Thursday, March 31, 2011

This April Fool's Day Weekend: April First - Third.

"Naturals & Demarcations", Two NCECA exhibits @ West Tampa Center for the Arts - "Naturals" is comprised of artists who work from natural forms. "Demarcations" is about the relationship between ceramics and hand-drawn forms. West Tampa Center for The Arts, Gallery 209. 1906 N. Armenia Ave.813.453.4381 5-10PM Friday April 1. Free.

Lunacy: Man On The Moon by Square One @ Ritz Theater in Ybor - History vs. Fiction is the theme of this one. This is the best party this weekend in the area -- at any price. For a $4 donation, it's a steal. Okie Tilo, Jason Moriarty and their crew put on first-rate events on a consistent basis. There will be three bars, 100 musicians, Fashion show, and 75 visual artists, like P$YNNER, Case Max, Kimberly Hull [Link], Bluelucy, Carrie Vail, and many others. 9 PM Saturday, 1503 E. Seventh Ave, at the Ritz in Ybor City. $4 at the door. 813.247.2555.

"Receding Waters" @ USF Theater I - Functional ceramics at the USF theater I. 4202 E. Fowler Ave. Tampa. 6PM Friday April 1. Continues through Saturday. Free. Parking $5.

"Recurring Currents" Reception @ USF - A tribute to past and present USF ceramics influences. USF Music Recital Hall, FAH 102, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. Tampa. Free. Parking $5. 7PM Friday. April 1.

"Method Multiple Reception @ C.Emerson Fine Arts" - The singlet vs. the mass-prpoduced is the theme of this exhibit. C.Emerson Fine Arts, 909 Central Avenue, St Petersburg.5-8 PM Friday. April 1st 727.898.6068

"Milagros of Clay" Reception @ Donna Gordon Gallery - Pottery from Mata Ortiz, a village in Mexico that is the home of expert potters. Over 40 are represented. Donna Gordon Gallery and Studio is hosting this NCECA exhibit. Through May 28. Free admission. 625 Central Avenue. Thursday, March 31st. 

Art House @ USF - Visit USF's student artists' studios, see  their work. Free. Live music performances. USF Music Recital Hall FAH 101. 4202 E. Fowler Ave. Tampa. 8PM Friday April 1. Parking $5

Materials Matrix: 30 North by 84 West @ Tempus - Tempus Projects, 5132 N. Florida Ave, Tampa. 813.340.9056.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NCECA's Public Show @ The Tampa Convention Center

I went over there this morning, gathered images, talked with many of the the artists, and examined the work by Sharan Elran, Brian Molanphy, Eva Kwong, Henny Linn Kjellberg, Teri Frame, Tiny Circus, Julia Haft-Candell, Dawn Holder, Marianne McGrath, and Colby Parsons. Plus there was The Table from Santa Fe, the Artstream, and several other exhibitors showing innumerable works of art.  

The public NCECA show is held in a spacious Convention Center room right next to the member's section. I got there early, and later the number of people in the room swelled.

"What I see, what I saw", by Marianne C. McGrath, looks like and are giant unfired clay roses coming out of little rooftops. The installation is about migrations, specifically the movements of people and the ensuing changes in the American landscape, particularly the city-to-suburbs flow. The fragile roses relate to memories and now-lost landscapes. A strange and very moving work, a sea of dark grey roses scattered like a fading garden before us.


 Here is a view from behind the installation, showing the upside-down roses and their stems ready to be set up. Just to the left of the table one can see the little house/roof forms into which they go. A piece that reminds the viewer of their own history, the human cost of moving, the places that now exist only in memory within us and our own place in this garden.

See more of the artists' work at [Link].

Eva Kwong's "Next Migrations" is a map of the world on the floor delineated with tape, on which rest clay tokens. On the US, there is a large pile (which she is kneeling next to in the picture) of three thousand clay discs representing the 300 million Americans, all of whom are, in one form or another, like Eva and I, immigrants.
  The discs are to be used by participants by placing them where they would want to migrate to. The discs are a lot like coins, which may have to do with the economics of migratory patterns. The clay discs, as they are scattered by participants, form secondary landscapes of migratory dream and desire on their own. I had the pleasure of speaking at length with Eva, who is an articulate, passionate soul who has produced a very elegant conceptual and simultaneously grounded work that poses questions for you to think about.

