Ceramic art pieces in the “Interconnected” exhibit at the St Louis Community College; Part 3: free-standing sculptures.

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 “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 free standing sculptures from the exhibit. The post part 1 is about the teapots, and the post part 2 is about wall pieces.

“Fragrance the Earth” by Ruth Reese
“Fragrance the Earth” by Ruth Reese; close up

On her web site she describes her work as: ” explores themes of mythology, death and the fluid nature of identity.  In her  work, animal forms merge with human figures; flora grafts to fauna.  From these fantastic beings, psychological questions concerning the nature of human identity naturally emerge.  She draws inspiration from the Messein tradition and the Baroque period with its sense of theatre and exaggerated elegance while inviting diversity into her cast of characters.  Fantastic and creaturely, her sculptures live on the margin of dreams and reach between worlds. ”  To my eyes  the pose and the surrounding “halo” makes this sculpture looks a little like an angel.


“The Ecologist” by Melody Evans
“The Ecologist” by Melody Evans; close up

On her web site she states: “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.”

The humanoid-shaped “vase” in this sculpture brings up another of Melody’s statements: ” I am still drawn to vessel shapes particularly bottles, baskets and vase forms, not for their functionality but for the ideas they non-verbally communicate, i.e. containment and nurturing, social and cultural rituals and of course the relationship to our own bodies.  Vessels are anthropomorphic. ”


“Cellular” by James Ibur
“Cellular” by James Ibur; alternate view

On his web site he States: “I am interested in what the past can reveal about the future. I create ceramic objects that look decayed, weathered and beaten up by time.  My newest work returns to figurative vessels and solid forms with fossil references. Ideas about time, the past, the future and the often subtle and sometimes chaotic relationships between the inside and the outside drive the narrative.”

“3 Kingsr” by James Ibur
“Waver” by James Ibur


All pieces are built around that figurative bottle shape.  These two pieces show most of the weathering.







“Four Part Caterpillar Vase” by Jan McKeachie-Johnston
“Eleven Part Caterpillar Vase” by Jan McKeachie-Johnston

On her web site she states: “My work grows out of a strong tradition of functional ceramics from England and Japan (Leach/Hamada). Over the years it has also been informed and inspired by the ancient Minoan pottery of Crete, Jomon pottery of Japan, American Indian and Japanese basket forms, Iranian pottery, and many aspects of African art including pottery and masks. My interest in these cultures and their art is the strong sense of form, rich surface pattern and texture, and a universally understood connection between humanity and art, elements which I am concerned with in my own work.”


“Bartholomeuse” by Matthew Isaacson
“Bartholomeuse” by Matthew Isaacson; close up

On his web site he states: “Like a child playing with Legos or Lincoln Logs, I am fascinated by the endless possibilities of stacking and building. Considering the material of manufactured porcelain or glass tile, I repurpose its industrial function to a simple building block. The concept of multiplicity inspires me to explore boundaries of gravity as the vertical forms spiral, creating futuristic cityscapes and architecture. Tempted by their fixed shape but flexible configuration.”


“Cliffclimber” by Jeff Whyman
“Cliffclimber” by Jeff Whyman; close up

Jeff is a very accomplished ceramicist, painter, and metal artist.  His ceramic roots go back to Peter Voulkos, and in his work on this exhibit you can tell the Voulkos influence that shows up int he stacking of various shapes into a  single piece.  On his web site Jeff satets: “My work is all about each word that describes the beauty, wonder and majesty of life in our walk each day with the Almighty and all that is therein. The clay, the earth, the sun, the minerals and the colors of our transitions and the eternal process of our existence.


Always making and forever giving…”


“Nightclimb” by Jeff Whyman
“Nightclimb” by Jeff Whyman; close up


In this piece as well the Voulkos legacy of  large scale abstract expressionistic ceramics lives on.









“2.831…2,832….2,833” by Steve Hilton
“2.831…2,832….2,833” by Steve Hilton; close up

On his Artaxis site Steve states: “As a geologist by training, and a clay artist, I have developed an appreciation for the anomalies in the many forms of life, clay, rock, and soil covering the Earth’s landscape. I am intrigued by the way plants, animals and weather influence the Earth’s surface, by both erosional and depositional means. This fascination has become an integral part of my art.   I am currently thinking about these iterations as I make art. Since these fragmented and geomorphic shapes are repeatedly subdivided into parts, each a smaller copy of the whole, I’m compelled to use self similarity, iteration and subsequent textures which in turn allows me to interpret nature for the viewer and myself: hopefully with both of us seeing the natural world differently after spending time with my work.”


“2.345…2,346….2,347” by Steve Hilton
“2.345…2,346….2,347” by Steve Hilton; close up

Here is another example of the iteration leading to an assembly of ceramic shapes collected in a tray.











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