Tag Archives: Ceramics

Another Saturday in May

On May 17 we started with pottery at the Signature Shop and Gallery, moved on to the High Museum, and finally to the Marcia Wood Gallery.

"Saucey Pitcher," Jenny Lou Sherburne

“Saucey Pitcher,” Jenny Lou Sherburne

At the Signature Shop: We love the title of this show: “Potters of the Roan,” which is also the name of the artists’ guild in the Roan Mountain area. Searching for works that go beyond the decorative has its pay-offs. (Through June 28.)

Stoneware plate by Michael Kline

Stoneware plate by Michael Kline

The show includes works by many others. Michael Kline was a resident artist at the Penland School, and Jenny Lou Sherburne has been a studio potter for over 25 years. Mr. Kline’s blog includes a Vine clip showing creation of a scalloped rim.

At the High Museum: The big show is currently set aside for concept cars. We felt drawn instead to the new display of African masks. According to the exhibit, “Pende masks with black-and-white faces are often referred to as masques de maladie, or sickness masks. Each represents a person who has fallen into a fire and whose face is permanently disfigured. Performances of these masks promote compassion toward individuals who have suffered such calamities.”

Pende Artist, Democratic Republic of Congo, ca. 1875-1925. Wood and pigment.

Pende Artist, Democratic Republic of Congo, ca. 1875-1925. Wood and pigment.

On the question of what should or should not be displayed as “art,” Dr. Jerry Cullum in an essay at Burnaway.org explores the harmonies between showing automobiles in an art museum and the Carter Center’s showing (through September 21) of functional objects from Kongo society as an art exhibit.

Medford Johnston’s works at the High through June 8 perhaps represent aspects of a foot-borne culture from the viewpoint of an American raised in a car culture. (Johnston was born in Decatur, GA.) The Museum’s wall text: “The jagged contour of the [herder’s walking] staff in juxtaposition with the graceful poise of its owner, seen in silhouette against the horizon of East African plains, inspired Johnston’s years-long study of balance, counterbalance and dissonance in the interdependent relationship between people and nature.”

Three works from "Counterpoise," by Medford Johnston

Three works from “Counterpoise,” by Medford Johnston

At Marcia Wood Gallery: David Humphrey gave a delightfully casual talk on his paintings and sketches. The exhibit title, “Blind Handshake,” is also the title of his book of art criticism and studio art. It was obvious that Humphrey is an intellectual force. He was mostly unfazed by an overly confident and vocal thinker in the gallery’s audience. Thank goodness for Ms. Wood’s hospitality on the patio, and for afternoon sunshine.

David Humphrey at Marcia Wood Gallery

David Humphrey at Marcia Wood Gallery

Advertisements

Revealed: Potters Around Atlanta

After visiting the American Craft Council’s Craft Show last weekend, we want to share some images from the Show of ceramic art by potters in the Atlanta area.

Cups by Barry Rhodes

Cups by Barry Rhodes

Barry Rhodes is based in Decatur.

Vase and pitcher by Nancy Green

Vase and pitcher by Nancy Green

Nancy Green’s studio is called Wolf Creek Ceramics, and is located in Watkinsville. She can be found on the Long Road Studios website.

Vessel by Timothy Sullivan

Vessel by Timothy Sullivan

Timothy Sullivan owns Creekside Pottery, located in Marietta.

Pedestal by Beth Tarkington

Pedestal by Beth Tarkington

Beth Tarkington is based in Marietta.

Lora Rust of Avondale Estates also exhibited her work at this show. Her website is lorarust.com.

Pottery in a Glass Tower World

Atlanta is no New York City. Also, Atlanta is no Asheville, North Carolina.

While metro Atlanta’s population is about 5.5 million, and Asheville’s is about 433,000; and while Atlanta’s gross domestic product is about $269 billion, and Asheville’s is about $17.2 billion, . . . .

. . . Atlanta doesn’t measure up to Asheville for ceramic art. Unlike Asheville, we don’t have places like Blue Spiral Gallery or the Folk Art Center. We don’t have the pottery studios, such as East Fork Pottery.

But some cool stuff is on view in Atlanta, even apart from this weekend’s craft show at Cobb Galleria.

Mark Hewitt is a potter in North Carolina, and his work is in the collection of the High Museum. If you prefer not to wait till the High decides to display it, you’d better get to the Signature Shop and Gallery in Buckhead.

Maria Martinez was a Pueblo Indian from San Ildefonso, New Mexico. She and her family of potters made big names for themselves through methods surrounded by the rituals of life in a reservation village. A place in Avondale Estates called Ray’s Indian Originals offers Martinez work for sale.

Another place for fine ceramics is Mudfire Gallery, also a busy studio, near Avondale Estates. Jeff Campana’s work is on display there. He has a distinguished resume and currently teaches ceramics at Kennesaw State.

See you at the craft show.

The New Year is Clay. Let’s Make Something Good.

Where will you look for art in 2014? Sometimes we wonder if, in Atlanta, we only hear about a certain set of well marketed, media-anointed galleries, museums, and events. If so, we are allowing ourselves to be limited. We may even be allowing other people’s preferences to inhibit our own natural curiosity and wonder.

David Drake, "Jug," 1836, and "Jar," 1858. Collection of the High Museum of Art.

David Drake, “Jug,” 1836, and “Jar,” 1858. Collection of the High Museum of Art.

We were happy to see the ArtsATL website review an exhibit that is currently on view at the Hodge Podge Coffeehouse and Gallery in East Atlanta. Hodge Podge is an amazing place for its abundant natural light and its spaciousness. Over time, the quality of art there has been uneven. The ArtsATL review noted that Hodge Podge is not perfectly set up as a gallery. But then, it’s not supposed to be.

Atlanta Art Blog strives to find art in unexpected places. In 2013, for example, we fell for awhile under the influence of Free Art Friday. Our review reflected the open-mindedness that the Decatur event inspired.

David Drake, "Jar," 1858, detail. Collection of High Museum of Art

David Drake, “Jar,” 1858, detail. Collection of High Museum of Art

Lately the decorative arts have attracted us, especially ceramics. For example, we read the book Carolina Clay, by Leonard Todd (WW Norton & Co.: 2008). The book explores the life and times of the potter Dave Drake, who was a slave in Edgefield, South Carolina. The High Museum of Art exhibits work by Dave in its permanent collection.

But the term “decorative arts” seems a ridiculous term to use for the pottery that Dave created under the violent and volatile conditions of slavery. It’s not that the pottery Dave created lacks elegance or  Continue reading