Eva also makes exquisite ceramics that are sculptural but retain some utilitarian echoes, and much more. See more of them here: [Link]

On the left is a picture of the Artstream, a 1967 Airstream trailer lovingly converted into a movable utilitarian ceramics gallery.

"Bricks #1" is an installation composed of a multitude of identical bricks. Sharan Elran, the artist, wants participants to get in and reconfigure the sculpture as they wish. The subtextual theme  is Migration, and the polymorphic nature of the piece allows the expressions of many to be actualized and serve as the materia prima for the next person.

See more of his work here: [Link]

This is a performance piece titled: "Pre Human, Post human, Inhuman", designed and performed by Teri Frame. It is performed in six acts called Simians, Early Humans, Hybrids, Proportions, Races and Posthumans. It is a narrative of the migration of the body over time, arts and sciences. The artist describes this as a transfiguration in and through clay. The changes of clay as it dries reflect on the aging process. This is an absorbing, demanding piece. It takes some time or several trips to begin to appreciate its power.

See more of her work at: [Link]

This is Julia Haft-Candell, who was making these biomorphic forms looking a little like living sponges. She  is very involved with the process, and was carrying these forms to the limits of the materials, and intending to take them over it. Here too, the theme is Migration, where forms pull apart and fuse becoming different entities, changing, and sharing DNA.

See more of her work here: [Link]

These people are members of Tiny Circus, a collaborative group. They are making a clay animation via inscribing the clay's surface. As they do this, it is all being recorded by an overhead camera tied to a computer, which also lets the on-site viewers see what it is recording.

You can see more at: [Link].

This installation, titled Wire Works, by Henny Linn Kjellberg, consists of  a wooden frame which the artist encloses in (iron) barbed wire eventually enclosing herself. Like the other works, this is themes on Migration, borders, physical and spiritual, the spaces in which people have to live. The work poses many questions about who is captive and who is free? What price security? And much more.
See more at: [Link]

Congratulations to NCECA for putting together another excellent show, this one at the Convention Center, and available to the public for viewing and participating for free, and the chance to acquire ceramic works of many kinds at reasonable prices.

--- Luis

What brings in the biggest crowds in Museums?

What brings the highest attendance numbers to museums? For 2010, the top five included (in order):

Hasegawa Tohaku @ Tokyo National Museum Tokyo 23 Feb-22 Mar

Post-Impressionism: from the Musée d’Orsay National Art Center Tokyo Tokyo 26 May-16 Aug

Designing the Lincoln Memorial National Gallery of Art Washington 12 Feb 09-4 Apr

Hasegawa Tohaku Kyoto National Museum Kyoto 10 Apr-9 May

Van Gogh: the Adventure of Becoming an Artist National Art Center Tokyo Tokyo 1 Oct-20 Dec

To see the whole list, complete with numbers, and attendance figures for major museums around the world, see here: [Link]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Elastic Authenticity" and Cristina Cordova's "Bestiario" @ The Morean/NCECA

We are witnessing an extraordinary thing in all these NCECA exhibits being hosted by local art venues. NCECA is putting on nearly 100 (according to the brochure) exhibits bringing ceramics to the public, and over 50 local gallerists, art centers and museums donating the space towards this consciousness-raising effort.

The Morean Arts Center (MAC) is one of those spaces. They are holding two shows currently, a one-woman show by Cristina Cordova, and a group show named "Elastic Authenticity"  . 

 This show emphasizes the versatility of clay, exploring technological concerns and their effects on"""""""" us. The show includes work by Darien Johnson, Susan Beiner, Kaite Caron, Bryan Czibesz, Dell Harrow, Casey McDonough, Brendan Tang, Matthew McConnell, Dylan Beck and Gail Hel. Here are a few highlights:

"If this is all that exists, how can there possibly be anything else?"

