2018 “Shapes of Influence” exhibit at Springfield Art Association; Post #3: Abstract sculptural 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 looks at the abstract sculptural pieces in the exhibit.

“Flower Brick” by Jason, Hess, Flagstaff, AZ

According to many gallery sites that feature Jason’s work, he describes himself as an avid wood-firer. “By grouping similar forms of differing size and color I hope to compose a visually dynamic display, which invites the viewer to enjoy the tactile nature of each individual piece and how they relate to one another.”    Jason has made several grouped bottle series; this is the first flower brick I could find online, so this piece may represent a new exploration for him.







“Hunch” by Avra Messe, Brooklyn, NY


Avra makes sculptrual anf functional pieces that you can see on her web site.   She states that “Her work explores themes of the body and mechanical systems. ”






“White Gold Reflection” by Molly Morning-glory, Asheville, NC
“White Gold Reflection” by Molly Morning-glory, Asheville, NC

This piece is the result of fascinating creating process.  Molly uses her experiences in a hypnopompic state, the state between wakefulness and sleep, to create the long-faced statues. On a clay studio site she states: “Rather than capturing emotion they provide a platform for exploration of expression. As a viewer closely inspects the face they see a distorted reflection of themselves. This not only references the dream-wake hypnopompic state it literally transmits their likeness onto the sculpture; often resulting in the viewer moving their bodies and heads to shift the reflection.”


“Pierced Bolster” by Sarah Gross, Lawrence, KS
“Wood Fired Pillow” by Sarah Gross, Lawrence, KS

On her web site Sarah states that she is fascinated by the duality of the screen. “A screen divides space and unites it. Seeing what lies on the other side invites the viewer in, and yet access is forbidden. I seek to activate space by building screens. They act as architecture, as psychological separation, as filter, and distiller. My exploration is rooted in the institution of veiling in Islamic society. I draw connections to the relationship of the sexes in the West as well as the East. I hope to reveal the intersection of eroticism, the sacred, containment, and desire.”


“Minx” by Curtis Frederick, Rockwall, TX

On his web site Curtis explains that his work benefits from his intention to push the envelope when making clay sculptures, and also from the imperfections and unplanned events that happen during forming a piece. It challenges him to make sure that the sculpture engages the viewer from all angles.  I didn’t didn’t find any narrative regarding the Minx.








“Tyvek” by Sarah Prigodich, Oswego, NY

On her web site Sarah states “My ceramic sculptures are physical representations of our psychological incongruities: the doubts, questions, and shifts in perspectives through which we view the memories of our lives.     The sculptures appear soft and pliable, yet they are hardened and permanent objects in space. This perceived softness relates to the flesh of the body in order to connect with our innate humanness and the malleable perception of our memories. The use of materials such as wood and concrete creates a physical and psychological intimacy around a space that is associated with home, structure and shelter. The making process involves a conscious act of piecemeal construction; building as needed to conceal or support the centralized ceramic form.”



“Swish” by Annie, Rhodes Lee, Folly Beach, SC

On Annie’s web site you can see many artistic styles. This piece is perhaps the only abstract piece amidst many figurative works.  In an older document she states that “It has always fascinated me how our eyes compel our hands to tell stories, to create metaphors that tie us to each other and ground us to the earth. My work strives to evoke a sensory response to contemporary narratives, and thereby tap into our more elusive memory of myth.”

I couldn’t find any narrative for the piece.



“Situate” by Danielle Callahan, Chester, PA

In an interview Dani states: “Most of my work starts with play…poking, cutting or pushing clay into some found texture or pattern.   My favorite forming methods are hand forming- pushing into outdoor textures &/or poking w/ sticks, bricks, rolling & cutting…   Wood firing is my favorite method & gives “surface treatment” & not attainable otherwise.”

Check out Dani’s web site for many styles of her creations.




“Self Portrait of Wall” by Kelsie Rudolph, New Franklin, WI

Kelsie was one of the artists invited to participate by the juror.  On Artaxis Kelsie states: “I am continuously searching for commonalities across cultural and social systems, woven between travel and daily life at home.  My work breaks cross cultural feelings of confusion, solitude, or wonder down into color, material and form. Simple material choices like ceramic, latex and faux fur are comparable to human characteristics like dependability, flexibility and comfort, making the objects emotionally relatable.  My work is an abstract exercise in this kind of relatability.”

This piece is listed on her web site as “Over there”.  This sculpture has crocheted yarn, faux fur and latex paint in addition to ceramics. It’s about 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide.





“Deep Sea Scroll IV” by Robert Kokenyesi, Godfrey, IL

Here is one of my pieces representing Beachfront Pottery.  This is one of many conceptual pieces in the Deep Sea Scroll series. The name Deep Sea Scroll comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The exploration of scroll shape and the surrounding space allows me to bring to all of us these (so far) imaginary object that hold secrets untold oft he oceans.  They’re just waiting for us to discover and decipher them.  Exactly as it happened to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

technically there are three important contributions to this piece.  The extreme thinning of the scroll edge gives it paper-like look; the Molten Rock glaze and White Cascade mixture gives the piece an almost wood-fired finish; incorporation of crushed dry clay into the rolled surface adds a weathered texture.












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