These surfaces are a reminder to viewers that another human was present in those moments and there is a lot of beauty in seeing each other.”  Her tiles in that gallery look marvelous; like small abstract paintings.



“My Skin is Thinner Than You Think” by Ava Messe, Brooklyn, NY
“My Skin is Thinner Than You Think” by Ava Messe, Brooklyn, NY

I couldn’t find anything on line about her, so here are my observations. The five slabs probably represent skin sensitivity, perhaps sensitivity to criticism?  The more pink ooze, the more sensitive the skin, or the person.  Definitely a conversation starter.





“Divorced Parents” by Matthew Wright, Lubbock, TX
“Divorced Parents” by Matthew Wright, Lubbock, TX

I didn’t find an artist statement on Matthew’s web site, but looking at his portfolio on his site, this work at the exhibit might be a new direction for him. Some of his work includes cog shaped plates, so the detail photo on the right showing the half-hidden cogs is the only form I can link to his previous work.






“Homeless in Liberty Park II” by Suzanne Storer, Ogden, UT

On her web site Suzanne states about her relief clay sculptures: “They are compassionate portraits in clay that emphasize the humanity of everyday people, many of whom live here in Utah. Almost all of the sculptures begin as drawings from life. That is what allows me to give them such a genuine human sensibility. My sculptures are 3 dimensional expansions of the original 2D drawings on paper. Those areas where the brushwork on a flat surface evolves into fully three dimensional forms allows me to create new perspectives. Working this way I can best present the human condition as I see it.






“Concentrate” by Jessica Sallay-Carrington, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

On her web site the statement reads: “Jessica Sallay-Carrington’s work focuses on the representation of femininity and the role of gender and sexuality in modern society. Jessica’s work showcases their lifestyle as a pansexual/queer, polyamorous, non-binary femme. Through ceramic sculptures Jessica questions gender expectation and stereotype and how they influence personal identities. The animalistic qualities of the figures speak for the subconscious parts of human action, blurring the line between human and animal. Jessica uses their sculptures to fight for gender equality and aims to develop a revaluation of what defines ‘feminine’ in co


ntemporary society.”




“Frogger” by John Gargano, Lafayette, LA


On his web site John writes that during his childhood he was exposed to both the decay of the Detroit Auto Works, and to decay in Mother Nature.  His glaze palette and surface structures reflect those memories.  He believes that a weathered surface allows his work to transcend time and space, and ferefence a previous existence.







“Error” by Austin Wieland, LaGrange, GA

On his web site Austin states:”I  experiment with different types of interaction between the viewer and sculpture. Microcontrollers and various electrical components such as motors, toggle switches, LCD screens, and lights are implemented within each piece. The resulting mechanical functions are influenced by personal experiences and often frustrations that I have encountered when using technology. These may utilize text screens, which present the viewer with a problem instructing them to either wait or restart the device. Others explore more narrative imagery utilizing figurines and motors to create repetitive, futile tasks. Some of my most recent work further explores the notion of function by creating pots with mechanical components essential to their use. As a result, the viewer becomes the operator of each sculpture by making a static object come alive in the gallery.”

The decal work was interesting on this piece but the main action was the “Error” message that showed up on the blue screen when you pushed the button.








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