Photos and text by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL 62035, USA.
The exhibit was hosted by the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, Illinois between October 12, 2017 and January 6, 2018.
The Jacoby Arts Center is located in the building used to serve as the Jacoby Furniture store in Alton’s Broadway..
The entrance, and many internal aspects have been modernized.
There is a long gallery space at this center. The front third of the gallery is naturally lit, while the back two thirds looks great with artificial lights.
The Call for Entry
There was no formal call for entry, as this was an invitational exhibit. This exhibit showcased three local artists: Ann B. Coddington, Patricia Vivod, and Arthur Towata. I will be reviewing here Arthur Towata’s ceramic pieces.
The Ceramic Art Pieces
Arthur Towata has been creating ceramic art in Alton since 1960’s. He is also a founding member of the Craft Alliance. He fires his thick-walled pottery to high temperatures, and uses ash glazing. The rough surfaces are probably a consequence of adding sand or soil to the outside of the glazed pots before glaze firing. The effect is something very mineral-looking, earthy , crusty surface patches.
Most of Arthur’s Towata’s ceramic pieces are untitled with comments like “Untitled small vase”. In addition to the roughly-textures surface, the variation on the lid shape is also interesting to follow.
These two vases remind me of pottery recovered from ancient Greek archeologic excavations. These could be ritual vases to for offerings to the ancient Gods.
This piece also reminds me a classical Greek or Roman pottery style.
I was very happy to see Arthur Towata’s pieces, because if I’m not incorrect, he has been retired from active pot making. Also, his studio has been in disrepair for a while in downtown Alton, so it was great to see that he is included in an exhibit.