Casey D. McDonough's current work is based on relationships and connections, in this case, as illustrated by a social network chart of the flow of information and energy between individual nodes in a system. The nodes here are clay and other media biomorphic forms framed in digitally jagged lines. There are fine strings, barely visible in this picture,  connecting them.

See more here [Link]

Detail of above work

This is a close-up detail of the above work, which shows the network of strings connecting the nodes. The figures also make intermittent buzzing noises.

"Many New Things and more of the Same"
by Matthew McConnell. This Raku-fired red earthenware work still smells like it's fresh out of the kiln. We see a variety of representations of mass-produced objects that permeate our lives.

See more of his work [Link]

Dell Harrow's "Tubes", from "Interiors and Volumes". The work is informed by a variety of things, from art history, game fields, farms, forests to the interior of his 1990's ranch house.

This is  a close-up of the clay latticework in the above work showing the detail work on the tubes.

See more here [Link].

Darien Johnson's "Partial Containment" is about the effects of digital processes and their effects on human consciousness. The artist is using digital imagery and process in the work.  See more of his work here [Link].

 Susan Beiner's "Polyunsaturated II" is like a blend of electronica and underwater plant life. It is what she describes as an "opulent" style derived from 18th century European ceramics. See more of her work here: [Link]

Detail of Cristina Cordova's "La Huida" (The Flight)
Cristina Cordova's career is a distinguished one. Penland residency, then a trustee there, American Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant, teaching at Penland, Haystack, Santa Fe Clay, Mudfire in Georgia, Oddyssey Center, and more. From her artist's statement, she addresses gender, cultural and temporal issues in her work. An illusion of narrative that brings out the viewer's imagination of a resolution new myths, and ensuing familiarity.

Here is the whole work. It is five feet long, composed of several pieces.

"Vestigios"   (Vestiges) is a Medusa-like figure with a classical visage.

See more of Cristina's work here: [Link]

Congratulations to NCECA and The Morean for partnering and putting together a great show.

--- Luis

Don Reitz @ Scarfone-Hartley Gallery at University of Tampa

The name Don Reitz is synonymous with salt glazing. [Link]  He is one of the finest salt-and-wood glazers alive today and considered one of the most influential, and a great teacher who has mentored many major major talents. Reitz' life has been a multihued one, and he tells it best here: [Link]. The show at UT is one of the closest to the Convention Center where NCECA is being held.

The exhibition at Scarfone Hartley Gallery at UT

     " Through art, I am able to make the intangible tangible, release my subconscious, and give physical reality to emotional conditions."      --- Don Reitz

 A bird's eye view of ""Table Top Spiral"                                           Here is a side view 

Reitz's forms are very spiritual. This sculpture is a kind of maze, the colors elegant, almost metallic. 

"New Sculpture #2"

This is a composite form made of pieces from many other pots. Reitz' work is strongly narrative, from an autobiographical angle, and this piece is no exception. Some of the pieces are cut, others are broken, and they're put together again in a new way. 

"New Sculpture #1"   

                                  " In searching for a new aesthetic, I decided to break pots and reassemble them. In reality, I had to put myself back together."    --- Don Reitz

Platter #1

A large platter with two broken sticks or limbs crossed, and a chip that also appears made of wood.

 This is one of Reitz' "Standing Sculptures", reminiscent of Voulko's "Stacks". This one is about three feet tall. It has a decidedly architectural presence, and a sense of spontaneity, whimsy, barely balanced.

"Tryptych #2" reminds us of the chameleon-like power of ceramics to be able to at times look like painting, although this has a lof of light inscribing and serious textures.

This is an excellent one-man show, one of the best of the NCECA ones. Reitz' work is rich with meaning, spirit, and possibility.

--- Luis

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rainy Night in St. Petersburg. Queenshead opening is Tuesday, not Monday as listed.

