Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ceramics: Southeast


McMaster proudly presents its new group contemporary ceramic exhibition “Ceramics: Southeast.” The group show includes the works of thirteen southern artists including Alice Ballard, Russell Biles, Jim Connell, Don Davis, Lauren Gallaspy, Bruce Gholson, Samantha Henneke, Frank Martin, Scott Meyer, Gay Smith, Paula Smith, Mike Vatalaro, and Jerilyn Virden. The show can be viewed from October 12 to November 19 at McMaster gallery on Senate Street.

The group exhibition combines a wide spectrum of southern ceramics from traditional styles to non-traditional sculpture forms and brings together the creative talent of functional and non-functional ceramic artists from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The group of full-time artists and professors illustrate the never-ending possibilities of ceramic and clay sculptures.  

South Carolina is represented by Alice Ballard, Russell Biles, Jim Connell, Mike Vatalaro and Paula Smith. Ballard creates ceramic pods inspired by natural shapes and forms, such as cones and flower buds. Russell Biles’ figurative sculptures are sometimes whimsical, sometimes bizarre and often offer political and social commentary. Jim Connell creates elegant works, featuring masterful coloring and symmetrical shapes. Paula Smith’s sculptures portray the current role of women in society, often borrowing ancient symbols and forms from ancient civilizations. Mike Vatalaro gets his inspiration from architecture and transforms his ceramics into sculptures. 

Don Davis (TN) combines figure with function. Lauren Gallaspy’s (GA) non-functional porcelain and mixed media pieces explore the relationship between sculpture and fantasy. Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke (NC) are a couple that founded Bulldog Pottery and are exhibiting traditional functional works. Frank Martin’s (TN) functional works focus on the magical techniques of painting and coloring ceramics and Scott Meyer (AL) combines wood with clay. Gay Smith (NC) throws and sculpts geometric porcelain forms and Jerilyn Virden’s (NC) uses a signature bowl in most of her sculptural pieces. 

The group show opens on October 15 at 4 p.m. in Room 239 in McMaster College with a panel discussion called “Facing the Future” with Don Davis, Scott Meyer and Gay Smith led by USC Professor Virginia Scotchie. A reception will follow from 5 – 7 p.m. with the participating artists and panelists. There will also be a ceramic workshop with Gay Smith called "Throwing with Porcelain" on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in room 103 in McMaster. All are open to the public.


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