Drove from Tampa to St. Petersburg in the rain at rush hr to see the Queens Head Pub show. Dodged crazed guys in pick-ups kicking up cascades of white water and gingerly crossed huge puddles. Met up with a friend. Got to Queenshead and a woman peeped out the door to tell us they weren't open, that the show is tomorrow. What? 

My friend went on shopping, I holed up at Kahwah to type this and to look at the Website for Clay Around the Bay to see if I had made a mistake. I hadn't.  Straight off the site:

Tags: ,
QueensheadQueenshead Eurobar
2501 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg 33713
(727) 498-8584
March 28 – April 3, 2011  [My Bold]
The White Show
Kozlowski5 Generations of Women in Clay.  Elizabeth Kozlowski, Gia Dwin, Nicole Gugliotti, Jamie Bardsley.
Artist: Elizabeth Kozlowski

Tags: , , ,
The date on Clay around the Bay site is wrong as is the Clay Around the Bay brochure. Apparently a half-dozen AT  readers braved the rain besides me, and sent mail, wondering if I'd gotten the date wrong. That is not the case. Apparently, the show starts Tuesday, though at the moment that is pure hearsay. I'll go back by tomorrow (time is still a mystery) since there are two other openings, C. Emerson (11-4 PM) and Salt Creek (also 11-4PM). Hopefully, Queenshead will be open also.

--- Luis

Saturday, March 25th Part III: Duncan McClellan Gallery, a Sneak Preview of "Immigrant Impact".

Duncan McClellan is a well-known and widely respected artist working in glass. Using the Overlay and Graal techniques to great effect. His work has won numerous awards and is in many major private, public and corporate collections. He also has a gallery in his large industrial fortress-like studio. He was gracious enough to allow us in and get a sneak preview of the soon-to-open "Immigrant Impact" show in conjunction with the NCECA convention this week. The show is curated by Elizabeth Kowalski, and it looks great from what's already up.

There were no tags yet on the work, so all I can say attribution-wise, is that it's probably from Giannina Coppiano Dwin, Mika Negishi Laidlaw, Juan Carlos Navas, or Ivan Albreht.

This is not part of the "Immigrant Impact" show. It is titled "Golden Ribbon Vessel", and made by Jennifer McCurdy. The picture is in black and white. It was wheel-thrown porcelain, carved altered and incised. Interior surface gilded with 23 ct gold leaf. See more of Jennifer's work at: [Link]

This is one of Jennifer's Wave Vessels...also porcelain, incised.

I saw a large number of strong works in glass, by Duncan and artists he represents while making my way around the ceramics.

This is "Lotus" by Stephen Pon, pate de verre.

Below, right is "Little Boat", by Stephen Pon.

Above, "Ouroboros", by Stephen Pon. Pate de Verre and glass.

Again, a special note of thanks to Duncan McClellan for his warm welcome.

--- Luis

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 25th Part II: Charlie Parker & Em Silvis.

About a block away, we pulled into Charlie Parker's Studio. I was graciously given a tour of the building by the affable Charlie.

Here is Charlie Parker with his #1 Assistant, Emily "Em" Silvis, holding marine-themed components which will soon be framing two doors in the building, to the left as one enters. Behind them is the circularly-framed  Em's "Summer's End".

Charlie's work consists mostly of large bowls, like this one. Note the depth, color and quality of the glaze .

Here's a view of the fireplace behind Em and Charlie in the first photograph.

A detail of another large Charlie Parker Bowl's beautiful colors &  glaze.

Here's a display of a mix of members' work and Charlie's (the Big Bowls).
--- Luis                                                                                                                                  

Saturday, March 25th Part I: Return to Craftsman House

I gathered two friends and returned to Craftsman House to treat them to Jeff and Stephanie Schorr's two current shows. To my amazement, the Colemans were giving a workshop across the street, and everyone poured into Craftsman House for coffee. I got a small work, then Tom appeared and spoke to a packed room of people, some of them all the way from New Zealand.

Elaine Coleman was also present, and spoke eloquently about her work and its technical aspects.

Right outside the cafe window, a potter applied glazes to a work before a 2nd firing.

--- Luis